Water Leakage - Nearly Damaged Good Tea Cakes Under Table (22 August 2008)

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Do Not Underestimate the Impact of Torrential Rain and Typhoon

       In the last diary, Cloud mentioned that there was an unexpected typhoon holiday. Cloud was very happy to sit down peacefully and enjoyably to appreciate the 1970's Aged Guangdong Tea Cake. Yummy!

       However, when Cloud woke up next day (22 August), although it was a holiday, the wind was very strong and fierce. The rain was forced to hit on the windows heavily by the strong wind. Cloud was a little bit worried about the "safety" (of my tea collections). It would not be fun if there was any water leakage. The Severe Tropical Storm NURI was very strong and was classified as the Signal No.9 (No.10 is the strongest). The apartment of Cloud swung slightly in the strong wind, which was quite horrified.

       At first, everything seemed all right because the windows were so new that they were installed several years ago. Unfortunately, Cloud was shocked that there was a slight water leakage from the edges of the windows when Cloud monitored the situation outside near to the windows. The water was forced in through the rubber seals of the windows which might loose their elasticity in recent years. The leakage happened in the sitting room which should not have had Puerh tea stored. However, Cloud suddenly remembered that some "young tea" (in 2005, they were!) were stored under the table near to the windows of the sitting room. Those tea cakes were deliberately stored apart my from my tea cellar.

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Be Careful - Water Could Damage the Tea Cakes

       This was what Cloud said in "How to store Puerh tea at home (Part 2)" in The Art of Tea Issue No.3, "If the windows were broken during a typhoon, my Puerh would all be drowned. And even if no window got broken, there could still be water leakage problems caused by the torrential winds. Drops could be forced into my apartment through the creases between the air-conditioner and the windowsill. (Incidentally, no matter what room one chooses, one can see that I always use a towel to fill the gap between the air-conditioner and the windowsill to protect my Puerh cellar.) [P.S. not including the windowsill of the sitting room] In August 1999, Hong Kong was attacked by a strong typhoon and there was indeed water leakage in one of my rooms. Obviously, the carpet was soaked. Water leaked through the so-called "waterproof" plastic seals which were used to seal the gaps between the windows and their frames. Strong winds had forced the water into my room in fountains of pernicious and destructive pools. All the documents on the floor were destroyed. Fortunately, there was no Puerh tea in that room at the time. Still, the typhoon corroborated my earlier assumption that room B was not the better choice.

       Though all these factors are important, the individual decisions that I made with regard to where I should store my Puerh tea are only relevant to my particular apartment. Every person will have to make similar decisions based on the layout of his or her house. After considering the factors of Puerh storage discussed in Part 1—like humidity, temperature and odor—one must then also find the place in one's home with the minimal amount of risk, by reference to the geographical climate, bearings and any other unique aspects relative to one's location, as well as the layout of one's home. Ironically, the bad result nearly happened to several tea cakes stored by Cloud. Luckily, the carpet absorbed the water drops during the slight leakage. Otherwise, the tea hoarded under the table would have been drowned and damaged.

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The Way Treating the Young Tea Cakes - Buy and Forget

       You may be wondering why Cloud was not too careful this time. There were reasons.

       These tea cakes were only the newly made tea cakes Cloud purchased in 2005. The purpose to store them under the table was to forget their existence and to be creating a surprise for myself when moving home many years later. In 2005, the windows were so new that the location was relatively safe. Without notice, the risk increased with time.

       In fact, Cloud has thought of the possibility of the flooding risk. However, in 2005, they were young tea cakes only. Even if they were damaged, it didn't really matter. The most important issue was to safeguard the aged tea in my Puerh tea cellar. Time really flied without notice, 3 years have gone. They are not young tea cakes anymore. Although they are still not very precious vintages, they become relatively aged tea than those tea cakes made in 2008. If they have had been drowned, it would have been a pity.

       Another reason to store tea cakes under the table was that there were numerous tea cakes in the Puerh tea celler in 2005. There was not much room for young tea cakes. After assessing the risk of storing Puerh tea cakes under the table, it was possible to store some tea cakes there for aging. The tea cakes were then resting there for 3 years.

       It is not difficult to store and age your home stored Puerh tea. Time always flies. The key is to buy the potential young tea cakes and then forget them. After a few years or even a decade, they may be the best gifts you ever have.

2004~2005 Jinzhu Mountain Wild Round Tea Cake (Qianjiafeng)

       Many of you may be wondering what young tea cakes Cloud had stored under the table. They were the 2004~2005 Jinzhu Mountain Wild Round Tea Cake (Qianjiafeng). At that time, Cloud could taste its sweetness, richness and plentiful finish and aftertaste. Details were quite balanced. By Cloud's experiences, it could be one of the potential good teas in the future. Thus, the action plan was to buy some as one of my collections. It has been 3 years after purchasing the tea. By this typhoon incident, it was a good chance to take out the tea and do the tea review. Later, Cloud will write up the tasting notes of the 2004~2005 Jinzhu Mountain Wild Round Tea Cake (Qianjiafeng) as a aging record of 2008.

22 August 2008 wrote in Chinese
21 September 2008 translated into English
4 January 2012 Revised
Cloud (Hong Kong)

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