Storage is a Crock

One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

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Oct 14th 16 4:17 pm
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Re: Storage is a Crock

by jayinhk » Oct 14th 16 4:17 pm

Cwyn wrote:I arrived at crock storage from cardboard failure. I stored puerh teas for four years in a cardboard box with a bowl of water, based on advice I found online. Four years later I had flat, too dry tea that tasted like cardboard. I was able to air out the cardboard but the lost flavor and fragrance did not recover.
Cardboard is only for tropical places, really--In Kunming everything is stored in cardboard at some point (often for decades)! Same deal here in HK and Taiwan too, I guess. Some people stick tongs on shelves n stuff too of course.

Oct 21st 16 6:38 am
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Re: Storage is a Crock

by Cwyn » Oct 21st 16 6:38 am

jayinhk wrote: Cardboard is only for tropical places, really--In Kunming everything is stored in cardboard at some point (often for decades)! Same deal here in HK and Taiwan too, I guess. Some people stick tongs on shelves n stuff too of course.
That is the conclusion I reached. I also realized that simply copying what "works" in Asia, simply because it works in Asia, is erroneous though people continue to still promote storage methods suited to hot and humid climates regardless of the person's indoor and outdoor climate situation. So, I turned to look at storage methods used in my own local setting and of course found that glazed stoneware crocks are used to ferment and store foods, and were the norm prior to widespread refrigeration as the main way to store food. People have largely forgotten how crocks work.

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Oct 21st 16 6:49 am
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Re: Storage is a Crock

by Tead Off » Oct 21st 16 6:49 am

Cwyn wrote:
jayinhk wrote: Cardboard is only for tropical places, really--In Kunming everything is stored in cardboard at some point (often for decades)! Same deal here in HK and Taiwan too, I guess. Some people stick tongs on shelves n stuff too of course.
That is the conclusion I reached. I also realized that simply copying what "works" in Asia, simply because it works in Asia, is erroneous though people continue to still promote storage methods suited to hot and humid climates regardless of the person's indoor and outdoor climate situation. So, I turned to look at storage methods used in my own local setting and of course found that glazed stoneware crocks are used to ferment and store foods, and were the norm prior to widespread refrigeration as the main way to store food. People have largely forgotten how crocks work.
+1

Oct 21st 16 7:55 pm
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Re: Storage is a Crock

by Haddemall » Oct 21st 16 7:55 pm

Dear Cwyn,

Do you add any humidification to your crocks.......

If not, don't they dry out?

I keep my small collection at around 60 RH.

Best,

H

Oct 22nd 16 8:17 am
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Re: Storage is a Crock

by Haddemall » Oct 22nd 16 8:17 am

Sorry, found your post on crock storage on your blog. :oops:

Oct 23rd 16 12:09 am
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Re: Storage is a Crock

by Cwyn » Oct 23rd 16 12:09 am

In winter they definitely dry out. In summer, I just leave them open on warm and muggy days.

Crock storage is for dry climates. Humid climates need more air circulation to prevent bad molds. Just want to be clear on that to prevent people living in humid settings from running out and buying glazed jars.

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Oct 24th 16 11:03 am
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Re: Storage is a Crock

by Rui » Oct 24th 16 11:03 am

Cwyn wrote:In winter they definitely dry out. In summer, I just leave them open on warm and muggy days.

Crock storage is for dry climates. Humid climates need more air circulation to prevent bad molds. Just want to be clear on that to prevent people living in humid settings from running out and buying glazed jars.
Living in a place a bit more humid than Cwyn's I am lucky to have relative humidity between 55 to 62% throughout the year therefore I just air my small crocks every week or so for a short while. They are big enough to take around 300gms of tea leaves split from tea cakes which are too 'funky' for me to enjoy. After (and if) they clear I then join those leaves wrapped in mulberry paper to my other cakes in humidors where one can find around 70% relative humidity. Usually this removal of smokiness or other aromas and tastes I do not like takes around 1 to 2 years like Cwyn mentions in her blog.

Nov 3rd 16 5:46 am
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Re: Storage is a Crock

by Cwyn » Nov 3rd 16 5:46 am

I think the UK can be more challenging than where I live because of cold and humidity together. I remember scrubbing and bleaching my English friend's washing machine full of black mold, to no avail.

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Nov 3rd 16 6:25 am
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Re: Storage is a Crock

by jayinhk » Nov 3rd 16 6:25 am

Cwyn wrote:I think the UK can be more challenging than where I live because of cold and humidity together. I remember scrubbing and bleaching my English friend's washing machine full of black mold, to no avail.
Sounds like aspergillus niger, which is one of the fungi responsible for pu erh aging! :)

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Nov 3rd 16 6:41 am
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Re: Storage is a Crock

by Tead Off » Nov 3rd 16 6:41 am

Cwyn wrote:I think the UK can be more challenging than where I live because of cold and humidity together. I remember scrubbing and bleaching my English friend's washing machine full of black mold, to no avail.
Japan, too, has a similar type of climate. I've had a few problems buying older tea bowls that have been stored away there and developing moldy smells that won't fully disappear. Porous types like Raku are very susceptible. I can see the same problems happening with storing Puerh.

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Re: Storage is a Crock

by kuánglóng » Nov 3rd 16 8:51 am

Cwyn wrote:I think the UK can be more challenging than where I live because of cold and humidity together. I remember scrubbing and bleaching my English friend's washing machine full of black mold, to no avail.
It's basically the same where I still am right now. Not too far away, close to the coast, cold and humid, lots of rain and fog most of the time, big YUK. Back home on the Canaries it's somewhere around 70-75% R.H. and 25°C throughout the year, amost ideal conditions for pu - can't wait to get back and mess around with the local volcanic clay.