Pu-Erh storage - beginner's question

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

Mar 10th 17 12:43 pm
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Pu-Erh storage - beginner's question

by domul » Mar 10th 17 12:43 pm

Hi all,

I have discovered - and learned to love - Pu-erh only in the last 6, 7 months; I have now some 20 cakes, mostly raw and very young.
It's the kind I like most.
I have a very, very basic question about Pu-Erh storage; I saw the threads with discussions about dry against humid storage, humidifier etc etc ....
My question is much more basic, so I didn't want to post it in a thread like that.

Is it actually ok to store a cake like this, on this picture below ? Just like that, completely "naked" in that bamboo box (of which I have bought a few; they look nice and are practical, indeed)
Or is this only for advertising purposes ? I found that the wrapping paper tears up too easily, and leaving the cake with the torn up wrapping paper in a box like this ... Might take it off as well.

We have an average humidity of 60-70% throughout the year where I live, and between 19-30 degrees in my apartment.
Image

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Mar 10th 17 1:48 pm
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Re: Pu-Erh storage - beginner's question

by jayinhk » Mar 10th 17 1:48 pm

domul wrote: Hi all,

I have discovered - and learned to love - Pu-erh only in the last 6, 7 months; I have now some 20 cakes, mostly raw and very young.
It's the kind I like most.
I have a very, very basic question about Pu-Erh storage; I saw the threads with discussions about dry against humid storage, humidifier etc etc ....
My question is much more basic, so I didn't want to post it in a thread like that.

Is it actually ok to store a cake like this, on this picture below ? Just like that, completely "naked" in that bamboo box (of which I have bought a few; they look nice and are practical, indeed)
Or is this only for advertising purposes ? I found that the wrapping paper tears up too easily, and leaving the cake with the torn up wrapping paper in a box like this ... Might take it off as well.

We have an average humidity of 60-70% throughout the year where I live, and between 19-30 degrees in my apartment.
Image
AFAIK those boxes are only for nibbling away at a cake you are consuming NOW. I don't know if there's a smell to them as I've never owned one. Sounds like you have nice conditions for aging pu erh though. Where in the world are you?

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Mar 10th 17 2:00 pm
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Re: Pu-Erh storage - beginner's question

by Rui » Mar 10th 17 2:00 pm

Jay is right, some woods release more wood smell than others. I am not sure about the bamboo ones.

I also use cigar wooden humidors but well ahead of putting a tea cake in them I usually put one or two of these "Boveda 84% RH Retail Cube 2-way Humidity Control, Large 60 gram size" for a couple of weeks so that humidity gets into the wood. Usually after that period the wood has a lot less aroma and that is when I add the tea cakes and "Boveda 75% RH 2-way Humidity Control, Large 60 gram size" rather than the 84% ones as that could be too much humidity and mold could start.

So far I have had no mold in my setup (holding thumbs) and I have not found noticeable wood smell in my tea cakes bearing in mind I have only started using these humidors about 18 months ago. To bear in mind I aerate all the humidors for a minute or so every week.

The day I can afford a glass humidor than I would just add the Boveda 75% humidity patches straight away or some other means to increase humidity in the humidor.

Hopefully this helps.

Mar 10th 17 5:42 pm
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Re: Pu-Erh storage - beginner's question

by domul » Mar 10th 17 5:42 pm

jayinhk wrote:
domul wrote: Hi all,

I have discovered - and learned to love - Pu-erh only in the last 6, 7 months; I have now some 20 cakes, mostly raw and very young.
It's the kind I like most.
I have a very, very basic question about Pu-Erh storage; I saw the threads with discussions about dry against humid storage, humidifier etc etc ....
My question is much more basic, so I didn't want to post it in a thread like that.

Is it actually ok to store a cake like this, on this picture below ? Just like that, completely "naked" in that bamboo box (of which I have bought a few; they look nice and are practical, indeed)
Or is this only for advertising purposes ? I found that the wrapping paper tears up too easily, and leaving the cake with the torn up wrapping paper in a box like this ... Might take it off as well.

We have an average humidity of 60-70% throughout the year where I live, and between 19-30 degrees in my apartment.
Image
AFAIK those boxes are only for nibbling away at a cake you are consuming NOW. I don't know if there's a smell to them as I've never owned one. Sounds like you have nice conditions for aging pu erh though. Where in the world are you?

Thanks a lot for your replies !

Gives me a good idea ;-P

I'm located in Switzerland .

Mar 10th 17 5:44 pm
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Re: Pu-Erh storage - beginner's question

by domul » Mar 10th 17 5:44 pm

Rui wrote: Jay is right, some woods release more wood smell than others. I am not sure about the bamboo ones.

