Aging Oolong?


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

Aging Oolong?

Postby shogun89 » Sep 19th, '08, 12:04

As an semi-collector of puerh tea and always stuggling with humidity I came across the idea of aging oolong. So, how do you age this stuff? Just fill up a airtight container and put it on the shelf? I would like to try aging chinese Wuyi oolong as it is a highly oxidized heavy roast and I can get some pretty good stuff really cheaply, is this good for aging?

Thanks for any help!
-Shogun
User avatar
shogun89
 
Posts: 1636
Joined: Feb 15th, '
Location: Pennsylvania

Postby wyardley » Sep 19th, '08, 13:33

If you're in a dry environment, and aging high fire roasted tea, you can probably get away with a little air seeping in.

I think the main thing is to get the container pretty full, and use a container with a pretty good seal. Those old really heavy and airtight tin / lead ones are supposed to be pretty good if you're not worried about the lead, or a ceramic jar of some sort. What you can do, especially with lighter teas, is to use wax to seal the opening of the jar even tighter.

I think you can also age tea in the type of foil bags that tea is often packed in. Sometimes I just don't open the bags at all.

Depending on the type of tea, level of roasting, and the humidity of your environment, most people say that most oolong teas need roasting at some points along the aging process. Maybe every 2 years, maybe every 5 years... These aren't high fire roasting, but just a quick roast to help get out the humidity. You can skip this step (sometimes with interesting results), but you may end up with sour tea.
User avatar
wyardley
 
Posts: 1934
Joined: Jan 11th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Postby Proinsias » Sep 19th, '08, 15:50

The charity shops around here are littered with little lidded ceramic jars, all I need now is to get my hands on a few hundred grams of suitable oolong to stuff into one.
Proinsias
 
Posts: 1535
Joined: Mar 19th, '
Location: On the couch

Postby ABx » Sep 20th, '08, 02:23

wyardley wrote:If you're in a dry environment, and aging high fire roasted tea, you can probably get away with a little air seeping in.

I think the main thing is to get the container pretty full, and use a container with a pretty good seal. Those old really heavy and airtight tin / lead ones are supposed to be pretty good if you're not worried about the lead, or a ceramic jar of some sort. What you can do, especially with lighter teas, is to use wax to seal the opening of the jar even tighter.

I think you can also age tea in the type of foil bags that tea is often packed in. Sometimes I just don't open the bags at all.

Depending on the type of tea, level of roasting, and the humidity of your environment, most people say that most oolong teas need roasting at some points along the aging process. Maybe every 2 years, maybe every 5 years... These aren't high fire roasting, but just a quick roast to help get out the humidity. You can skip this step (sometimes with interesting results), but you may end up with sour tea.
What do you think about canning jars, then? Assuming, of course, that they're kept in the dark for the duration of storage.
User avatar
ABx
 
Posts: 1070
Joined: Jul 7th, '0
Location: Portland, OR

Postby chrl42 » Sep 20th, '08, 03:35

wyardley wrote:Depending on the type of tea, level of roasting, and the humidity of your environment, most people say that most oolong teas need roasting at some points along the aging process. Maybe every 2 years, maybe every 5 years... These aren't high fire roasting, but just a quick roast to help get out the humidity. You can skip this step (sometimes with interesting results), but you may end up with sour tea.


I think we need to clarify roasting as Chao Qing and heating as Hong Bei. Reason I am saying is from what I know, aged oolongs on the market go thru Hong Bei(heating) not Chao(roasting). So that in order to perform Hong Bei, one needs a charcoal and special equipment with a little instruction while roasting needs a Wok.
User avatar
chrl42
 
Posts: 1611
Joined: Mar 22nd, '
Location: Beijing

Postby wyardley » Sep 20th, '08, 05:03

chrl42 wrote:
wyardley wrote:Depending on the type of tea, level of roasting, and the humidity of your environment, most people say that most oolong teas need roasting at some points along the aging process. Maybe every 2 years, maybe every 5 years... These aren't high fire roasting, but just a quick roast to help get out the humidity. You can skip this step (sometimes with interesting results), but you may end up with sour tea.


