Vacuum sealers?

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tealifehk
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Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:44 pm

Absolutely. I did find a pack of Shanlinxi I bought back when I met you and ethan in Taipei in a drawer yesterday--clipped, no canister. lol. Gonna give it a try later. ;)
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debunix
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Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:36 pm

My vacuum sealer is a FoodSaver brand sealer, and it has a neat feature that I use much more than the bag sealing: a connecting tube and special lid allow me to vacuum seal my canning jars of grains and beans and dried herbs, and offers a solution for vacuum sealing delicate twisted leaves in small canning jars.

For tea, I've used it to vacuum seal some green teas and green oolongs into smaller portions when I knew I wouldn't use up the whole package before it started to go off.
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Baisao
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Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:57 am

I also use a vacuum sealer but primarily for gaoshancha and sencha/gyokuro that I want to refrigerate for a few months (providing an extra barrier from strong aromas). The FoodSaver brand sealer I use has worked flawlessly for at least a decade.

For opened packages of greens, I use zippered mylar bags that I fill with inert gas. Private Preserve is a brand of inert gas that is used to extend the life of opened wines. I flood the mylar bags with this gas to displace oxygen and prevent uncontrolled oxidation. The advantage of this over vacuum sealing is that some teas are easily crushed under vacuum (Bi Luo Chun, Japanese oolongs, Tai Ping Hou Kui, etc.).

All medium oxidized teas are allowed to age in opaque jars until used up.
leefetea
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Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:16 am

I find that vacuum sealing is effective in stopping the oxidation of green teas. The leaves can remain fresh for an extended period of time compared to just plain seals. Of course, the packaging material has to be a good barrier to air and moisture. Plastics aren't the best barrier. Go for an aluminium packaging if you have them.
swordofmytriumph
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Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:33 am

Baisao wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:57 am
I also use a vacuum sealer but primarily for gaoshancha and sencha/gyokuro that I want to refrigerate for a few months (providing an extra barrier from strong aromas). The FoodSaver brand sealer I use has worked flawlessly for at least a decade.

For opened packages of greens, I use zippered mylar bags that I fill with inert gas. Private Preserve is a brand of inert gas that is used to extend the life of opened wines. I flood the mylar bags with this gas to displace oxygen and prevent uncontrolled oxidation. The advantage of this over vacuum sealing is that some teas are easily crushed under vacuum (Bi Luo Chun, Japanese oolongs, Tai Ping Hou Kui, etc.).

All medium oxidized teas are allowed to age in opaque jars until used up.
How well does the Private Reserve work? For instance if I get a really big bag of green tea like 200g and then open itand put it all into 25g bags and use this method, how long will a repackaged tea keep if unopened? The plan is to get a larger amount this spring and just pack it all up that way so I can stagger it out until next spring.

Also, does anybody know the effectiveness of using a vacuum sealer to repackage goashan in this way—taking a big bag and breaking it up into little ones that I vacuum seal and then stagger throughout the year?

Will any of this work for what I want to do, is repackaging like this a thing anyone else here does?
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Baisao
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Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:19 pm

swordofmytriumph wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:33 am
Baisao wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:57 am
I also use a vacuum sealer but primarily for gaoshancha and sencha/gyokuro that I want to refrigerate for a few months (providing an extra barrier from strong aromas). The FoodSaver brand sealer I use has worked flawlessly for at least a decade.

For opened packages of greens, I use zippered mylar bags that I fill with inert gas. Private Preserve is a brand of inert gas that is used to extend the life of opened wines. I flood the mylar bags with this gas to displace oxygen and prevent uncontrolled oxidation. The advantage of this over vacuum sealing is that some teas are easily crushed under vacuum (Bi Luo Chun, Japanese oolongs, Tai Ping Hou Kui, etc.).

All medium oxidized teas are allowed to age in opaque jars until used up.
How well does the Private Reserve work? For instance if I get a really big bag of green tea like 200g and then open itand put it all into 25g bags and use this method, how long will a repackaged tea keep if unopened? The plan is to get a larger amount this spring and just pack it all up that way so I can stagger it out until next spring.

Also, does anybody know the effectiveness of using a vacuum sealer to repackage goashan in this way—taking a big bag and breaking it up into little ones that I vacuum seal and then stagger throughout the year?

