wet storage cake....?


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wet storage cake....?

Postby odarwin » Oct 15th, '08, 09:27

hi guys!

i've recently bought a stack of different meng hai ripe pu erh from one of the ebay stores and it arrived a few weeks ago. upon opening the package, i noticed that the cakes had a nice smell or fragrance with it, but as time went by, specially for the past few days, its been raining here in my area and humidity levels reached 80-85% max, and ive noticed a gradual loss of the pleasant fragrance it once had when the cakes arrived. is it due to high humidity levels? i do store them in cardboard boxes and am a bit worried if my area has overly high humidity levels for storing pu erh tea...

another question is how would this affect the taste of the ripe pu erh tea? will the taste be very noticeable?

lastly, on a recent trip to malaysia just a few months ago, i bought a stack of tribute cakes, they are this years ripe pu erh tea from yong de factory, i really cant remember the smell and characteristics of the cake on the day i bought it, but ive noticed since reading through forums that it must be a cake that has left the factory "in a hurry" and probably was still very wet and did not have sufficient time to dry. i would really like to get it to dry and humidity levels here are a bit high on the 75% level on a normal basis.
im planning on sun drying it in a cardboard box for a few days and hope that it will get rid of the excess moisture in the cake, would any of you advice this?

thanks!
-darwin
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Postby Salsero » Oct 15th, '08, 09:48

TomVerlain recently posted a note about falling barometric pressure allowing aroma to escape from the cakes. Maybe it is falling pressure that causes this rather than stable low pressure. Thus, as pressure drops prior to a rainy period, you would get the smell, but during the rainy period you would not.

My understanding is that tea ages quite quickly in areas with high humidity, including I think Malaysia. If you want to slow down the process, dry out cakes, or create a drier storage condition, a set up with a dehumidifier in a closet or other small room might do it.

You may also want to post this inquiry in the Puerh Live Journal. I would love to learn more about your collection, your tea shopping trips in Malaysia, and maybe even see some photos, btw. For those of us in the USA and Europe this sounds like a fairy land!
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Postby odarwin » Oct 15th, '08, 10:21

hi sal,
thanks for the links you mentioned,
i really dont think its the pressure drop, as it smells more of moisture mixed with tea and not really a pleasant smell....

i really dont have any problems with aging a tea faster than normal, but my real concern is the effect on taste... as i read, there is a wo dui smell from cakes that just came out of the factory and it would take 2 years to get rid of that taste... id really like to store my cakes and know that eventually, they will get rid of that smell and would taste better over time...

Image

here is a picture on how i store it, scott of yunnan sourcing advised me to put wood charcoal so it can absorb the excess humidity and also the bad smells...



-darwin
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Re: wet storage cake....?

Postby hop_goblin » Oct 15th, '08, 19:59

odarwin wrote:hi guys!

i've recently bought a stack of different meng hai ripe pu erh from one of the ebay stores and it arrived a few weeks ago. upon opening the package, i noticed that the cakes had a nice smell or fragrance with it, but as time went by, specially for the past few days, its been raining here in my area and humidity levels reached 80-85% max, and ive noticed a gradual loss of the pleasant fragrance it once had when the cakes arrived. is it due to high humidity levels? i do store them in cardboard boxes and am a bit worried if my area has overly high humidity levels for storing pu erh tea...

another question is how would this affect the taste of the ripe pu erh tea? will the taste be very noticeable?

lastly, on a recent trip to malaysia just a few months ago, i bought a stack of tribute cakes, they are this years ripe pu erh tea from yong de factory, i really cant remember the smell and characteristics of the cake on the day i bought it, but ive noticed since reading through forums that it must be a cake that has left the factory "in a hurry" and probably was still very wet and did not have sufficient time to dry. i would really like to get it to dry and humidity levels here are a bit high on the 75% level on a normal basis.
im planning on sun drying it in a cardboard box for a few days and hope that it will get rid of the excess moisture in the cake, would any of you advice this?

thanks!
-darwin


I have also notice my pu closet not to be as fragrant when the humidity level is high. I actually have tried to come up with an answer as well. The only thing I can come up with is that whatever is happening it may be occuring at the molecular level.

If you look at the situation using physics, heat excites gasses which the "aroma" will ride on. When gasses are heated the molecules expand thus causing the aroma to be omitted much more easily. However, during a humid conditions, it may be colder which makes the molecules contract and stay together. They do not want to expand and as a consequence, they can not be easily omitted into the air. However, this does not explain what happends in hot and humid weather to the aroma. I think when it is hot and humid, I believe the action takes place more on the cellular level. Of course I am just hypothesizing but maybe the humidty causes the cells to swell, causing the cells to become crapped creating a cramped cellular barrier. So, whatever is omitted from the intial top layer of the puerh, the lower layers can't omit any aroma due to the barrier made of swollen cells. For any physics buffs please tell me if this is all b**sh*t :HAHAHAHA
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Postby odarwin » Oct 15th, '08, 22:19

thanks for your reply hop!

would you think the storage situation my tea cakes are in would have an effect on taste? ie: giving it a "damp" taste or something?

i do have one sheng brick from ten ren bought 3 years ago, and its wraped in bamboo leaves, i opened it last night and it had the same smell as the cakes i got from malaysia a few weeks ago, can this tell anything as to what the smell really is?

thanks for all your inputs
-darwin
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Postby hop_goblin » Oct 16th, '08, 00:00

odarwin wrote:thanks for your reply hop!

would you think the storage situation my tea cakes are in would have an effect on taste? ie: giving it a "damp" taste or something?

i do have one sheng brick from ten ren bought 3 years ago, and its wraped in bamboo leaves, i opened it last night and it had the same smell as the cakes i got from malaysia a few weeks ago, can this tell anything as to what the smell really is?

thanks for all your inputs
-darwin


Darwin, I wish to clarify that my comment about humidty and aroma is just a hypothesis of mine. That said, dampness should only occur if you have it stored in very humid enviroments where it does not get proper ventelation.

Hop
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Postby Salsero » Oct 16th, '08, 00:54

If you haven't already seen it, you may find the most recent Cha Dao post interesting.

http://chadao.blogspot.com/2008/10/by-w ... eries.html
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Postby Salsero » Oct 16th, '08, 20:03

Isn't the dew point the temperature at which RH is 100% and moisture comes out of the air? Could it be that the temperature in Odarwin's climate falls enough at night to form dew on the cakes, essentially misting them with water? The would make for way too much moisture in the tea. I would think that the dew would be perceptible on the cakes, as well as on other things in the house, just as it is outdoors.
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