You know how when you left your Celestial Seasonings...


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

You know how when you left your Celestial Seasonings...

Postby Saayuq » May 29th, '12, 03:17

...tea bags in the cupboard for a few years they lost their flavor. I am assuming that part of this is due to volatiles which give flavor to the tea migrating out of the tea and into the air.

The data:
When I open my tea cupboard, which is filling up with sheng, I smell a delicious smell come rolling down. It is most noticeable when the humidity is higher (I use a cup of hot water to humidify and do not have a hygrometer).

The question:
Does the presence of the rich aroma mean that the tea is losing flavor components into the air, and my tea is diminishing in quality, or does it mean that the microbes are doing their job and my tea is improving?
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Re: You know how when you left your Celestial Seasonings...

Postby TomVerlain » May 29th, '12, 06:50

your tea is maturing as it should - Be careful with too much moisture and not enough airflow to prevent mold.
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Re: You know how when you left your Celestial Seasonings...

Postby Drax » May 29th, '12, 06:59

I believe the answer to both of your questions is 'yes.' Or at least, the tea is giving off aroma/flavor, but this process is natural.

I don't know for certain whether it's just the "aroma/flavors of youth" that are coming off, or whether part of the aroma is from the process of aging itself, though.

However, I have noticed that with a number of older teas, they can sometimes smell quite "dead" (that is, nothing at all). But with those same "dead" teas, if I breath out (humid air) onto them and quickly inhale (a la bloodhound method), I can start to get hints of their aroma -- and then these same "dead" teas taste just absolutely wonderful when brewed.

Likely, then, part of the aging process is a shedding of the more volatile chemical. But again, I can't tell you for certain how much the aging process itself generates more volatile chemicals.

Another things to consider is that flavored teas (such as Celestial Seasonings) typically use added flavorants -- in other words, it's the flavorant that's giving off the aroma, not the tea, and those probably evaporate more quickly.

All just a guess, though.... :D
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Re: You know how when you left your Celestial Seasonings...

Postby TIM » May 29th, '12, 20:33

Saayuq wrote:...tea bags in the cupboard for a few years they lost their flavor. I am assuming that part of this is due to volatiles which give flavor to the tea migrating out of the tea and into the air.

The data:
When I open my tea cupboard, which is filling up with sheng, I smell a delicious smell come rolling down. It is most noticeable when the humidity is higher (I use a cup of hot water to humidify and do not have a hygrometer).

The question:
Does the presence of the rich aroma mean that the tea is losing flavor components into the air, and my tea is diminishing in quality, or does it mean that the microbes are doing their job and my tea is improving?


Congratulation. You have reached a deeper level of aging puerh :D
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