Will any of this work for what I want to do, is repackaging like this a thing anyone else here does?
Personally, I would vacuum seal it if that is your goal. I use Private Preserve for short term storage of a few weeks though TDJ has started using inert gas for longer term storage.

I vacuum seal gaoshan and sencha. If double bagged (vaccum sealed mylar bag inside of a vacuum sealed plastic bag), I place them in the crisper until ready to be opened. I've heard that sencha lasts up to two years this way. Let the tea come to room temp before opening though.

Even if vacuum sealed with an oxysorb you should be fine for at least half a year at room temp. Both teas are perfect for vacuum sealing.
swordofmytriumph
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Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:33 pm

Thanks @Baisao! What do you recommend long term for more delicate greens, or Bao Zhong that wouldn’t do well being crushed by the vacuum sealer? Things like Mao Feng, for instance.

From what everyone else is saying it seems that as long as I keep a bag of tea that I haven’t opened yet in a suitable environment it should not deteriorate significantly, meaning if I get a 25g pack of Moa Feng and leave it for 6 months it won’t deteriorate significantly until I open it. Obviously whatever they are doing works and doesn’t require sucking all the air out. Do these vendors do inert gas flushing, or do they just seal it with an oxysorb inside and not bother removing the oxygen? Any vendors got tips? What are you guys doing and how can I do it too? :geek:

Also, a lot of the vacuum sealers I look at online say you need to use special bags, something about grooves in the bag or something, but all the tea I’ve ever gotten comes in that thick Mylar/aluminum stuff that most tea comes in. What exactly are they using, and is it advisable for me to use it too, or do they hav special equipment beyond just a standard vacuum packing machine?
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Baisao
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Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:22 am

@swordofmytriumph, there’s no need to over think it. The vacuum sealed mylar pouches need a special machine. The channels in plastic bags for home vacuum sealing allow the air to escape without getting blocked. If you buy a home-use unit, this is what you’ll probably see. There’s no problem with the channeled bags other than plastic may not be as impervious to refrigerator odors as mylar (hence double bagging if they go into the crisper).

I figure that inert gas gets rid of a lot but not all oxygen, especially in balled tea where there is surface area in each ball that an inert gas may not reach. This is why ai vacuum seal green gaoshan. I think inert gas is fine so long as you are using an airtight container. I also think that displacement works best in smaller bags.

As for what vendors do, I doubt many use inert gas. Florent of Thes du Japon is the only one I know doing this. He vacuum sealed up until recently.
swordofmytriumph
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Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:01 am

Baisao wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:22 am
As for what vendors do, I doubt many use inert gas. Florent of Thes du Japon is the only one I know doing this. He vacuum sealed up until recently.
Thanks for the info.

Still, regarding what vendors do, I rarely see chinese greens that have the air vacuumed out since it would crush the delicate leaves. Usually they are just heat sealed with an oxysorb packet. To my knowledge, that's it and everyone says that as long as I don't open a bag sealed this way it should last a good long time. Am I missing an important step, or do they really just put an oxysorb in and heat seal the bag? If I use the right size oxysorb will that be sufficent to remove the oxygen from the bag providing I don't open it? @chofmann, what do you do with your more delicate greens? @Tillerman, do you do this with your Bao Zhong? @tealifehk?
Last edited by swordofmytriumph on Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Baisao
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Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:15 am

swordofmytriumph wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:01 am
Baisao wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:22 am
As for what vendors do, I doubt many use inert gas. Florent of Thes du Japon is the only one I know doing this. He vacuum sealed up until recently.
Thanks for the info.

Still, regarding what vendors do, I rarely see chinese greens vacuum sealed since it would crush the delicate leaves. Usually they are just heat sealed with an oxysorb packet. To my knowledge, that's it and everyone says that as long as I don't open a bag sealed this way it should last a good long time. Am I missing an important step, or do they really just put an oxysorb in and heat seal the bag? If I use the right size oxysorb will that be sufficent to remove the oxygen from the bag providing I don't open it? chofmann, what do you do with your more delicate greens? Tillerman, do you do this with your Bao Zhong?
I think they just toss in the oxysorb and seal the bag. What’s more, oxysorbs are only effective in low air volume spaces. I tried them out in 32oz airtight jars that I also filled with inert gas. Three months later the large oxysorbs were hard, indicating that they absorbed enough oxygen to become inert. I would definitely consider tossing them in to vacuum sealed bags to scavenge oxygen but don’t think they are a solution for large spaces. Better than nothing though.
swordofmytriumph
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Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:35 am

