Age oolong

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


Nov 15th, '15, 15:57
Posts: 56
Joined: Nov 23rd, '14, 11:25

Age oolong

by stockman » Nov 15th, '15, 15:57

I have seen that many sellers sold aged oolongs and I want to age some oolong myself.

I have thought about ageing da hong pao and dong ding in porcelain airtight containers. Are those two types of oolong going to improve with age?

Nov 15th, '15, 17:15
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Joined: Jun 5th, '14, 21:54

Re: Age oolong

by Zacherywolf7 » Nov 15th, '15, 17:15

Anything with a medium to high roast should smooth out.

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Nov 16th, '15, 02:19
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Re: Age oolong

by wyardley » Nov 16th, '15, 02:19

Even with experience, it can be hard to know for sure which teas will age well. I've had teas that I predicted would smooth out with age that haven't. While some teas do need time for the fire to rest, I wouldn't buy super heavily roasted teas with the assumption that they'll taste great after 10 years. If the tea base is poor quality, if the roast is not done well, if the tea is a super green style oolong that's been given a heavy roast later in, and so on, you may end up with a stinker.

There are exceptions, but overall, if the tea doesn't taste good now, I've found it usually won't age well. Even if the roast is heavy, you should detect positive characteristics (aftertaste, texture, some floral or fruity flavors, pleasant fragrance under the gaiwan or pot lid). Some teas which taste good in the short term also won't age well. There's also the risk that by not drinking a tea you like now, you may end up not liking the way it changes with time. So, some things are worth holding onto, but overall, I think the advice to drink what you like now

As far as oolongs go, I've had the best luck with teas with a moderate roast and moderate amount of oxidation.

Worth keeping in mind that a lot of teas do go through an awkward phase. Like financial investments, you may want to check in on them from time to time, but for the most part, a certain amount of benign neglect may serve you well.

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Nov 16th, '15, 03:17
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Re: Age oolong

by kyarazen » Nov 16th, '15, 03:17

stockman wrote:I have seen that many sellers sold aged oolongs and I want to age some oolong myself.

I have thought about ageing da hong pao and dong ding in porcelain airtight containers. Are those two types of oolong going to improve with age?
from my investigations it seems that aging oolong and many teas appear to follow a certain trend/curve, of which in the middle there's this dip into plateau of it tasting like crap (this duration being of variable length depending on the tea)...

there's a certain amount of impermanence to everything that one must come to terms with

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Nov 16th, '15, 07:40
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Re: Age oolong

by kuánglóng » Nov 16th, '15, 07:40

stockman wrote:I have seen that many sellers sold aged oolongs and I want to age some oolong myself.

I have thought about ageing da hong pao and dong ding in porcelain airtight containers. Are those two types of oolong going to improve with age?
They'll most definitely change, but how and into what depends on a good number of factors. If they have actually improved after some time depends not at last on your or someone elses individual perception and reaction in the moment of truth. Telling from my own experiences with a limited amount of rested and aged leaves; sometimes I prefer an aged tea to how I remember it when I bought it or after some rest, at other times I prefer the tea with a little less age - it all depends and our tastes/preferences might change as well - mine most certainly have.
Regarding the storage in porcelain caddies; I keep some teas stored in them but usually keep control amounts of the same tea stored in food-grade mylar or multi layer aluminum bags, some vacuumed and some just heat sealed.
BTW, half of my tea diet consists of lightly or semi-oxidised Darjeeling leaves, and I found them to change notably faster than chinese or taiwanese oolongs, especially lightly oxidised, greenish first flush teas. At the moment I've got about 35 different DJs lying around here, all of them in those bags mentioned above, with as little air/oxygen left as possible. Those leaves go through some interesting changes in a relatively short amount of time. Here and there I find that they have actually passed beyond something like a climax of their development, most of the time they've gradually lost aspects that made them enjoyable in the first place. If that's the case I look forward to drinking them up before they move further downhill.
Stash some leaves away, be patient, check back in regular intervals, enjoy the process and results, compare and learn. It's all one big experiment :lol:

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