I think we need to clarify roasting as Chao Qing and heating as Hong Bei. Reason I am saying is from what I know, aged oolongs on the market go thru Hong Bei(heating) not Chao(roasting). So that in order to perform Hong Bei, one needs a charcoal and special equipment with a little instruction while roasting needs a Wok.


When I say roasting, I mean heating using over an electric or charcoal device... not the initial kill-green in a wok. I don't think anyone says roasting in English to refer to kill-green - it always refers to heating.

I think oolongs have a kill-green done when they're produced, but of course not any subsequent ones.
User avatar
wyardley
 
Posts: 1934
Joined: Jan 11th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Postby chrl42 » Sep 20th, '08, 05:28

wyardley wrote:
chrl42 wrote:
wyardley wrote:Depending on the type of tea, level of roasting, and the humidity of your environment, most people say that most oolong teas need roasting at some points along the aging process. Maybe every 2 years, maybe every 5 years... These aren't high fire roasting, but just a quick roast to help get out the humidity. You can skip this step (sometimes with interesting results), but you may end up with sour tea.


I think we need to clarify roasting as Chao Qing and heating as Hong Bei. Reason I am saying is from what I know, aged oolongs on the market go thru Hong Bei(heating) not Chao(roasting). So that in order to perform Hong Bei, one needs a charcoal and special equipment with a little instruction while roasting needs a Wok.


When I say roasting, I mean heating using over an electric or charcoal device... not the initial kill-green in a wok. I don't think anyone says roasting in English to refer to kill-green - it always refers to heating.

I think oolongs have a kill-green done when they're produced, but of course not any subsequent ones.


Sorry, forgive me for having said that :shock:
I stand corrected.
User avatar
chrl42
 
Posts: 1611
Joined: Mar 22nd, '
Location: Beijing

Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Sep 26th, '08, 16:10

This thread seems to have died more or less, but I think it deserved to be brought back up, if only for my own curiousity...

What kind of factors make an oolong "probably" a good choice for ageing. I'v read that air tight and little exposure to air is the best way to age oolongs. What is the reasoning behind this? Those are just a few things im unclear about off the top of my head. Is there anywhere I can read up on the ageing of oolong teas?
User avatar
PolyhymnianMuse
 
Posts: 696
Joined: Dec 30th, '
Location: Sandy Run Road, Pennsylvania, USA

Postby wyardley » Sep 26th, '08, 16:58

PolyhymnianMuse wrote:This thread seems to have died more or less, but I think it deserved to be brought back up, if only for my own curiousity...

What kind of factors make an oolong "probably" a good choice for ageing. I'v read that air tight and little exposure to air is the best way to age oolongs. What is the reasoning behind this? Those are just a few things im unclear about off the top of my head. Is there anywhere I can read up on the ageing of oolong teas?


There have been a couple of decent discussions on this on rec.food.drink.tea, though more questions than answers. I don't think there are any firm answers on this subject (like most things tea related), and the amount of knowledge that's out there in English is smaller still.

My opinion is that all types of oolongs can be aged, but that different ones need to be treated differently (in different environments). It's clear that *some* air is necessary, otherwise the tea won't really age at all, however I think most people would agree that you should have very little air (i.e., a full container), and very low moisture / humidity. If the tea is very roasted, it may not need re-roasting; if it's a lighter tea, it may need to be re-roasted, even if it's kept pretty dry.

