One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.
This will make the purists' heads implode. I want to buy new-10 year old tea and age it. I don't want to buy a humidifier. I don't want to maintain a humidifier. I want to spray some water in a cooler and let nature take its course. It looks like the cigar people have been getting stable 70% humidity with pure, unscented, unadulterated silica crystals that are sold as kitty litter, putting them in an airtight cooler, and getting better results than traditional humidors. So much so that they feel that beautiful, Spanish cedar humidors are for show and short term storage, but long term aging happens in "coolerdors" with some Spanish cedar thrown in for aroma. In the process, I guess I have also picked up another hobby (just great for my finances ). I know people have talked about an ammonia odor with humidity beads, but tobacco leaves and tea leaves have to be biologically similar enough to emit a similar level of ammonia while aging (decaying), so I'm not concerned with it if the cigar people aren't. If I open the cooler daily and let some air exchange take place, I will take my chances that the ammonia won't be a problem. I will post updates in a few years if anyone happens to be interested