Ageing Black Tea


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Ageing Black Tea

Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Apr 14th, '09, 21:02

I've seen on a couple different websites the mention of black tea being best when it is atleast a year or so old. Is this really true? How is black tea actually stored for ageing, and is it comparable in any way to ageing pu'erh or oolong?
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Postby trent » Apr 14th, '09, 21:09

Seeing as black tea (somewhat) commonly comes in brick form, I would guess that its aged more like puerh than oolong (i.e. more air exposure). At the very least I haven't heard of refiring blacks.

*take that with a grain of salt, it's just gueswork based upon the aged blacks I've seen and tried.
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Postby Chip » Apr 14th, '09, 21:22

I have had a lot of blacks from China that were much better after a year or so.
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Postby Janine » Apr 14th, '09, 21:25

I was under the impression from reading certain descriptions of black teas on websites that many black teas are sold aged in the first place. In other words, it is essential even to the sold product that it is somewhat aged to begin with.

It could explain in some strange way also why I have better luck with teas after they have sat around in my home for awhile. But who knows?
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Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Apr 14th, '09, 21:35

Janine wrote:I was under the impression from reading certain descriptions of black teas on websites that many black teas are sold aged in the first place. In other words, it is essential even to the sold product that it is somewhat aged to begin with.



I was under the same impression but apparently not in all cases...

http://cgi.ebay.com/Yunnan-Pure-Small-B ... .m14.l1262

Production period: Spring 2009
Batch Code: FQb-901
Area: Feng Qing
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Postby Janine » Apr 15th, '09, 00:13

Hi Poly,

Thanks for the info ... In the description for the tea it says:

"This being nearly one year old is in its prime stage for drinking. Yunnan Black tea is best when it is 12 months to 24 months in age."
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Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Apr 15th, '09, 00:35

Janine wrote:Hi Poly,

Thanks for the info ... In the description for the tea it says:

"This being nearly one year old is in its prime stage for drinking. Yunnan Black tea is best when it is 12 months to 24 months in age."


I noticed that too, but I believe that may just be a copy and paste "error" as there are quite a lot of those I've noticed in the past on various items of Scott's, plus I would think the production period would be the time the tea was produced rather then when the tea was produced for :wink:
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Postby Janine » Apr 15th, '09, 11:26

Hi again Poly,

Yeah, could be. Although I dunno, it also could be that it's just when it went to market. But I'm sure that you are much more familiar with this website than I am. Although I'd guess that most likely the remark about the best aging for the tea is probably something they believe is true, no? Thanks again :-)
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Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Apr 15th, '09, 17:54

Janine wrote:Hi again Poly,

Yeah, could be. Although I dunno, it also could be that it's just when it went to market. But I'm sure that you are much more familiar with this website than I am. Although I'd guess that most likely the remark about the best aging for the tea is probably something they believe is true, no? Thanks again :-)


I'll have to give Scott an email and ask him about it, but if thats true its interesting... I wonder what ageing further would do, 10 year old Yunnan Gold anyone? :wink:

I know i've seen black tea in bing-cha and brick form as trent mentioned so i'm guessing those would be stored more like puerh, but what about loose black tea? Does anyone else know anything further about this? :lol:

I R Intrigued :P
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Postby thanks » Apr 20th, '09, 03:05

The best hongcha I've ever had was a three year old pure bud Dianhong. I personally plan on buying that very same small bud tea you linked to specifically for aging.
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Postby trent » Apr 20th, '09, 03:58

4 years of aging seems to have benefited this black tea http://chahai.wordpress.com/2009/02/22/2005-black-tea-made-w-puerh-leaves/

this tea was stored in an airtight environment, yet it still seems to have aged.
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Postby nada » Apr 24th, '09, 01:46

I tasted a 20 year old hong cha last night - Yunnan Hong cha made for export in the late 80's & stored in airtight tins.

The flavour is good - I think maybe 20 years ago this tea was a bit rougher than some of the high quality hong cha's available today, but the flavour has mellowed with still some strength and a chaqi that is indicative of it's age.

In all, I'm impressed - much more interesting than new hong cha which I tend to get bored of after a few infusions.
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Aging effects

Postby Intuit » Apr 24th, '09, 11:54

I suspect some black teas require aging to tame astringent character, either arising naturally from the tea under normal processing conditions, or due to the processing techniques traditionally (Keemun smoked teas, for example) employed for these teas.

Chinese blacks appear to specifically apply here. I have not heard of many Indian blacks that require extended aging periods.

That said, black tea - and very likely other teas, such as oolongs and maybe green tea, too - continues to change in chemistry following cessation of formal processing activity, due to the activation and slow reaction within tea oils and cell membranes components released during mechanical manipulation and heating. In my experience, many oolongs and black teas seem to reach optimum quality in storage long after (one year or longer) batch processing ends.
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Postby TokyoB » Apr 26th, '09, 12:30

I was also wondering about aged black tea after seeing this 1998 black tea at Jing Tea Shop. The "woodsy" description made me think of pu-erh taste for this one, but who knows??
http://www.jingteashop.com/pd-liu-bao-tea.cfm
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Black tea is better aged

Postby yoshter576 » Apr 27th, '09, 23:02

I read on a blog and many other sites that once most black teas are aged they do infact tase at least 25% better.
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