Aged oolongs

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


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Sep 29th, '15, 13:30
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Aged oolongs

by PolyhymnianMuse » Sep 29th, '15, 13:30

I've seen a few Oolong's around with a good amount of age on them and prices seem all over the place. What have you guys tried in the realm of aged Oolong's. I'm saying anything older than say 5 years, but I'm really interested in those 25+ year ones.

Sep 29th, '15, 17:19
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Re: Aged oolongs

by Proinsias » Sep 29th, '15, 17:19

I tried a few fromJ-Tea a few years back, they were cheap but some had weird stuff/storage going on, a few rinses helped. Essence of Tea's has a decent selection of 5-10 year old wuyi, the few I've tried have been great but it is on the more expensive side. I tend to prefer wuyi with a few years on it to allow the roast to die down a little.

Imem has some damn fine dan cong, I had a few samples of her aged dan cong a while back and really enjoyed all of them. She has a sample pack of aged oolong which might be worth a look.

Sep 30th, '15, 21:42
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Re: Aged oolongs

by impromptuandy » Sep 30th, '15, 21:42

I drank some of this recently, from Stéphane. I stuck it on an order a while ago probably to get free shipping. Some odd storage flavors initially, but lots of lovely dark fruit/spicy/woody flavors.

I've got some of an old baozhong ('72, I think) from Red Blossom that's gone now from the website. Haven't had it in a while, but I don't remember odd storage flavors. Skewed more fruity rather than woody. Grapey, says my memory.

Besides yancha*, David also stocks a 70's baozhong. Haven't drank it in a while either, but I think it skewed more woody/spicy.

I've found though that I really prefer an old liu bao or puerh to an old oolong (with the exception of yancha). Partly because of the price, but also because these seem to "hold up" better over time. Puerh/liu bao/yancha also generally seem to have a stronger "qi," or whatever your preferred nomenclature. This may just be a question of source material.

*I actually was in Wuyishan with David and Kathy this spring, and we drank lots of yancha, much of it with some age on it. (By the way, David and Kathy are some of the kindest people I've ever met -- but my Wuyishan stories are for another time!) I wrote down three yancha varietals to remember for when I got home: bu zhi chun, lao jun mei, and lao jun mei. :D The 2008 ljm is where it's at.

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Oct 1st, '15, 03:39
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Re: Aged oolongs

by Stephane » Oct 1st, '15, 03:39

impromptuandy wrote:I drank some of this recently, from Stéphane. I stuck it on an order a while ago probably to get free shipping. Some odd storage flavors initially, but lots of lovely dark fruit/spicy/woody flavors.
Thanks for mentioning this tea Impromptuandy! I had this 1979 high roast Hung Shui Oolong yesterday using an old and rather big Yixing zisha teapot with very good results. It is on the dark side, having been roasted several times. It's nice when one longs for warmth. Personally, I prefer those Hung Shui Oolongs that have only been roasted once (like my 1990 Hung Shui from San Hsia) and that seem to be getting fresher and less roasted as they age, while letting secondary flavors appear that you don't find in fresh teas.

Quality and purity are some of the main challenges with aged Oolongs. Good teas tend to sell out well and quickly. It's the left overs that are often blended together and strongly roasted to achieve a consistent aroma. Having had some exceptional old Oolong, I've concluded that the surest way to ensure quality and purity is to age the tea myself!

Oct 1st, '15, 12:40
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Re: Aged oolongs

by puyuan » Oct 1st, '15, 12:40

impromptuandy wrote:I drank some of this recently, from Stéphane. I stuck it on an order a while ago probably to get free shipping. Some odd storage flavors initially, but lots of lovely dark fruit/spicy/woody flavors.

I've got some of an old baozhong ('72, I think) from Red Blossom that's gone now from the website. Haven't had it in a while, but I don't remember odd storage flavors. Skewed more fruity rather than woody. Grapey, says my memory.

Besides yancha*, David also stocks a 70's baozhong. Haven't drank it in a while either, but I think it skewed more woody/spicy.

I've found though that I really prefer an old liu bao or puerh to an old oolong (with the exception of yancha). Partly because of the price, but also because these seem to "hold up" better over time. Puerh/liu bao/yancha also generally seem to have a stronger "qi," or whatever your preferred nomenclature. This may just be a question of source material.

