MArshalN and Teaoff,
We should meet up and have a good talk over a good session of tea
I shared my experience for storing tea in Singapore and Malaysia where the temperature is constantly high at 30-35C and humidity of constantly 70%-80%. It may not work in Taiwan, China or other climatic conditions. So far in this climatic condition, sealing the tea in shrink wrap food safe plastic works the best. For older tea, I vaccum pack them and sealed them in mylar bag. They do age well whilst preserving its flavour.
How do I explain that? By drinking the tea of course. My collection of Puer span from 1950s to present and I explored tea like crazy more than 2 decades and learned from many teamasters in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Many have different perception and argument over this issue and I am sure this topic will lead to a wide range of opinions...and until today many still doggedly cling to their own belief.
Why? because, those who exposed their tea don't know what was lost in that aging and storing method. When they drink the tea they thought old tea is supposed to be like that until they taste an old tea full of flavour. I have tasted the same tea by the same source of 70s kept by 2 different masters and the seal one was great and the expose one was mediocre. Again this works for the climatic region I am in.
I know a lot of merchant and what they can do to manipulate tea. I also know some specialist who can do wonders. One "master" I know can create a 70 years old Song Ping Hao and pass the expert scrutiny. They are really good in that. But generally many merchant air their new tea to speed up the aging so that they can sell them easier. I know a group in Perak, Malaysia doing that. They buy by container and store them on the floor of a landed property and the ground moisture aged the tea faster. In 3 years, the tea aging accelerated while still some residue flavour intact and they shipped back to China to sell them. What happen after that in the long term is at the expense of the buyer.
Maybe eventually, the climatic condition is the main determinant of the correct storage method, no one is wrong or right and we are all free to decide.
Anyway, I have resign myself from dwelling over this topic and prefer the quiet moment to enjoy tea instead.