A delicate problem (Aging / Preserving tea)

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


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Sep 28th, '17, 09:01
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A delicate problem (Aging / Preserving tea)

by Math » Sep 28th, '17, 09:01

So I have a little bit of a situation I would like to get some guidance in.

I have a few packages of favourite oolong teas that that I never opened with the hope of aging them to enjoy in the future.

They are
- 150 grams unopened vacuum-packed "Alishan Charcoal fire heavy roast" Spring 2014 production.
- 2 x 125 grams of Taiwan Shui xian (Medium roasted) Also unopened vacuumpacks. 2011 spring production

My hope was that these teas would improve and be kept pretty well in their original vacuum-pack, but now I start to think that I should have opened them up and put them in metal / tea / porcelain canisters closed but with some minor air-contact a loong time ago.

What should I do? Is it too late to save these teas?

I have on occasion opened old vacuumpacked teas and they have been spoilt within a few days although they have tasted fresh and good upon opening.

What are your experience and opinons?

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Sep 28th, '17, 09:56
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Re: A delicate problem (Aging / Preserving tea)

by Math » Sep 28th, '17, 09:56

Perhaps I should just open the tea and transfer it to a tea-caddy and fill it up to 100% and hope that the tea don't deteriorate too much?

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Sep 28th, '17, 18:10
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Re: A delicate problem (Aging / Preserving tea)

by entropyembrace » Sep 28th, '17, 18:10

I keep the oolongs that I age in containers with tight fitting lids that the tea can completely or mostly fill.

I started in 2009 and occasionally sample to see how it's going so far so good. :)

Something to be aware of is that if you live in a humid climate aged oolongs can go sour if they get exposed to too much moisture and are not re-roasted to remove excess moisture. I live in a very dry area so have not had to deal with this myself.

Sep 29th, '17, 03:17
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Re: A delicate problem (Aging / Preserving tea)

by ethan » Sep 29th, '17, 03:17

Math wrote:

What should I do? Is it too late to save these teas?
Your ? is not clear. "Save" can me rescue or can mean "keep" to use in the future.

Tea in vacuum-packs not exposed to high heat has seemed to keep quite well for me. It was preserved without significant loss of flavor.

Little has happened to improve oolong for me with aging. I have an excellent tea, Father's Beginner, which I thought of aging because a tea with some simililarities, Father's Love, is much more expensive. I now think that idea is foolish. I risk losing what is special about Beginner (tart fruit flavors etc.) in an attempt to equal the skill of top-class tea experts. Moreover, such tea experts often age tea to attain a smoothness which they treasure as most of us do not.

If I spent my life taking in the aroma and flavor of dozens of teas all day to assess their quality and was required to drink tea with customers all day etc., when drinking only for pleasure I might prefer smooth, muted tea to boldness also. I have been honored to drink very special, decades-old aged teas, and I have enjoyed them, but they are far from my favorite teas.

Oolong designated for aging is often sealed in special ceramic containers to remain unopened for about 10 years. I don't know if the people who age tea well would think of using vacuum packs. Perhaps someone else knows.

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Sep 30th, '17, 05:33
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Re: A delicate problem (Aging / Preserving tea)

by Math » Sep 30th, '17, 05:33

To be more clear. I'm afraid that the teas will deteriorate within a couple of days of opening the packages. Or perhaps if I fill the caddies up fully and seal them so very little air come in contact with the tea they will be okay. I'm asking because I don't want to ruin the tea. What's your experience?

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Sep 30th, '17, 06:26
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Re: A delicate problem (Aging / Preserving tea)

by tingjunkie » Sep 30th, '17, 06:26

Nah, with roasted oolongs, aging in sealed foil packs is perfect in my experience. I wouldn't bother transferring.

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Sep 30th, '17, 10:51
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Re: A delicate problem (Aging / Preserving tea)

by Math » Sep 30th, '17, 10:51

tingjunkie wrote: Nah, with roasted oolongs, aging in sealed foil packs is perfect in my experience. I wouldn't bother transferring.
Thanks tingjunkie! This was exactly the kind of answer I was hoping for. :)

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Oct 5th, '17, 11:15
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Re: A delicate problem (Aging / Preserving tea)

by jayinhk » Oct 5th, '17, 11:15

I agree, sealed packs are the way to go. Once you open the bags, you need to have an airtight container to transfer the tea into!

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Nov 22nd, '17, 13:38
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Re: A delicate problem (Aging / Preserving tea)

by Math » Nov 22nd, '17, 13:38

jayinhk wrote: I agree, sealed packs are the way to go. Once you open the bags, you need to have an airtight container to transfer the tea into!
What do you mean specifically when you say airtight? What kind of container would you use? :)

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Nov 22nd, '17, 19:37
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Re: A delicate problem (Aging / Preserving tea)

by jayinhk » Nov 22nd, '17, 19:37

Math wrote:
jayinhk wrote: I agree, sealed packs are the way to go. Once you open the bags, you need to have an airtight container to transfer the tea into!
What do you mean specifically when you say airtight? What kind of container would you use? :)
Double-lidded steel cans or these:

https://www.amazon.com/Bormioli-Rocco-C ... ioli&psc=1

Nov 27th, '17, 08:56
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Re: A delicate problem (Aging / Preserving tea)

by 12Tea » Nov 27th, '17, 08:56

Is there really any aging potential for oolong? I mean, I really like oolong for the fragrance when fresh. From what I observe is that such fragrance kind of becomes lighter over time. I understand that with preserving you can keep the aroma sealed for a longer time, but I don't understand why there's aging potential. Also when vacuum sealed, the leaves aren't exposed to any air/humidity, how can it age (like pu erh)?

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Nov 28th, '17, 01:27
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Re: A delicate problem (Aging / Preserving tea)

by jayinhk » Nov 28th, '17, 01:27

12Tea wrote: Is there really any aging potential for oolong? I mean, I really like oolong for the fragrance when fresh. From what I observe is that such fragrance kind of becomes lighter over time. I understand that with preserving you can keep the aroma sealed for a longer time, but I don't understand why there's aging potential. Also when vacuum sealed, the leaves aren't exposed to any air/humidity, how can it age (like pu erh)?
Yes, absolutely, but it has to be sufficiently oxidized/roasted/of good enough quality to age well. The fragrance completely changes with age and you can get notes like old books and cinnamon. There is some air exchange and some residual air in a container, so aging does indeed happen. Good quality aged oolongs go for big money!

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