Storage

These days I’m storing my tea thus

The cabinet is small, but just big enough to hold all my cakes and random puerh chunks.  My aged oolongs I leave in the plastic bags and in drawers that are away from light and heat.  There are really a few goals when you store a tea.  Obviously, you hope it’ll improve, but more importantly, you have to first make sure that it is safe.  A tea that grows unknown things is not going to improve, and that, I think, is a mistake that is sometimes made in an effort to speed up the transformation process of the tea.

From my experience with Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc, it is fairly dangerous to leave tea out in the open in an environment that is fairly humid.  If done improperly, mold grows very quickly, often within a week of continuous rain with no reprieve.  I think basically if the leaves are sufficiently moist, you’ll get mold growing, and that’s not a happy thing.

With the weather and the use of heater here, humidity is really not an issue.  I don’t really bother with putting any water in here either — I just let it sit naturally.  I rarely open the cupboard either.  I suppose I’ll have to see how this turns out.  I remember when I was in Beijing, I put a few bowls of water in there, and after doing that you can smell the tea more — moisture does have something to do with that.  I might try experimenting with that again sometime soon.


Comments

Storage — 6 Comments

  1. If you don’t mind me asking, what’s the pu-erh in that special wooden display case in the upper left there? Reading the backlogs of your blog, I would’ve expected a lot more pu-erh than that…

  2. In the spring and summer months, the humidity goes up between 60-70% giving off a lovely aroma every time I walk past the stash. Once fall and winter get here, the smell tapers off as colder air and furnaces steal the humidity away once again. I’m pretty happy with the natural shift between high/low humidity and I’ve yet to run into any issues with molding *knock on wood*. I agree with Maitre_Tea though; it’s got to be wonderful to leave a majority of your tea to caring hands in Hong Kong.

  3. I’ve been storing cakes in 100L food-grade plastic container at humidity 78-80% 20-23°C under regular inspection and controlled air circulation. Fortunately no mold growth issue. This way I can control the storage condition at relatively stable range because I want to get it aged relatively faster.
    Unlike in HK, Taiwan and Malaysia, the weather in USA and European countries changes dramatically upon seasonal change. Once it’s too cold/dry for microbe to “age” the tea, the process will slow down and it will take time to achieve the initial normal rate even if the storage is heated up. This conclusion is purely drawn based on average microbial activities in wild life.
    What would be your suggestion based on your experience?

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