Spoiled tea?

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

Spoiled tea?

Postby entropyembrace » Jun 5th, '13, 19:32

I'm very confused about a high fired TGY I bought last month or so...it tasted great initially but now it has a very unpleasant sour taste. I kept it stored in a tea canister with tight fitting lid, inside a drawer in my desk...so it was away from bad odours, light, and excessive air exposure. It seems like the tea spoiled somehow anyway. I don't see any obvious signs of decay on the leaves.

Anyone have any idea why the taste would suddenly change like this for the worst?

It's not the water, it tastes good straight out of my kettle and with other tea...

I didn't think dark oolongs degraded like this ever :s

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Re: Spoiled tea?

Postby .m. » Jun 5th, '13, 21:18

might be the preparation? in my experience, lower quality high roasted tgy or yancha (like sea dyke brand) often get better results when brewed in a big pot with low tea/water ratio (western style brewing).

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Re: Spoiled tea?

Postby entropyembrace » Jun 5th, '13, 21:52

I'm brewing with a high leaf to water ratio the same way as when I was enjoying it.

besides...unpleasant acidic taste is like vomit...no tea should taste like this ever. :?

It tasted great, everything I could want from a high fired tgy 2 weeks ago.

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Re: Spoiled tea?

Postby debunix » Jun 5th, '13, 21:55

I know that some of my high fire teas improve with aging for a few months, because they can be bitter and scorched tasting at first. I sometimes have been extra careful with a first tasting session when I open the bag, think, how nice!, then soon afterwards am brewing the same tea less mindfully and think, 'not so nice', but a few months later come back to it and I like it again.

Might something like this have happened here?

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Re: Spoiled tea?

Postby Drax » Jun 5th, '13, 22:36

ee -- does it taste rancid at all? The only thing I can remotely think of is that some trace amount of oil has spoiled somehow?

Otherwise, maybe it's as deb suggests, and it's just going through a phase?

Another option might be trying to refresh the tea (heating it up a bit to drive off the foulness)? Just grasping at straws here, as I have not run into this problem before.

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Re: Spoiled tea?

Postby Risdt » Jun 6th, '13, 04:39

I've read that some badly roasted teas can go to the 'green' stage again, it's a stage when they smell grassy. It should disappear in a few weeks/months.

Don't take my word for it, I've just read it somewhere and not sure if that source is/was reliable. It's just a possibility you could consider, try it again in a couple of months!

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Re: Spoiled tea?

Postby ABx » Jun 6th, '13, 13:28

Risdt wrote:I've read that some badly roasted teas can go to the 'green' stage again, it's a stage when they smell grassy. It should disappear in a few weeks/months.

Don't take my word for it, I've just read it somewhere and not sure if that source is/was reliable. It's just a possibility you could consider, try it again in a couple of months!

Yup; roasted teas will "fan qing" a few/several months after roasting.

Roasted teas go through a lot of changes in the first year, and may not be that great to drink until they're a year or two old (depending on level of roast).

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Re: Spoiled tea?

Postby Math » Jun 6th, '13, 16:14

Could be the canister also?

I had kept the open vacuum packs of some of my taiwanese oolongs in those japanese tin canisters with paper on the outside. After a while I noticed the canisters seemed to give a sour metallic taste to the teas so removed them and not soon after the teas tasted a lot better again.

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Re: Spoiled tea?

Postby entropyembrace » Jun 13th, '13, 14:31

ABx wrote:
Risdt wrote:I've read that some badly roasted teas can go to the 'green' stage again, it's a stage when they smell grassy. It should disappear in a few weeks/months.

Don't take my word for it, I've just read it somewhere and not sure if that source is/was reliable. It's just a possibility you could consider, try it again in a couple of months!

Yup; roasted teas will "fan qing" a few/several months after roasting.

Roasted teas go through a lot of changes in the first year, and may not be that great to drink until they're a year or two old (depending on level of roast).


It may be this, the roasty aroma is definitely dimished...the can should be ok I've kept TGY in it before.

I guess I'll just let what I have left sit for a few months and come back to it later to see if it's any better or the same.

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Re: Spoiled tea?

Postby ABx » Jul 13th, '13, 18:27

entropyembrace wrote:
ABx wrote:
Risdt wrote:I've read that some badly roasted teas can go to the 'green' stage again, it's a stage when they smell grassy. It should disappear in a few weeks/months.

Don't take my word for it, I've just read it somewhere and not sure if that source is/was reliable. It's just a possibility you could consider, try it again in a couple of months!

Yup; roasted teas will "fan qing" a few/several months after roasting.

Roasted teas go through a lot of changes in the first year, and may not be that great to drink until they're a year or two old (depending on level of roast).


It may be this, the roasty aroma is definitely dimished...the can should be ok I've kept TGY in it before.

I guess I'll just let what I have left sit for a few months and come back to it later to see if it's any better or the same.

You should also let high fire leaf sit out for 48+ hours to breathe before brewing; you'll get significantly better results. If it's still young, a good 4-5 days may help the situation.

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Re: Spoiled tea?

Postby entropyembrace » Nov 1st, '13, 12:17

So I left this tea alone pretty much all summer and have given it a try a couple of times in the past week...

And it tastes so much better :shock: The horrible sour taste is gone and is replaced with a bit of plummy sweetness. I suppose it was going through an awkward phase as the roast faded, but I was really shocked at how bad it was for a while...

thanks to everyone for the ideas, you kept me from throwing it out :lol:

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Re: Spoiled tea?

Postby ethan » Nov 1st, '13, 12:21

Thank you for the follow-up. I may have a tea w/ the same problem. I was going to dump it but now will try resting it.

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