A Tea Addict's Journal

Storage checkup

August 16, 2010 · 4 Comments

I first put tea in my parents’ place in Hong Kong in 2006, and have been adding to it ever since.  This is the first time I am checking on the tea since I started storing tea there.  I took everything out and cleaned the shelves on which they’re placed, checked a number of cakes, and then put them all back in.

Honestly, I was a little worried.  Hong Kong is, after all, quite humid.  I put the cakes on the top shelves on a bookcase that is partially covered, so it was the maximum protection I could find in the entire apartment from light while avoiding the problem of smelly wood.  Air condition is often on during the summer months, so it probably helps alleviate terribly soaked cakes, but I remember coming home one spring and could feel that some cakes were somewhat wet.

Thankfully, when I opened the cakes, none of them were moldy in any way, shape, or form.  In fact, they all seem to have aged somewhat, with the silvery tips now gaining a somewhat brownish tint, and the leaves turning dark instead of staying green.  Stuff in a tong are greener than stuff outside of the tong, as one would expect, but in general there’s aging going on here.

I tried some of the tea too — by taking the shavings from a number of cakes, I’m essentially doing an “average” taste test.  Results are encouraging, with the tea tasting strong and smooth(er).  So far, so good.

So, I put them back where they belong, and hope that next time I check them, a few years from now, they would have aged even more.

Categories: Old Xanga posts · Teas

4 responses so far ↓

  • Anonymous // August 17, 2010 at 3:14 am | Reply

    Fighting too much humidity is not something easy, especially in Hong Kong!

    Take care at the air condition, its good to avoid too high humidity level… but people often only turn on air condition by night (except people working at home 😉 )… which cause terrible daily temperature variation… and can totally waste your tea collection…

    The best solution? probably to let on the air condition day and night during all the summer… which is good but incredibly increase your storage cost 😉


  • MarshalN // August 18, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Reply

    Olivier: Hong Kong is not quite as bad as many people imagine, and electricity cost is not really a concern. However, I can safely say that it is quite difficult to mess up storage in Hong Kong as long as the humidity is kept in check, whereas it is much, much more difficult to salvage something stored in a dry climate like Kunming or Beijing.

  • Anonymous // August 26, 2010 at 9:56 am | Reply

    On top of bookshelf, that’s where I store tea at my parents’ too 😀

  • Anonymous // August 27, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Reply

    Could you give me a clue where to find some good information/ advice on storage?

    I’m looking for a solution in mid-European climate (Germany). Our cellar might be ok with regard to odor, while still reasonably humid, but temperatures might be too low (I don’t think it will reach 20°C even in the hottest of summer). Maybe up in the house in summer, and in the cellar during the heating season, when it’s too dry up in the house?

    While I’ve also read storage advice by GreenTea Review , I am a bit sceptical. With all the water basins needing to be refilled, and the place having to be airtight (or at least close to), it seems rather inconvenient.

    Looking forward to your links/ thoughts/ comments!

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