TwoDog2 wrote:I think those differences are real hop, I have experienced that too. The problem is, I have never had identical teas, in pressed and loose form side by side. I have had some similar teas though, and there is some difference there. I think it has something to do with the fact that the exposure to air is more uniform in one case than in the other.
debunix wrote:TwoDog2 wrote:I wonder if anyone has done any extensive research on that kind of thing - which chemical reactions occur at which speed, and how they differ in varying 'air'. Interesting ideas that I am not enough of a scientist to dissect
I'm just enough of a scientist to wonder about them, but not enough of a chemist to know how dramatically different the environment is inside a beeng, as all but the most severely compressed bricks don't seem 'airtight'.
David R. wrote:Exactly. Fermentation will happen only during the aging/maturation process, not in the actual making of the tea. But somehow the ISO standards word appears to be "fermentation" even if the actual reaction is oxidation.
Drax wrote:One of the first things to consider is that when you are talking about "oxidation" you are likely referring to the reaction of oxygen with chemicals in the tea. These reactions probably don't need any enzymes, because oxygen is pretty reactive.
This is accompanied by agitation in some cases. In this process the chlorophyll in the leaves is enzymatically broken down, and its tannins are released or transformed. This process is sometimes referred to as "fermentation" in the tea industry. The tea producer may choose when the oxidation should be stopped, which depends on the desired qualities in the final tea as well as the weather conditions (heat and humidity).
Saayuq wrote:I think I understand chemistry a little bit better than I do tea, nevertheless here are some musings. If the agents responsible for converting a young sheng into an old sheng are microbial, I would predict that the steaming of the leaves prior to pressing and the subsequent warmth of drying the beeng should kickstart the microbial process. Since there would be significant period of time during which the beeng would be moister than the mao cha. Then assuming the storage conditions are equal, the beeng would age faster, having a denser initial population of microbes.
If the presence of oxygen as an oxidizer is more important, the mao cha should have more uniform access to it and age faster. I'll let somebody else try this: raise the oxygen level in your left cupboard by putting a tbsp of yeast in a cup of hydrogen peroxide every day (this generates diatomic oxygen) and let everything else be equal in your right cupboard except for the additional oxygen.