About black tea ageing...

Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.


Nov 15th, '15, 17:37
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Joined: Nov 23rd, '14, 11:25

About black tea ageing...

by stockman » Nov 15th, '15, 17:37

In many places I read that black tea it's fermented, so at this point why people say that black tea can't be aged like pu erh? (I know it would be different, but, why not?)

I wanted to experiment a little and I have put around 80gr in a clay airtight pot and plan to keep it there for 5 years or maybe more to see how it develops. (The tea is a dian hong).

Nov 18th, '15, 01:01
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Joined: May 9th, '09, 15:59

Re: About black tea ageing...

by shah82 » Nov 18th, '15, 01:01

You really want pressed tea.

I'd also suggest a nicely smoked tea, like qimen or a high quality souchong.

My cheap qimen from '09 is very nicely plummy today.

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Nov 18th, '15, 03:04
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Joined: Apr 1st, '09, 00:48
Location: Bangkok

Re: About black tea ageing...

by Tead Off » Nov 18th, '15, 03:04

stockman wrote:In many places I read that black tea it's fermented, so at this point why people say that black tea can't be aged like pu erh? (I know it would be different, but, why not?)

I wanted to experiment a little and I have put around 80gr in a clay airtight pot and plan to keep it there for 5 years or maybe more to see how it develops. (The tea is a dian hong).

Black teas can be aged, but you should know that they are not fermented. Some people mistakenly use fermented and oxidized, interchangeably. This is a fundamental error as each process is different and produces different results.

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Nov 18th, '15, 06:16
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Re: About black tea ageing...

by kuánglóng » Nov 18th, '15, 06:16

All teas, including blacks/reds 'age' or rather change, mainly based on oxidation, Pu Erhs are a different story (microcritters). How a tea changes or even benefits from being stored away for some time mainly depends on the actual tea (structure, surface/weight ratio, chemical components, ...), storage time, storing temperature (changes), humidity, available oxygen, influences of storing material, blah blah blah ...
I have some very limited experience with aged black/red teas; mainly with teas that have I've kept in storage for many years and forgot about.
All of them have changed, some were still enjoyable after up to 15 years, others 'interesting' :mrgreen: , some though didn't make it through 5 years and went right into the trash. I guess the main factors to keep our eyes on are moisture, oxygen and light (UV). I've mentioned before that I had some 100g packs of 2nd flush DJ die on me, most probably because of some little moisture the tea might have picked up somewhere - the leaves still felt dry and brittle but the aroma/flavor was almost entirely gone. That happened back in foggy Darjeeling but I sure learned a lesson or two. Just make sure your black/red tea is dry enough before you store it away. I'm not sure if Silica Gel is of great help here since tea is pretty darn hygroscopic itself but as long as you start out with some decent dry tea and a well sealed container you should be alright.

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