I also use cigar wooden humidors but well ahead of putting a tea cake in them I usually put one or two of these "Boveda 84% RH Retail Cube 2-way Humidity Control, Large 60 gram size" for a couple of weeks so that humidity gets into the wood. Usually after that period the wood has a lot less aroma and that is when I add the tea cakes and "Boveda 75% RH 2-way Humidity Control, Large 60 gram size" rather than the 84% ones as that could be too much humidity and mold could start.

So far I have had no mold in my setup (holding thumbs) and I have not found noticeable wood smell in my tea cakes bearing in mind I have only started using these humidors about 18 months ago. To bear in mind I aerate all the humidors for a minute or so every week.

The day I can afford a glass humidor than I would just add the Boveda 75% humidity patches straight away or some other means to increase humidity in the humidor.

Hopefully this helps.
It certainly does ! Thanks a lot !
I already have now boxes for 15 cakes .... might as well use them.
Since I'm new to it all I have no expensive stuff (two or three for around $95), so I'll put one in a box and leave one of the same in the foil bag it came in, so I can compare and see if the boxes influence flavor.

Cheers

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Mar 10th 17 6:32 pm
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Re: Pu-Erh storage - beginner's question

by kuánglóng » Mar 10th 17 6:32 pm

domul wrote:
Rui wrote: Jay is right, some woods release more wood smell than others. I am not sure about the bamboo ones.

I also use cigar wooden humidors but well ahead of putting a tea cake in them I usually put one or two of these "Boveda 84% RH Retail Cube 2-way Humidity Control, Large 60 gram size" for a couple of weeks so that humidity gets into the wood. Usually after that period the wood has a lot less aroma and that is when I add the tea cakes and "Boveda 75% RH 2-way Humidity Control, Large 60 gram size" rather than the 84% ones as that could be too much humidity and mold could start.

So far I have had no mold in my setup (holding thumbs) and I have not found noticeable wood smell in my tea cakes bearing in mind I have only started using these humidors about 18 months ago. To bear in mind I aerate all the humidors for a minute or so every week.

The day I can afford a glass humidor than I would just add the Boveda 75% humidity patches straight away or some other means to increase humidity in the humidor.

Hopefully this helps.
It certainly does ! Thanks a lot !
I already have now boxes for 15 cakes .... might as well use them.
Since I'm new to it all I have no expensive stuff (two or three for around $95), so I'll put one in a box and leave one of the same in the foil bag it came in, so I can compare and see if the boxes influence flavor.

Cheers
Good idea. I keep most of my cakes in surplus aluminum boxes, some of them in multi-layer bags and others, mostly Xiaguan stuff in stoneware crocks (thanks Cwyn!). The major advantage of multi-layer bags (no vacuum!) is that they minimize the loss of volatile components, my cakes and tuos mature just fine in there but I keep a close eye on their moisture content and temperature.
Just in case .... you might want to risk a look at Cwyn's blog, she keeps most of her pu in stoneware crocks and has written some really helpful articles about this kind of storage.

Mar 10th 17 6:50 pm
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Re: Pu-Erh storage - beginner's question

by domul » Mar 10th 17 6:50 pm

It certainly does ! Thanks a lot !
I already have now boxes for 15 cakes .... might as well use them.
Since I'm new to it all I have no expensive stuff (two or three for around $95), so I'll put one in a box and leave one of the same in the foil bag it came in, so I can compare and see if the boxes influence flavor.

Cheers
[/quote]

Good idea. I keep most of my cakes in surplus aluminum boxes, some of them in multi-layer bags and others, mostly Xiaguan stuff in stoneware crocks (thanks Cwyn!). The major advantage of multi-layer bags (no vacuum!) is that they minimize the loss of volatile components, my cakes and tuos mature just fine in there but I keep a close eye on their moisture content and temperature.
Just in case .... you might want to risk a look at Cwyn's blog, she keeps most of her pu in stoneware crocks and has written some really helpful articles about this kind of storage.
[/quote]

I will, thanks for the tip !
I had thought of stoneware storage, but the problem is I haven't found anything that would work here were I live yet - and the stuff I find on taobao and alibaba looks great - but shipping stoneware ... :-)
It's 4 times more expensive to ship then the item is worth

Mar 10th 17 8:30 pm
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Re: Pu-Erh storage - beginner's question

by onjinone » Mar 10th 17 8:30 pm

You might be better off leaving the tea in its wrapper in a dark location, free of other odors because as others have said the wood can give off certain smells.

A lot of Chinese people I know tend to keep it this way so it it's pretty alright. Otherwise go for something that doesn't give off smells like the wood does. A tin container can be ok.