I have a lot more comments in the first of these two threads below:
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.food.drink.tea/browse_thread/thread/abe927037e2eead9/
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.food.drink.tea/browse_thread/thread/caf564b8760ddab7/


See also some vendors' opinions on how to age oolong properly / what type of oolongs age well.
http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2006/09/ ... olong.html
http://houdeblog.com/?p=7
http://houdeblog.com/?p=8

In my (limited) experience, greener oolongs tend to get stale first, before they age, so there's an "awkward period" (kind of like when you're growing out hair) where the tea is just flat and doesn't taste good. However, as someone pointed out to me, teas that aren't heavily roasted tend to change the most, so if you can keep them dry enough, the payoff can be really big if you manage to successfully age the tea.

I believe in hedging my bets when I age tea - try a few different types of container, with different levels of air flow, and see what works. I'm also lucky (in a way) to live in an environment that while it's bad for aging pu'er (not that humid), is ideal for aging oolong.
User avatar
wyardley
 
Posts: 1934
Joined: Jan 11th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Postby orguz » Sep 26th, '08, 17:34

chrl42 wrote:
wyardley wrote:Depending on the type of tea, level of roasting, and the humidity of your environment, most people say that most oolong teas need roasting at some points along the aging process. Maybe every 2 years, maybe every 5 years... These aren't high fire roasting, but just a quick roast to help get out the humidity. You can skip this step (sometimes with interesting results), but you may end up with sour tea.


I think we need to clarify roasting as Chao Qing and heating as Hong Bei. Reason I am saying is from what I know, aged oolongs on the market go thru Hong Bei(heating) not Chao(roasting). So that in order to perform Hong Bei, one needs a charcoal and special equipment with a little instruction while roasting needs a Wok.


Heh chrl42 i think you got it reversed chao qing is done in a wok because chao means to stirring in wok and hong bei means roasting at least that how we use the terms at home.
User avatar
orguz
 
Posts: 242
Joined: Jul 3rd, '0
Location: Ontario, Canada

Postby wyardley » Sep 26th, '08, 18:04

orguz wrote:
chrl42 wrote:I think we need to clarify roasting as Chao Qing and heating as Hong Bei. Reason I am saying is from what I know, aged oolongs on the market go thru Hong Bei(heating) not Chao(roasting). So that in order to perform Hong Bei, one needs a charcoal and special equipment with a little instruction while roasting needs a Wok.


Heh chrl42 i think you got it reversed chao qing is done in a wok because chao means to stirring in wok and hong bei means roasting at least that how we use the terms at home.


Presumably we're talking about chǎo (炒) as in stir-fry, right? And qīng as in 青?
User avatar
wyardley
 
Posts: 1934
Joined: Jan 11th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Postby ABx » Sep 27th, '08, 01:04

So what do you think of canning jars for aging oolong, wyardley? Assuming it's kept away from light for the duration of storage.
User avatar
ABx
 
Posts: 1070
Joined: Jul 7th, '0
Location: Portland, OR

Postby wyardley » Sep 27th, '08, 02:13

ABx wrote:So what do you think of canning jars for aging oolong, wyardley? Assuming it's kept away from light for the duration of storage.


I don't know. Doesn't sound right to me, but I can't think of a specific reason why it would be bad. I would somehow think that porcelain or stoneware would isolate the tea from heat a little more, but I don't know that that's actually true.
User avatar
wyardley
 
Posts: 1934
Joined: Jan 11th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Postby ABx » Sep 27th, '08, 03:21

wyardley wrote:
ABx wrote:So what do you think of canning jars for aging oolong, wyardley? Assuming it's kept away from light for the duration of storage.


I don't know. Doesn't sound right to me, but I can't think of a specific reason why it would be bad. I would somehow think that porcelain or stoneware would isolate the tea from heat a little more, but I don't know that that's actually true.
Hehe, I get the same feeling, but I don't really know why either. Maybe something to do with the lid?
User avatar
ABx
 
Posts: 1070
Joined: Jul 7th, '0
Location: Portland, OR

Postby shogun89 » Sep 27th, '08, 10:51

Yes, I would like to know about canning jars as well.
User avatar
shogun89
 
Posts: 1636
Joined: Feb 15th, '
Location: Pennsylvania

Next

Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation