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I embarked on my tea journey when I studied abroad in China in 2008 and traveled around Taiwan that summer. I'm here to share my experiences and offer my own opinion, advice, and comments on tea.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Whenever I came across it on the tea forums I thought, "Nonsense! This will never happen to me! I live in the desert for goodness sake!"

This morning, when wrapping some cakes in tissue paper (I'm keeping the actual wrappers separate in case they rip) I discovered some mold on a recently acquired 1995 Grand Yellow Label! Blueish-white in color, it was scattered across the inner side. I quickly checked through the rest of my cakes and was assured. I'm thinking the mold might have been the result of the cake's already wetter-storage, combined with my fairly wet storage conditions. I've brushed off all the visible mold and I've set the cake aside in a "quarantine" area to be monitored for the next few weeks, even months. I wonder at what point would it be safe to put it back into storage/consume it

Photos for those who may have comments. I've brushed off most of the visible mold, but some of it may be seen if you open the photos in a new window.

I tell myself that mold is not that big of a deal...and cakes from the 50s to 90s were probably stored very badly/casually, in far more humid conditions than my own.

*Breathing* Yes...it's no big deal...



I think what I might do at this point, or at least in a few days after some observation, is break up the cake and somehow that will alleviate the mold problem. Than treat it like cheap wet-stored loose leaf. I'm kind of afraid that although the surface mold may be gone, it still might be hiding out on the inner parts of the cake.


Bret said...

Hmmm, now I know Ive heard this story somewhere before. I know! It was Tuocha who's entire collection was ruined by trying to speed up the aging process. For goodness sakes do whatever you gotta do to dry em out a bit, blue mold turns into nasty yellowy mold if left unchecked. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Maitre_Tea said...

Luckily it was only one cake, though now I'm a little more cautious about the humidity that I try to keep my cakes at. I wonder what exactly that blue mold is though...is it the good kind or bad kind? I know yellow mold is bad, white mold is "good" but what about blue mold?

Bret said...

I don't know about the "blue mold" In my book, all mold is bad mold. I know that even though you can't see it, all puerh has mold spores on and in them. From what Ive read you can get away with elevated humidity levels as long as there is plenty of fresh air to dry off the cakes surface. I subscribe to the theory that faster is not better, wetter is not better. But you already know about my aversions to wet stored teas. Be carefull, I dont want to read about your collection going into the waste bin, Ive seen this happen too many times already. Please dont be the next casualty.

Jason Fasi said...

it doesn't look so bad

Maitre_Tea said...

well, I broke it up, and I threw out any piece that had funky stuff on it...should be ready to drink in a couple of weeks

thanks for the reassurance!