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Mar 11th 17 2:38 am
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Re: Pu-Erh storage - beginner's question

by stevorama » Mar 11th 17 2:38 am

As people have mentioned, odor management is important. Tea picks up odors easily. I check any tea storage for odor or off-gassing. If I find any odor to packaging (boxes, bags, etc) then I let it air out until the smell is gone.

My preference for storage is in a cabinet made of natural materials that doesn't have odor or off-gassing. It can be hard to find a cabinet like that!

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Mar 11th 17 7:50 am
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Re: Pu-Erh storage - beginner's question

by jayinhk » Mar 11th 17 7:50 am

stevorama wrote: As people have mentioned, odor management is important. Tea picks up odors easily. I check any tea storage for odor or off-gassing. If I find any odor to packaging (boxes, bags, etc) then I let it air out until the smell is gone.

My preference for storage is in a cabinet made of natural materials that doesn't have odor or off-gassing. It can be hard to find a cabinet like that!
I use glass cabinets, but I have a few hundred bricks/cakes/tuos aging in cardboard. I know kuanglong likes to age in sealed bags, but I think some air exchange is necessary for decomposers to do their thing. HOJO seems to think microorganisms play no role in the aging of pu erh and ages sealed, too (and with oxygen absorbers in the bags)! I've never tried pu erh aged in sealed, oxygen-free containers, but it sounds like a good way to slow aging down to a crawl!

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Mar 11th 17 7:24 pm
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Re: Pu-Erh storage - beginner's question

by kuánglóng » Mar 11th 17 7:24 pm

jayinhk wrote:
stevorama wrote: As people have mentioned, odor management is important. Tea picks up odors easily. I check any tea storage for odor or off-gassing. If I find any odor to packaging (boxes, bags, etc) then I let it air out until the smell is gone.

My preference for storage is in a cabinet made of natural materials that doesn't have odor or off-gassing. It can be hard to find a cabinet like that!
I use glass cabinets, but I have a few hundred bricks/cakes/tuos aging in cardboard. I know kuanglong likes to age in sealed bags, but I think some air exchange is necessary for decomposers to do their thing. HOJO seems to think microorganisms play no role in the aging of pu erh and ages sealed, too (and with oxygen absorbers in the bags)! I've never tried pu erh aged in sealed, oxygen-free containers, but it sounds like a good way to slow aging down to a crawl!
I don't keep all my pu in bags, but the cakes and tuos in there have everything they need for their transformative process (oxidation-enzymatic and microbial activity) - the right residual moisture!, higher than ambient temperatures and all the necessary air/oxygen - significantly different from what Hojo or other folks do. Again, compared to the same cakes that are stored differently (I've done all sorts of weird, controlled experiments over the years) my bagged cakes mature just fine, otherwise I'd look for a different solution. At the end of the day it all depends on what we're heading for anyway and everyone is free to find his/her own solutions that work best for him/her.

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Mar 12th 17 3:42 pm
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Re: Pu-Erh storage - beginner's question

by jayinhk » Mar 12th 17 3:42 pm

kuánglóng wrote:
jayinhk wrote:
stevorama wrote: As people have mentioned, odor management is important. Tea picks up odors easily. I check any tea storage for odor or off-gassing. If I find any odor to packaging (boxes, bags, etc) then I let it air out until the smell is gone.

My preference for storage is in a cabinet made of natural materials that doesn't have odor or off-gassing. It can be hard to find a cabinet like that!
I use glass cabinets, but I have a few hundred bricks/cakes/tuos aging in cardboard. I know kuanglong likes to age in sealed bags, but I think some air exchange is necessary for decomposers to do their thing. HOJO seems to think microorganisms play no role in the aging of pu erh and ages sealed, too (and with oxygen absorbers in the bags)! I've never tried pu erh aged in sealed, oxygen-free containers, but it sounds like a good way to slow aging down to a crawl!
I don't keep all my pu in bags, but the cakes and tuos in there have everything they need for their transformative process (oxidation-enzymatic and microbial activity) - the right residual moisture!, higher than ambient temperatures and all the necessary air/oxygen - significantly different from what Hojo or other folks do. Again, compared to the same cakes that are stored differently (I've done all sorts of weird, controlled experiments over the years) my bagged cakes mature just fine, otherwise I'd look for a different solution. At the end of the day it all depends on what we're heading for anyway and everyone is free to find his/her own solutions that work best for him/her.
Yes, if it works for you, then it works. I should try sealing a cake in a bag to see what happens, or perhaps just wrapping in saran.

Aug 25th 17 2:50 am
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Re: Pu-Erh storage - beginner's question

by iamlost » Aug 25th 17 2:50 am

Hi all, I'm new. Has anyone tried storing them long term at 13 degrees (same temp and RH as wine)?