How to re-roast oolongs?

Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

How to re-roast oolongs?

Postby Cha Nacho » Jan 13th, '10, 04:05

Hi all,

Anyone have any insight into re-roasting oolong teas? How can it be done from home? Specifically wondering about Dan Congs.

Is there any definitive time when a re-roast should take place? I've read that it should be every couple of years. Any drawback if you let a DC sit for longer without re-roasting?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: How to re-roast oolongs?

Postby gingkoseto » Jan 13th, '10, 10:35

You can use the rice cooker method (for which you can find very thorough explanation on Imen's blog). It does work much better for dan cong and wuyi yan cha than ball-shaped oolongs.

Dark roast oolong is usually re-roasted in its producing regions (Fujian, Guandong, Taiwan...) and I believe it's because those regions are generally hot and humid. If you live in a region where everything gets very dry by itself (like southern CA, non-coastal New England), then your dark roast oolong may not accumulate moisture that fast to require frequent re-roasting. If you can easily pinch the oolong leaves or balls into crumbs between your fingers then probably no re-roasting is needed.

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Re: How to re-roast oolongs?

Postby Chip » Jan 13th, '10, 14:07

Mod Edit: Moved to Oolong where this topic will be more at home. I left a shadow under Other where it was for a short period so the OP and FP find it easily.

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Re: How to re-roast oolongs?

Postby Cha Nacho » Jan 13th, '10, 15:24

thanks for the reply ginko. The information is very helpful. I didn't know that the re-roasting was used to burn off access moisture in the tea.

I live in a fairly non-humid area (can't say its dry though!) so hopefully my DCs will live on indefinitely :)

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Re: How to re-roast oolongs?

Postby Tead Off » Jan 13th, '10, 21:12

I've experimented with my rice cooker and it seems quite okay for removing moisture and livening up an older tea. But, I'm not sure about the actual roasting part. Because most rice cookers have an automatic shut-off switch when they don't detect moisture, the best I've been able to do is keep it on its warm setting which is enough to get moisture out. I think fire of some sort is what is needed for real re-roasting. The rice cooker is quite safe, though. No fear of burning.

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Re: How to re-roast oolongs?

Postby Maitre_Tea » Jan 13th, '10, 21:53

I use a slow cooker on the "keep warm" setting. The best would be to use actual charcoal or wood re-roasting of some kind, but most of us don't have the time or the ability to do something like that, and the chances of messing up with charcoal/wood roasting is higher than electric roasting, IMO.

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Re: How to re-roast oolongs?

Postby debunix » Jan 13th, '10, 23:43

Is the purpose of re-roasting to keep the tea dry and thus avoid changes in flavor associated with damp conditions, or to change/improve the flavor in general?

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Re: How to re-roast oolongs?

Postby Maitre_Tea » Jan 14th, '10, 00:14

the purpose can be both, but usually it's to keep out dampness and moisture, which is something we living in Southern California shouldn't be worried about. Roasting with an electric rice cooker/slow cooker can be used to change the flavor/aroma of a tea, but don't expect magical results, since a lot of the "true" flavor of a roasted tea comes from fire roasting.

Last edited by Maitre_Tea on Jan 14th, '10, 00:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to re-roast oolongs?

Postby debunix » Jan 14th, '10, 00:20

Good to know, won't worry about it.

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Re: How to re-roast oolongs?

Postby JAS-eTea Guy » Jan 20th, '10, 20:55

Would it be acceptable to just use a wok to remove the moisture?

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Re: How to re-roast oolongs?

Postby wyardley » Jan 20th, '10, 20:59

JAS-eTea Guy wrote:Would it be acceptable to just use a wok to remove the moisture?

I think you want slower, more even heat, especially if you're just trying to do a refresher roast / remove moisture. You could try the oven on low heat, but I think a rice-cooker on keep warm would probably be a little safer.

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Re: How to re-roast oolongs?

Postby northerncalifornia » Jan 30th, '10, 23:57

I think oven is better than rice cooker, since you can control its temperature. I don't know much about Dan Chong. But I know for Ti Kuan Yin, you can set the temperature for 140 - 167 Fahrenheit for light roast Ti Kuan Yin and 212 - 248 for dark roast Ti Kuan Yin. Do not exceed 167 for light roast Ti Kuan Yin otherwise you will start to get smoky flavor for your light roast tea.

the most important thing for storing oolong or any tea is to keep them away from moisture and air. For oolong, you can store them air-tight and place them in freezer. the low temperature will keep it from aging and retain its freshness longer.

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Re: How to re-roast oolongs?

Postby kymidwife » Jan 31st, '10, 14:47

I was inspired to do a quick refresh re-roast on some lack-luster old TKY... which I've done before with good results, but just haven't thought about for a while til I read through this thread, and wow! The dramatic improvement in this tea after the reroast was amazing.

Being the impatient, want-it-now sort, I have never done a slow reroast in a rice cooker, etc. My reroasts are done on the stovetop. low to medium heat, in a nonstick saute pan, held a bit above the burner, and the tea leaves constantly moved/tossed/shaken about to avoid burning.

If you have some oolong that's subpar or lost its bloom, so to speak, I highly recommend experimenting with this reviving process. I am sipping a cup of excellent results as we speak.

Sarah

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Re: How to re-roast oolongs?

Postby jayinhk » Dec 15th, '12, 11:10

I had no idea how important keeping my high fire oolongs dry was until I noticed how dead a batch of Three Stamp SX had gotten. I carefully pan roasted some higher fire TGY earlier today and it was much, much better afterwards. Going to attempt the same with the SX tomorrow.

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Re: How to re-roast oolongs?

Postby ImmortaliTEA » Dec 16th, '12, 00:30

I have like literally ten pounds of green TGY that's just sitting in my tea closet and I was wondering if there was a way I could turn it into high-fired TGY or some roasted version of TGY because I have so much green and I rarely even drink green TGY anymore unless it is a super fresh harvest with high yulan orchid/Lilly/wildflower blend aroma. I realize this thread is about Re-Roasting but I also would like some info if possible on how to actually roast from the start. Thanks!

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