Taiwanese Oolongs require a little aging?


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Taiwanese Oolongs require a little aging?

Postby tingjunkie » Nov 19th, '10, 18:15

Over the last week or so, I have been revisiting some of the 2010 Spring Taiwanese oolongs I had bought back when they were first available. At the time, I was very underwhelmed with them. Low on flavor and aroma, not much in mouthfeel, very little aftertaste/finish. Now that they have been sitting in my tea cabinet (in the foil bags they came in) for a few months, they seem to be performing MUCH better.

So, what say you Taiwanese oolong experts? Is this a common experience?
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Re: Taiwanese Oolongs require a little aging?

Postby tortoise » Nov 19th, '10, 19:57

The last taiwanese oolongs I purchased were from the 09 fall crop and they were consumed without aging. I guess it wouldn't surprise me. If you say they are better, they are.
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Re: Taiwanese Oolongs require a little aging?

Postby Tead Off » Nov 20th, '10, 00:09

tingjunkie wrote:Over the last week or so, I have been revisiting some of the 2010 Spring Taiwanese oolongs I had bought back when they were first available. At the time, I was very underwhelmed with them. Low on flavor and aroma, not much in mouthfeel, very little aftertaste/finish. Now that they have been sitting in my tea cabinet (in the foil bags they came in) for a few months, they seem to be performing MUCH better.

So, what say you Taiwanese oolong experts? Is this a common experience?

I find most teas better several months after harvest. I like to get them out of their foil bags and into a tea caddy when I am ready to start drinking them. They seem more accessible to me.

Some people prefer the winter harvest Taiwan oolongs. They claim stronger flavor. I like both.
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Re: Taiwanese Oolongs require a little aging?

Postby rhondabee » Nov 20th, '10, 21:02

I bought an Alishan oolong that I thought developed a fruitier taste after being stored for a few months. However, I was a little disappointed with some Spring 2010 Lishan Fu Shou oolong I recently bought. I had a sample of it in early summer, and loved it, the scent and flavor was strong & complex, but this oolong now tastes weak and less flavorful to me. I don't know how the vendor stores it, but I'm disappointed with it. It is an unroasted oolong. I know some Winter 2009 oolongs I have been finishing up have lost a lot of flavor, but I didn't store them well (in plastic baggies). I also recently bought some Spring 2010 Shan Lin Xi from Houde that is slightly roasted and it tastes really good with a strong scent & flavor, so I guess it just depends on the tea, how it is stored and maybe if the oolong is unroasted as compared to slightly roasted?
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Re: Taiwanese Oolongs require a little aging?

Postby tingjunkie » Nov 21st, '10, 02:06

rhondabee wrote: I also recently bought some Spring 2010 Shan Lin Xi from Houde that is slightly roasted and it tastes really good with a strong scent & flavor, so I guess it just depends on the tea, how it is stored and maybe if the oolong is unroasted as compared to slightly roasted?


Most aficionados of Japanese greens that I know prefer their gyokuro aged 6mo-1yr, but their sencha as fresh as possible. I once asked some knowledgeable folks why the one ages well, but not the other, and their response was "moisture content." Perhaps it's the same for Gao Shan and other Taiwanese oolongs? Roasting level certainly effects the moisture content too.
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Re: Taiwanese Oolongs require a little aging?

Postby britt » Nov 21st, '10, 05:36

I recently opened some 2009 OB and Da Hong Pao from Hou De and was amazed by both of them. Since I hadn't opened them in 2009 when they were purchased I can't say for sure how they compare over time but I think the aging probably did improve them.

I've had others like Dan Congs that I have forgotten about after they were opened and when I returned to them months later, using the same pot to brew them in, I thought these had improved.

Hou De's offerings of oolongs are usually limited in quantity and often sell out quickly. I do not hesitate to buy them and open them as much as a year later.
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Re: Taiwanese Oolongs require a little aging?

Postby Sirwill » Nov 22nd, '10, 19:53

I think that some taiwan oolongs are wonderful fresh, and some are better aged.
I prefer li shans and da yu lings to be a bit fresher. I like the bright qualities. On the other hand, I like TKY roasted and aged if I can get my hands on some.
It all depends on personal tastes, as every tea is. Haha :D
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Re: Taiwanese Oolongs require a little aging?

Postby teaisme » Nov 29th, '10, 18:44

For non roasted I think its more about letting it properly outgas then letting it age. At least to me it seems that balled oolong can pick up a certain 'storage/manufacture smell' whether it be from the processing or the new foil bags/containers used in their packaging. This smell seems to disturb the flavour of the tea and in many ways mute it. It is particularly noticeable in the initial rinse of a tea. If I can detect a hint of it from dry leaf smell or rinse I take the tea out into room and leave it in something not airtight. I then periodically swirl it and smell day after day until I think it smells like it should. Then I drink.
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