1.5 year old teas. can i drink them?


Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

1.5 year old teas. can i drink them?

Postby karia » Jan 12th, '08, 00:03

I just found some 1.5 year old black teas from adagio. yunnan jig, golden needle and i forgot the last one. all in 4 oz tins.

can i still drink them? will they be terrible? should i just throw them out? from the looks of the tins i just had them once or two and then forgot about them.
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Postby Wesli » Jan 12th, '08, 00:10

As long as there's no mold, and they were stored in a relatively dry, odorless, and airtight container, ther's the possibility that they might still be good. You might want to try them out, that is, unless you have infinite tea-funds. Then you should buy new stuff.
Black tea was originally fully oxidized by the Chinese so that it would keep better over the long journey from the mainland to China's neighbors.
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Postby Salsero » Jan 12th, '08, 00:44

Some of those teas will actually improve with age if they are stored airtight away from light, heat, and moisture. I've read of people discovering forgotten Keemun or Assam after many years and finding that it had turned into something many times better than the young tea.

Certainly, if you follow Fuka's warnings, it won't hurt you, and may be a pleasant surprise!
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Postby Chip » Jan 12th, '08, 00:55

I stepped away from blacks for the last almost 2 years. I revisited several that I had properly stored and was indeed pleasantly surprised that some had definately improved with age. A little mellower which enabled me to more fully appreciate the more subtle nuances and depth of flavors.

They may have lost some intensity, but it was actually a good thing.
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Postby karia » Jan 12th, '08, 01:05

Chip wrote:I stepped away from blacks for the last almost 2 years. I revisited several that I had properly stored and was indeed pleasantly surprised that some had definately improved with age. A little mellower which enabled me to more fully appreciate the more subtle nuances and depth of flavors.

They may have lost some intensity, but it was actually a good thing.


cool!
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Postby karia » Jan 12th, '08, 01:06

wow guys thank you for your comments. i will try them out tomorrow or something and then let you guys know how it all turns out.
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Postby Salsero » Jan 12th, '08, 01:09

If we don't hear back from you we will know that our advice was wrong and that tea is actually turned to poison. :wink:
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Postby karia » Jan 12th, '08, 01:11

Salsero wrote:If we don't hear back from you we will know that our advice was wrong and that tea is actually turned to poison. :wink:


sounds like a good plan to me!! :P
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Postby Chip » Jan 12th, '08, 01:13

I would think that the Golden Needles would be the one to be adversely affected by aging since it is a more delicate tea to begin with. Just a thought.

Good luck, Karia.
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Postby skywarrior » Jan 13th, '08, 02:30

I'd give them a whirl. They're probably just fine.
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Postby joelbct » Jan 13th, '08, 23:26

If we don't hear from you by Tuesday, we'll organize a search party!

Unsealed Black Tea can lose flavor and begin to taste "stale" after several months to a year, particularly if the storage containers used are not airtight.

But even a sketchily-stored, 18-month-old loose-leaf Black Tea will probably be drinkable after a year, and will still be way tastier than "just-opened" mass-market dust-tea from the grocery store!

Unless by badly-stored you mean out in the rain...
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Postby karia » Jan 15th, '08, 01:04

joelbct wrote:If we don't hear from you by Tuesday, we'll organize a search party!

Unsealed Black Tea can lose flavor and begin to taste "stale" after several months to a year, particularly if the storage containers used are not airtight.

But even a sketchily-stored, 18-month-old loose-leaf Black Tea will probably be drinkable after a year, and will still be way tastier than "just-opened" mass-market dust-tea from the grocery store!

Unless by badly-stored you mean out in the rain...

sorry i have been so cranky trying to get my adagio order... that i havent had a chance to taste the tea. i will do so soon.
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Postby lonsan » Jan 22nd, '08, 03:35

seems black tea improved by age, just like Puer tea, the more time it was stored, the deeper it fermented, and it might taste good :)
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Jan 22nd, '08, 03:52

Well, technically its oxidation, not fermentation, that takes place, but yes I think you are right- some black teas do seem to get better with age.
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Postby Alesh » Jan 23rd, '08, 19:36

Well I had a similar experience few weeks ago...

I found a half full tin of Earl Grey from Taylors of Harrogate in my closet (for those of you who are about to say: "Boooo, mass-market dust-tea..." please don't :roll: ), that has been untouched for about a year, +/- 1 month. That tin is (as we all know) not realy airtight.

I peeked inside, and the smell was kind of different than expected. It was clearly bergamot - but far away from strong "dishwasher detergent" that it used to be when freshly opened. It has faded to something I can only call "more natural" :wink:

Next I emptied the contents of the tin spoon by spoon through a semi-fine mesh, and got rid of all "smaller components" of this tea. (about 5% to 10%)

And then I took some time to brew a few cups - and was quite amazed!

This Earl Grey was EXQUISITE - and I am talking one of the best I have tried!
Usually I would brew E.G. in a yixing pot (I have one specially for my earl grey teas) - but this one surprised me - it tasted even better from a glass (!) teapot. Clay tends to "round" the taste a bit, but since this "aged" tea was already a little faded, the glass preserved all of its (complex in a new way) character... and judging by the taste - that was obviously a very good thing.

(just for info: I always drink E.G. teas with about a teaspoon of raw (brown) sugar and 10 to 15 droplets of juice from a fresh lemon)

Quite a pleasant surprise, I must say... I would never have guessed this outcome :D
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