I need help with my pumidor - been running issues the past month


I need help, as I’ve been running into issues with my pumidor for the last few months. I’ve gotten advice from other bloggers but I keep running into issues.

I keep my Sheng puer stored in an old mini fridge, and it keeps it well sealed. Everything’s been going great for the past year, except for the past few months. A few months ago, my teas humidity fell to 50% and the temperature fell to 60°f. After a while everything started to taste really dry, and it made all of the teas taste astringent. After talking to a few other bloggers, I moved my storage unit to a warmer room in the house and added a cup of distilled water to my unit to give humidity back to the tea. The temperature went up to 70°F and the humidity rose to 60%.

Now a month later, everything’s been progressively tasting like leather/mushrooms. All of the teas. I even aired it out a few times. But today, I couldn’t even finish my session of a 2016 tea because the taste of leather was so strong. All of my other Sheng puer are almost undrinkable now too, because they’re all adopting this taste.

What should I do? I’m really frustrated, and everything I’ve done hasn’t really helped the situation. I miss the way my teas used to taste, and I’m upset that they all taste like dry basement.

What should a I do?

11 Replies
curlygc said

Are you storing young and old tea together in the same fridge? Sounds like your young tea is picking up old tea flavors.

All of my Sheng are relatively young. I don’t own anything that’s really ‘aged’ yet.

For me this has been a positive! I have some 2015 cakes that I believe my 1990s stuff below is pushing harder; no way to prove that unless I have mirror it without the older stuff.

I know that smokey puerh shouldn’t be in a pumidor though so if they are in there: out.

Also, vapor distilled water while I’m at work takes me from 59/61 to 70/76 and then I remove until the next work shift. Really simple and soon I won’t even need to do that because my tea will all be leveled up; this has only been a thing since I added… a ‘few’ cakes

mrmopar said

I always taste any new stuff before adding them in. It sounds like maybe a cross contamination. I am not sure. I know the tea will soak up humidity and then stabilize. I am not sure why the humidity has dropped so much though.

The humidity has dropped so low because of how cold it is outside.
Like, running the heat in the house is making everything dry.

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TeaLife.HK said

Leather and mushrooms sounds strange; what are you using to measure your humidity level? Any visible mold on any of your cakes? I suspect your humidity is higher than you think it is.

I’m using a gauge that I bought at a hardware store. It’s not digital or fancy or anything. I ended up taking a lot of my cakes out and fanning them out, adding fresh air to the storage and to get rid of any funky odors.

TeaLife.HK said

That explains it. It sounds like your humidity got TOO high. Your tea should recover just fine, but let it air out some and then put it all back in the pumidor (sans water). If you’re going to add humidity, add very little. Did you add a whole cup of water to the fridge? It might be worth investing in a good digital cigar hygrometer to see where your temperature and humidity are.

I added a cup full of distilled water for a few days. I guess the tea absorbed too much of it. Investing in a good hygrometer is a great idea!

I guess everything’s been acting funky since winter is here. This is my first real winter with puer, and it’s just throwing me through a loop.

TeaLife.HK said

Check your cakes for visible mold

I checked everything for visible mold. Nothing cake up. Thank goodness!

How long should it take for the pu to get its flavor back? Or for things to go back to normal?

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