Just wanted to share an interesting tea experience. For QingMing festival, while visiting in-laws, I got to visit a relative who lives in the mountains in the Huang Shan (Famous for Huang Shan Mao Feng) area. They have a few tea bushes on their property which they pluck and prepare for themselves (not enough to sell). They let us try their pre-qingming 2011 tea, which was just stored in a small stainless steel container. The tea was great, and very fresh despite being stored for over 1 year in a pretty basic container. They told us that the secret was that they dry the tea more than usual when they prepare it. Most tea for sale is about 80% dried upon sale/packaging. They dry theirs as much as possible, which makes the tea very brittle but preserves well. Such brittle tea would not be good for sale, and producers prefer to have more water weight to gain a better profit.
... the pursuit of perfect leaf shape and "fresh" leaf color sometimes causes problems. It puts pressures on the tea workers to pan-fry tea leaves less thoroughly than it's supposed to be. In recent years, this pressure is more and more found on teas such as Huang Shan Mao Feng, Xin Yang Mao Jian and quite a few others, which are not supposed to look as green as some other teas such as Bi Luo Chun. Green teas are of very different shades of green. But somehow in the market, "greener" color sells better. I didn't see this as much of a problem, because I thought tea processing was pretty much ruled by the tea workers. After all, they are the ones who know what to do. But in recent a couple of years, I've heard quite a bit complaints from tea farmers that how some merchants urge them to produce tea that looks "greener" and how some tea of improperly "greener" color would sell better than tea of perfectly darker green color. Market demands sometimes could shape production in a good way. But this case looks like an example of bad influence.
Chip wrote:Playing devil's advocate ... the drier the leaf, the more it is going to want to absorb surrounding humdity/moisture/aromas ... odors? Is this a logical conclusion?
So, I would think the best storage of such tea would be paramount ... and even then, once open ... drink up!
Chip wrote:I would think, that the drier the leaf, the more susceptible it would be to surrounding air borne odors in areas that are higher moisture than the leaves (such as virtually every home) ... since the leaves will absorb at a faster rate.
AlexZorach wrote:This is interesting...the Xin Yan Mao Jian that I bought from TeaVivre did not last long in its optimal state. I still have a little of the tea left but now, less than two months after opening it, it has acquired numerous "off" aromas and I find it is not as enjoyable. It was delicious at first. And I stored it in a clipped bag kept within a small airtight tin.
The other two green teas I received from TeaVivre, which had leaf that was not as thin or wiry, have stayed fresh better.
gingkoseto wrote:Oh, Alex, a comment to your earlier post about dryness of Xin Yang Mao Jian. I think, whether or not thoroughly dry, leaves of this tea would look smaller and more "compact" than those of many teas.