Ratbert wrote:We know that a lot of care is taken during the entire process of making Yan Cha, so for them to compress it this way, would they use high quality tea leaves (zheng yan) to do this as it might actually compromise certain characters of the tea? or would the leaves be of lower grade?
Ratbert wrote:2) Open air storage of Wu Yi Tea?
I find that Wu Yi tea usually doesn't do well if not stored correctly, and leaving it exposed usually does it no favors. So does compressing it into a beeng and leaving it to age like sheng puer help? sure u'll get the taste of "old tea" in the future, but will u lose all the other characteristics of the tea? i think the only characteristic that can be retained after open air storage of yancha is it's "mineral/rock taste" which is usually found in high grade leaves. As for fragrance and other notes, most of it will be gone due to open style storage.
Tead Off wrote:The exposure to air is a very delicate subject. Automatic oxidation takes place at an accelerated rate if not prevented. I'm not sure what purpose this would serve. You would almost certainly lose more than you would gain. Since fermentation does not occur with these compressed Wuyi cakes, I would personally want to keep as much flavor and aroma in the cake as possible and that could only be done by sealing it somehow. Oxidation will still take place over time.
Also, I would venture to say that the roasting needs to be done correctly as this will become part of the aged flavor. This is an area I know nothing about. Some adhere to re-roasting over time. Some do not. I keep reading about how this skill is being lost nowadays. I'm sure it is not just a matter of roasting tea in the iron wok over some kind of charcoal. I would like to read more on this subject. Know of any informative articles on roasting/re-roasting as they pertain to aging, not 'refreshing' teas?
Tead Off wrote:Thanks for post. You would also agree that exposure to air is not in the best interest of the tea?
I understand the principle of roasting but there seems to be a lot of variation as to what materials are used (wood charcoal), how much roasting, and how often. There are both good and bad roasters. Some heavy roasting can be delicious while others are barbaric.
bonescwa wrote:I've read that if you have some old yancha that you intend to keep, you can just put it in a rice cooker for a cooking cycle and it eliminates the moisture? And doing this every year or so will keep it?