*I actually was in Wuyishan with David and Kathy this spring, and we drank lots of yancha, much of it with some age on it. (By the way, David and Kathy are some of the kindest people I've ever met -- but my Wuyishan stories are for another time!) I wrote down three yancha varietals to remember for when I got home: bu zhi chun, lao jun mei, and lao jun mei. :D The 2008 ljm is where it's at.
I find that 70's Pinglin baozhong very special. I've happened upon some very good similar ones, but they don't have that oddly pronounced caramel/toffee aroma.

Do tell those stories!

Was it buzhichun, lao junmei and jin suoshi perhaps?

Oct 1st, '15, 18:25
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Re: Aged oolongs

by impromptuandy » Oct 1st, '15, 18:25

Stephane wrote:Thanks for mentioning this tea Impromptuandy! I had this 1979 high roast Hung Shui Oolong yesterday using an old and rather big Yixing zisha teapot with very good results. It is on the dark side, having been roasted several times. It's nice when one longs for warmth. Personally, I prefer those Hung Shui Oolongs that have only been roasted once (like my 1990 Hung Shui from San Hsia) and that seem to be getting fresher and less roasted as they age, while letting secondary flavors appear that you don't find in fresh teas.

Quality and purity are some of the main challenges with aged Oolongs. Good teas tend to sell out well and quickly. It's the left overs that are often blended together and strongly roasted to achieve a consistent aroma. Having had some exceptional old Oolong, I've concluded that the surest way to ensure quality and purity is to age the tea myself!
You're right about the warmth of this tea. Actually I pulled it out because the weather's starting to get colder here. That and the "spice" notes make it an appealing autumnal tea. I drank it over the course of two very enjoyable days.

Are you going to be selling some of these self-aged teas, Stéphane??
puyuan wrote:Was it buzhichun, lao junmei and jin suoshi perhaps?
I meant that I wrote down lao jun mei twice, on two separate occasions, forgetting I'd already written it! So this varietal was particularly good.

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Oct 3rd, '15, 04:34
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Re: Aged oolongs

by Stephane » Oct 3rd, '15, 04:34

impromptuandy wrote:You're right about the warmth of this tea. Actually I pulled it out because the weather's starting to get colder here. That and the "spice" notes make it an appealing autumnal tea. I drank it over the course of two very enjoyable days.

Are you going to be selling some of these self-aged teas, Stéphane??
I completely agree this aged Hung Shui Oolong is a great fit for the cooler fall season!

If I have sufficient self-aged Oolong on hand, I will sell some of it, sure. However, so far, the best Hung Shui sell out before I can age them in meaningful quantities!

Dec 15th, '15, 15:03
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Re: Aged oolongs

by MarcusReed » Dec 15th, '15, 15:03

Aged oolong is such an interesting category of oolong tea.
I've gotten to know a pressed dahongpao and an 20 year aged rougui quite well. They are day and night different but each have a unique appeal.

I've heard aged ShuiXian is quite a treat and that's what I am seeking at the moment.

Do you all find that you prefer the ones that get re-roasted or the ones that only get a traditional roast?

Dec 15th, '15, 18:51
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Re: Aged oolongs

by BW85 » Dec 15th, '15, 18:51

MarcusReed wrote:Aged oolong is such an interesting category of oolong tea.
I've gotten to know a pressed dahongpao and an 20 year aged rougui quite well. They are day and night different but each have a unique appeal.

I've heard aged ShuiXian is quite a treat and that's what I am seeking at the moment.

Do you all find that you prefer the ones that get re-roasted or the ones that only get a traditional roast?
It depends; if the tea was stored in ideal conditions and didn't become sour then re roasting wouldn't be necessary and this would probably be the preferred option. However if the tea does need to be re roasted, as long as it is kept light you could still get a good tea with a little more resting time. But if you had an aged yancha that had been re roasted to a degree that you could only taste the roast and not the tea.... well then that defeats the purpose of aging it which is usually to let the roast fade into the background so you may as well buy fresh tea for much cheaper :lol:

Dec 15th, '15, 19:06
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Re: Aged oolongs

by MarcusReed » Dec 15th, '15, 19:06

BW85 wrote:
MarcusReed wrote:Aged oolong is such an interesting category of <a class="vglnk" title="Link added by VigLink" target="_blank" href="http://www.adagio.com/oolong/index.html" rel="nofollow"><span>oolong </span><span>tea</span></a>.
I've gotten to know a pressed dahongpao and an 20 year aged rougui quite well. They are day and night different but each have a unique appeal.

I've heard aged ShuiXian is quite a treat and that's what I am seeking at the moment.

Do you all find that you prefer the ones that get re-roasted or the ones that only get a traditional roast?
It depends; if the <a class="vglnk" title="Link added by VigLink" target="_blank" href="http://www.adagio.com/teas.html" rel="nofollow"><span>tea</span></a> was stored in ideal conditions and didn't become sour then re roasting wouldn't be necessary and this would probably be the preferred option. However if the <a class="vglnk" title="Link added by VigLink" target="_blank" href="http://www.adagio.com/teas.html" rel="nofollow"><span>tea</span></a> does need to be re roasted, as long as it is kept light you could still get a good tea with a little more resting time. But if you had an aged yancha that had been re roasted to a degree that you could only taste the roast and not the tea.... well then that defeats the purpose of aging it which is usually to let the roast fade into the background so you may as well buy fresh tea for much cheaper :lol:
I understand your concepts but you never answered the question.
:wink: :roll:

Dec 15th, '15, 21:17
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Re: Aged oolongs

by BW85 » Dec 15th, '15, 21:17

MarcusReed wrote:
BW85 wrote:
MarcusReed wrote:Aged oolong is such an interesting category of <a class="vglnk" title="Link added by VigLink" target="_blank" href="http://www.adagio.com/oolong/index.html" rel="nofollow"><span>oolong </span><span>tea</span></a>.
I've gotten to know a pressed dahongpao and an 20 year aged rougui quite well. They are day and night different but each have a unique appeal.

I've heard aged ShuiXian is quite a treat and that's what I am seeking at the moment.

Do you all find that you prefer the ones that get re-roasted or the ones that only get a traditional roast?
It depends; if the <a class="vglnk" title="Link added by VigLink" target="_blank" href="http://www.adagio.com/teas.html" rel="nofollow"><span>tea</span></a> was stored in ideal conditions and didn't become sour then re roasting wouldn't be necessary and this would probably be the preferred option. However if the <a class="vglnk" title="Link added by VigLink" target="_blank" href="http://www.adagio.com/teas.html" rel="nofollow"><span>tea</span></a> does need to be re roasted, as long as it is kept light you could still get a good tea with a little more resting time. But if you had an aged yancha that had been re roasted to a degree that you could only taste the roast and not the tea.... well then that defeats the purpose of aging it which is usually to let the roast fade into the background so you may as well buy fresh tea for much cheaper :lol:
I understand your concepts but you never answered the question.
:wink: :roll:
I guess I have no preference, have had good examples of both.

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Dec 15th, '15, 23:37
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Re: Aged oolongs

by Tead Off » Dec 15th, '15, 23:37

I think re-roasting is a common practice that is traditional. Farmers usually don't have the means to store teas at 'ideal' conditions have lots to do with their time and energy. Perhaps distributors have means to store teas in more ideal conditions, but distributors are not going to be re-roasting teas and not going to buy teas to store. They want to sell. So, re-roasting either at the farmer level or the tea shop level seems to be more common. Even deep roasted teas can retain their characteristics. There are many variables and don't forget you have to start with quality leaves and quality processing. Most teas do not fall into these basic categories.

As for Shui Xian, a good 10+ years old is usually going to be deeply roasted. It could taste great or it could be very rough. It all depends on what I said before.

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Re: Aged oolongs

by William » Dec 16th, '15, 00:34

Looks like everything has been said, so now let's all sit down at the same tea table, hoping someone (hem hem, Tead Off) will prepare the water for some Yan cha! :D

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Dec 16th, '15, 02:33
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Re: Aged oolongs

by Tead Off » Dec 16th, '15, 02:33

William wrote:Looks like everything has been said, so now let's all sit down at the same tea table, hoping someone (hem hem, Tead Off) will prepare the water for some Yan cha! :D
Sure. You're invited to my table!

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Dec 16th, '15, 17:56
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Re: Aged oolongs

by William » Dec 16th, '15, 17:56

Tead Off wrote:
William wrote:Looks like everything has been said, so now let's all sit down at the same tea table, hoping someone (hem hem, Tead Off) will prepare the water for some Yan cha! :D
Sure. You're invited to my table!
Thank you! 8)

We should invite someone else! :mrgreen:

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