Baisao wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:15 am
I think they just toss in the oxysorb and seal the bag.
Thanks, that helps a lot. :)
Baisao wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:15 am
What’s more, oxysorbs are only effective in low air volume spaces....I would definitely consider tossing them in to vacuum sealed bags to scavenge oxygen but don’t think they are a solution for large spaces
Sounds like that's the best solution for me then. The point of this is for me to take a really big bag and repackage into little teeny 25g bags, so that should be low volume enough (doesn't get much more low volume than that lol). Maybe I could try combining that with your Private Reserve method for added security. You think that should work? Thanks for all the help btw. :D

I'm curious, am I the only one that wants to do this? I don't really see anyone talking about it.
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Victoria
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Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:54 am

Yes @swordofmytriumph I also repack larger bags into smaller ones. I don’t have a vacuum sealer yet, may break down and get one eventually. There are plenty of hack’s on YouTube to vacuum seal almost any kind of bag. For now, I rely on inert gas, oxy-absorbers and heat seal. I also place Japanese greens in crisper section of refrigerator, using Loksak Opsak odor and water proof bags (they really work) to make sure no smell is transferred.

My earlier reply; viewtopic.php?p=11125#p11125
Victoria wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:03 pm
swordofmytriumph wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:50 pm
Victoria, what vacuum sealer do you use to repack the tea? I’ve been shopping around for one...amd looking for one that works well with the really heavy duty bags we like to use for tea (the thick non see through kind).
Okay, so I finally got Private Preserve inert gas wine preservation system recommended by Baisao. It uses argon, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen to displace oxygen from the bag. Instead of buying a new heat sealing system, I happen to have a hair curling iron that heat seals packets really well. A flat iron would work well also; it’s a cheap space-saving alternative to getting a more professional sealing system. I also got oxygen absorber packs. Technically I’m not vacuum sealing, just removing as much air as possible and heat sealing. Several members have mentioned FoodSaver for a vacuum sealer system, and impulse sealers for more fragile wiry teas.

I add oxygen absorbers to bag, heat seal up to 1/8” of edge of bag (leaving space for gas extension tube to be inserted), spray gas into bag, remove tube, seal the rest of bag quickly as I remove tube.
swordofmytriumph
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Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:35 pm

Thanks for all the help everyone! :)
chofmann
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Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:43 pm

swordofmytriumph wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:01 am
Baisao wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:22 am
As for what vendors do, I doubt many use inert gas. Florent of Thes du Japon is the only one I know doing this. He vacuum sealed up until recently.
Thanks for the info.

Still, regarding what vendors do, I rarely see chinese greens that have the air vacuumed out since it would crush the delicate leaves. Usually they are just heat sealed with an oxysorb packet. To my knowledge, that's it and everyone says that as long as I don't open a bag sealed this way it should last a good long time. Am I missing an important step, or do they really just put an oxysorb in and heat seal the bag? If I use the right size oxysorb will that be sufficent to remove the oxygen from the bag providing I don't open it? chofmann, what do you do with your more delicate greens? Tillerman, do you do this with your Bao Zhong? tealifehk?
The issue with vacuum sealing is that it can crush more delicate leaves and also "ruin" the packaging (depending on what look you are going for).

We typically just heat-seal and toss in an oxygen absorber (while removing as much oxygen as possible by hand), and find that this typically gets the job done. We are also experimenting with inert gases as well.

On a related note, we find that some teas are much more sensitive to oxygen than others. For the most sensitive of teas, we don't re-package them in order to minimize oxygen contact.
swordofmytriumph
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Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:46 pm

chofmann wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:43 pm
We typically just heat-seal and toss in an oxygen absorber (while removing as much oxygen as possible by hand), and find that this typically gets the job done. We are also experimenting with inert gases as well.

On a related note, we find that some teas are much more sensitive to oxygen than others. For the most sensitive of teas, we don't re-package them in order to minimize oxygen contact.
Thanks so much for the info!
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