Ripe/raw puerh storage?

Puerh and other heicha
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TeaHive
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Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:00 am

The research I have done seems to be inconclusive on what is the best way to store puerh, however I have a couple questions I'm really curious about:

1. Can/Should ripe and raw puerh be stored together? I've heard on multiple occasions that you should store as much puerh together as possible for humidity purposes (amongst other reasons). Is it better to store all puerh together, or have the sheng in one box and shou in another?

2. Let's say I received a shipment of puerh in the mail today, is it acceptable to add it to my puerh storage box with my other puerh, or should I let it "rest"/air out for a few weeks outside of any box and then add it to my puerh storage box? Basically, is the "shipping funk" going to rub off on my other tea?

I understand that the answers to these questions will likely be open to debate, so I'm looking for an answer followed with the logic behind it. :D

Thanks everyone!
Atlas
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Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:44 am

Tea is prone to absorbing ambient smells. When I put a tong of Lumber Slut in my pumidor and came back an hour later, the whole pumidor smelled strongly of the earth/wood smell of LS. I'm therefore inclined to separate it from my sheng.

As for the other, I'm not sure "shipping funk" is a thing. Either way, I've put three cakes of (at the time) somewhat-nasty sheng in my pumidor to air out, and they did so without seeming to affect any other cakes. My pumidor gets daily fresh-air exchange, though.
sifulee28
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Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:45 am

As Atlas said, tea leaves absorb the aroma of anything around it. Storing Puer close together with any product will cause the tea to absorb the smell, positive or negative. Many locals in Asia use this to good effect by using the dry (used) leaf/stems to absorb unwanted smells (e.g. newly painted/refurbished premises).

Avoid absorption of unwanted smells - keep your ripe away from your raw if possible. You can remove any unnecessary packaging unless the packaging serves to help keep aroma in/out on purpose - i.e. neutral food-grade plastic wrap for your best cakes.

Depending on which type of storage you want, some people actually like to keep all their different shengs together (sometimes out of necessity with space issues). This will make the aroma more complex but also less 'pure'. Definitely remove anything with unwanted smells, including bad packaging (e.g. packing tape, recycled cardboard, etc.).

I hope that helps a little.
mrmopu
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Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:45 am

Keep sheng and Shou separate by all means. One is a man made process , and one is a process of time and storage. They will cross contaminate if left together. I thing sheng is much more prioritized to store in good conditions. It will change greatly over the years, shou not so much since it is basically already processed.

In terms of shipping. When you get a new tea in taste it to see where you are going to store it. If you are going to store it without tasting put it in a mylar bag by itself. If you taste it you can discern if it is smoky etc. One cake can contaminate all of your storage. Especially ones with smoke.
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tealifehk
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Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:22 pm

IMO sheng and shou both age dramatically. You should see how VERY dry warehouse storage shou changes in three years in HK. It goes from painful drinking to very nice indeed! And I wouldn't dream of drinking young V93 for example, but even two years of storage down here smooths it out significantly. I'm looking to see how the V93 tuos I have taste with three years of storage. It might be enough, or they might need another two years!

I've left a shou cake in between sheng for years with no ill effect. It was accidental! No negative effects whatsoever, however, and I've also done the same with a traditional storage sheng cake and fresh pu. The bacteria and fungi responsible for aging are in the air anyway. What I would avoid is very strong odors, and yes, as Philip said, crappy packaging material can be an issue.

I've seen a few Guangdong dealers chainsmoking cigarettes around their pu. Interestingly the pu had not picked up tobacco smoke odors, but maybe I personally was just overwhelmed by all the second hand smoke in the air! :lol: Thankfully a lot of stores in China have open doors during the day, so it wasn't too unbearable for me to be discussing the benefits of wet storage in Cantonese with a human chimney!

Even the funkiest wet storage aromas from unscrupulous dealers who keep their storage literally WET by adding water will dissipate to a large degree with airing out, so it appears that the very nature of pu means it can air out significantly, given the right environment and enough time. I'm still trying to air out my 2004 and 2012 XG tuos and even a few days seems to be helping with reducing the fuel aroma I'm getting from them!
mrmopu
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Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:39 pm

tealifehk wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:22 pm
IMO sheng and shou both age dramatically. You should see how VERY dry warehouse storage shou changes in three years in HK. It goes from painful drinking to very nice indeed! And I wouldn't dream of drinking young V93 for example, but even two years of storage down here smooths it out significantly. I'm looking to see how the V93 tuos I have taste with three years of storage. It might be enough, or they might need another two years!

I've left a shou cake in between sheng for years with no ill effect. It was accidental! No negative effects whatsoever, however, and I've also done the same with a traditional storage sheng cake and fresh pu. The bacteria and fungi responsible for aging are in the air anyway. What I would avoid is very strong odors, and yes, as Philip said, crappy packaging material can be an issue.

I've seen a few Guangdong dealers chainsmoking cigarettes around their pu. Interestingly the pu had not picked up tobacco smoke odors, but maybe I personally was just overwhelmed by all the second hand smoke in the air! :lol: Thankfully a lot of stores in China have open doors during the day, so it wasn't too unbearable for me to be discussing the benefits of wet storage in Cantonese with a human chimney!

