I was really worried when I sent my tea out from Beijing. I haven’t shipped tea before, not in a large quantity like this anyway, and I think I learned a few things
1) Do use lots, and lots, and lots of bubble wrap. I didn’t use enough and some cakes took a bit of a beating.
2) China Post has really bad boxes. They look fine, but they get battered very fast. Which means more hazards for the tea itself.
3) Seemingly strong metal cans can be crushed easily by tea cakes in the same box.
4) Teaware actually do ok if wrapped enough, but some, like the delicate, thinner cups, aren’t meant to survive.
5) Some cakes survive better than others, interestingly enough. Having a tong wrapper REALLY helps and there was virtually no damage to any of the cakes wrapped in those things. You couldn’t even tell they went through the mail.
6) I don’t think I’ll do it again if I can help it.
I ended up following Hster’s advice — I thought given what I had it was the most sensible thing, to put some tea in the cupboard — about a tong of cheap cakes. The tea smell quickly overwhelmed the wood smell, so I think I am probably going to be ok with multiple tongs of tea in there. I also used the spilled tieguanyin from the crushed can to help soak up some smell. They’re still in the cupboard, along with all my puerh. Hopefully, when I come back in a few months… they’ll all be good and happy, mould free, and tastes a little better than when I left — which is tomorrow.