Hi! I finally decided to try aging oolong. Reading around on teachat and other websites I put together some ideas on how to proceed, and I would like to hear your thoughts and suggestions. The goal is to obtain a tea that has different flavor and aroma with respect to new teas, mellower, perhaps more complex, and perhaps with a very slight sourness.
I will use tea that has a strong rather than a delicate flavor. If the flavor gets mellower with aging, a delicate tea might run the risk of becoming bland. Often stronger tea is preferred for long-term aging also in the case of pu-erh.
I also decided to use tea that is not extremely high grade/expensive. I am just starting to experiment, so I don't want to ruin excellent tea. Furthermore, since it is often difficult to predict what the tea will taste/smell like after aging, it is not that clear that a very high grade tea will always turn into a better aged tea (although it's very unlikely that a really bad tea will become good with aging).
There has been a lot of discussion on this in teachat. For this experiment, I will try using a container with a tight double lid (http://www.jkteashop.com/tin-canister-500g-tea-capacity-p-508.html). I will not seal it, as suggested for instance by Tea from Taiwan (http://www.teafromtaiwan.com/aged_oolong_tea). I decided to use a metal jar, as suggested by Imen (http://tea-obsession.blogspot.com/2009/01/time-to-take-out-your-forgetten-phoenix.html) and specifically a tin jar, because in addition to not letting light in it might take up the aroma of the tea (more so than a steel jar) and that might help with aging. This is just speculation, so we'll see how it turns out.
To reduce the humidity inside the jar, I want to try the idea of putting some paper inside the jar on top of the tea, as suggested by Tea from Taiwan (http://www.teafromtaiwan.com/aged_oolong_tea). I am even considering using packets of silica gel as suggested here: http://www.viconyteas.com/directory/tea-encyclopedia/tea-storage.html.
I will use the oven to dry the tea every year or so for the first 2-3 years, and perhaps every 2 years or so later on. I'll think more about the details of this when the time comes.