Even the funkiest wet storage aromas from unscrupulous dealers who keep their storage literally WET by adding water will dissipate to a large degree with airing out, so it appears that the very nature of pu means it can air out significantly, given the right environment and enough time. I'm still trying to air out my 2004 and 2012 XG tuos and even a few days seems to be helping with reducing the fuel aroma I'm getting from them!
But with the conditions you have I would trade any day. We have nowhere near the climate so i have to try and compensate. Our heat and humifity are way below yours unfortunately.
sifulee28
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Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:25 pm

I remember when I last went back to Gaoshan. During that trip, we found that someone had left a 2007 cake on a table with bar of plastic wrapped soap on top of it (we still don't know how).

It was a 2007 cake so.... we smelled the dry cake and unfortunately it had taken on a lot of the soap aroma on the leaf touching the soap packaging. It was worth trying, so we broke off some of the cake that wasn't touching the soap and the dry aroma was somewhat muted. We brewed it up and much to our disappointment, it tasted like bubblegum tea. A perfectly good cake of tea, worth quite a lot of money, completely ruined because of an accident.

Lesson re-learned: don't expose your tea to any odours/aromas that you don't want it to absorb. Light aromas will take a long time to absorb but they will get through eventually. The traditional style paper wrappers are designed to let the teas breathe so aromas get absorbed by and through those wrappers very easily so keep some outer packaging if you want to keep the original aroma as 'pure' as possible.
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Psyck
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Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:00 am

sifulee28 wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:25 pm
<...>
Lesson re-learned: don't expose your tea to any odours/aromas that you don't want it to absorb. <...>
But! What about the odours/aromas that you do want it to absorb?

Surely every regular puerh drinker has at the very least several samples of pu that one does not care too much about and could do with some improvement! How about exposing them to a glass of whiskey or a slab of cheese or a bouquet of flowers?

I strongly believe that rigorous scientific research is called for in order to determine exactly which flavour of bubblegum would best enhance the fragrance of dank pu made from wild organic millennial arbour gushus that are commonly sold at every street corner.
sifulee28
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Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:42 am

Psyck wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:00 am
sifulee28 wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:25 pm
<...>
Lesson re-learned: don't expose your tea to any odours/aromas that you don't want it to absorb. <...>
But! What about the odours/aromas that you do want it to absorb?

Surely every regular puerh drinker has at the very least several samples of pu that one does not care too much about and could do with some improvement! How about exposing them to a glass of whiskey or a slab of cheese or a bouquet of flowers?

I strongly believe that rigorous scientific research is called for in order to determine exactly which flavour of bubblegum would best enhance the fragrance of dank pu made from wild organic millennial arbour gushus that are commonly sold at every street corner.
Aromas I do want the tea to absorb? Preferably close to none but realistically, other similar sheng aromas should be stored close and other aromas kept away. That's how we organise our warehouses.

Personally, I wouldn't want my raw Puer absorbing any ripe Puer aroma and putting them in close proximity will (eventually) cause this to happen. Note that my bias is such that I much prefer raw Puer and I actively dislike wodui aromas or unclean storage notes.

Psyck, it'd be more interesting to know your actual opinion on this. Are you saying that you would be happy to keep your ripe puer in an enclosed space with your decent sheng Pu?

And despite your apparent sarcasm, there seem to be plenty of vendors who blend ripe puer with all sorts of flowers, herbs, fruit, alcohol and whatever else that the tea can absorb to make it smell nice. I'm more of a 'pure tea' fan myself personally, but each to their own. There is no right and wrong just choices based on what you would want the end result to be.
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Psyck
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Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:09 am

sifulee28 wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:42 am
<...>
Psyck, it'd be more interesting to know your actual opinion on this. Are you saying that you would be happy to keep your ripe puer in an enclosed space with your decent sheng Pu?
<...>
My views on puerh storage are mentioned in an earlier post on this forum:
viewtopic.php?f=63&t=20&p=1603#p1603

As you can see from that, I'm in complete agreement with your own views on the subject - store sheng and shu (in their original coverings) far away from each other and away from any other odour but their own. I'm not too picky about segregating by types within sheng itself though - since I mainly purchase sheng with clean storage.

My post here was merely a light-hearted attempt at humour, the sarcasm wasn't meant to be negative in any form.

I have had shu blended with fruits, flowers, etc. and even alcohol blended tea, so yes, as you mention, my sarcasm was based on facts and potential possibilities :)
.m.
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Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:35 am

Psyck wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:00 am
But! What about the odours/aromas that you do want it to absorb?

Now seriously, you can try aging loose shu, lower grade aged sheng, or liu bao with some chen-pi (dried mandarin peels) mixed in. It gives the tea a vey nice citrusy aroma.
And there are several other things that are traditionally used such as bamboo, osmanthus flovers, jasmine flowers, rose petals, bitter melon etc..., which can be also added to your tea, either at the brewing or used to scent the tea. But chen-pi is my preferred one, harmonising well with puerh.
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Psyck
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Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:15 am

Yeah, I thought something like bitter melon would ruin a tea, but it actually turned out to taste pretty good - though it was with a roasted TGY and not puerh that I had it with. Same for rose & jasmine, I've only tried them with non-puerh teas so far as I recall. Bamboo, osmanthus, chen-pi are all nice additions I've tried with cheaper puerh. As you say, they are best after some aging and the mandarin is quite cool.
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