Aging white tea

White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.


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Nov 6th, '15, 05:01
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Aging white tea

by kuánglóng » Nov 6th, '15, 05:01

There's some excellent information on aging Pu Erh here and elsewhere but no so much on aging white tea, especially cakes. Since I have more white tea in storage than Pu, I wonder if there's anything one could do to support (accelerate) the aging process of Bai Cha, particularly Bai Mu Dan and Shou/Gong Mei. I recently bought a batch of 2012 Shou Mei cakes just for this purpose; to store them under different conditions, but maybe some of you have some experiences to share.
I thought about storing some of those cakes in a stoneware container in the cellar I've mentioned at almost constant 15 deg. C., and the rest in a similar container in my appartment back on the island with temperatures and relative humidity all over the map. I don't expect any miracles here but compared to raw shengs relatively fresh white cakes usually give you a pretty good idea where they're heading tastewise and there's no bitterness to be concerned about; they just transform into something more complex, mellow and sweet.

Any experiences anyone ?

Nov 10th, '15, 02:58
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Re: Aging white tea

by stockman » Nov 10th, '15, 02:58

Well, many people agree with the fact that white tea is no the best tea to age (like greens), so that's the reason why there's no much information about that in the internet.

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Nov 10th, '15, 06:25
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Re: Aging white tea

by kuánglóng » Nov 10th, '15, 06:25

stockman wrote:Well, many people agree with the fact that white tea is no the best tea to age (like greens), so that's the reason why there's no much information about that in the internet.
While some people may believe that white tea isn't the best tea to age, there are others who do enjoy white teas that have some years under their wrappers. I forgot to mention that the oldest Shou Mei cake in my stash is from 2004. I've got other cakes from 2005, 2006, .. and they are some of my favorite teas - mellow, sweet, with pretty complex characters and from what I have experienced Bai Mu Dan and Shou/Gong Mei cakes do benefit from a few years of ageing.
However, so far I've only kept them stacked in large, sealed tins at almost constant 15 deg.C. and my original question was more about if there's any way to accelerate a positive development.

Anyone?

Nov 12th, '15, 05:04
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Re: Aging white tea

by stockman » Nov 12th, '15, 05:04

That's true, many whites tend to be better with 1-2 years in it (I haven't tasted anything older) as it becomes mellower. BUt for example, for high grade like baihao yinzhen (silver needles) i'm not sure if it's going to improve with age.

PS: por lo que pone en tu perfil eres de las palmas verdad?

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Nov 12th, '15, 07:50
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Re: Aging white tea

by kyarazen » Nov 12th, '15, 07:50

kuánglóng wrote:There's some excellent information on aging Pu Erh here and elsewhere but no so much on aging white tea, especially cakes. Since I have more white tea in storage than Pu, I wonder if there's anything one could do to support (accelerate) the aging process of Bai Cha, particularly Bai Mu Dan and Shou/Gong Mei. I recently bought a batch of 2012 Shou Mei cakes just for this purpose; to store them under different conditions, but maybe some of you have some experiences to share.
I thought about storing some of those cakes in a stoneware container in the cellar I've mentioned at almost constant 15 deg. C., and the rest in a similar container in my appartment back on the island with temperatures and relative humidity all over the map. I don't expect any miracles here but compared to raw shengs relatively fresh white cakes usually give you a pretty good idea where they're heading tastewise and there's no bitterness to be concerned about; they just transform into something more complex, mellow and sweet.

Any experiences anyone ?
it is big thing in parts of china~~.. just that the trend hasnt became mainstream yet. had tasted some nice old white tea it is really good

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Nov 12th, '15, 07:53
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Re: Aging white tea

by kuánglóng » Nov 12th, '15, 07:53

stockman wrote:That's true, many whites tend to be better with 1-2 years in it (I haven't tasted anything older) as it becomes mellower. BUt for example, for high grade like baihao yinzhen (silver needles) i'm not sure if it's going to improve with age.
I'm not much of a silver needles fan and have only some very limited experience with aging them or rather having kept some in my stash for about two years. I've noticed some more pronounced fruit notes, a bit fermented or ever so slightly sour after that time but that could be due to a number of factors.
PS: por lo que pone en tu perfil eres de las palmas verdad?
Pues, normalmente vivo allá.
Last edited by kuánglóng on Nov 12th, '15, 08:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Nov 12th, '15, 08:09
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Re: Aging white tea

by kuánglóng » Nov 12th, '15, 08:09

kyarazen wrote:
kuánglóng wrote:There's some excellent information on aging Pu Erh here and elsewhere but no so much on aging white tea, especially cakes. Since I have more white tea in storage than Pu, I wonder if there's anything one could do to support (accelerate) the aging process of Bai Cha, particularly Bai Mu Dan and Shou/Gong Mei. I recently bought a batch of 2012 Shou Mei cakes just for this purpose; to store them under different conditions, but maybe some of you have some experiences to share.
I thought about storing some of those cakes in a stoneware container in the cellar I've mentioned at almost constant 15 deg. C., and the rest in a similar container in my appartment back on the island with temperatures and relative humidity all over the map. I don't expect any miracles here but compared to raw shengs relatively fresh white cakes usually give you a pretty good idea where they're heading tastewise and there's no bitterness to be concerned about; they just transform into something more complex, mellow and sweet.

Any experiences anyone ?
it is big thing in parts of china~~.. just that the trend hasnt became mainstream yet. had tasted some nice old white tea it is really good
I've heard about that somewhere, K. and I'm stocking up on white bings, especially Shou/Gong Mei like mad these days :lol:
So far no cake in my stash has turned for the worse but I'm looking forward to some more experiments (basically increased temperatures/humidity) in order to max them out.

Nov 12th, '15, 08:32
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Re: Aging white tea

by stockman » Nov 12th, '15, 08:32

kuánglóng wrote:
stockman wrote:That's true, many whites tend to be better with 1-2 years in it (I haven't tasted anything older) as it becomes mellower. BUt for example, for high grade like baihao yinzhen (silver needles) i'm not sure if it's going to improve with age.
I'm not much of a silver needles fan and have only some very limited experience with aging them or rather having kept some in my stash for about two years. I've noticed some more pronounced fruit notes, a bit fermented or ever so slightly sour after that time but that could be due to a number of factors.
PS: por lo que pone en tu perfil eres de las palmas verdad?
Pues, normalmente vivo allá.
I see. I have noticed fruity flavour when used water at lower temperature with the silver needle. I'll have to try to age some to see how it develops as I love those fruity notes.

Saludos desde el Mediterraneo :)

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Nov 12th, '15, 09:50
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Re: Aging white tea

by kuánglóng » Nov 12th, '15, 09:50

stockman wrote:
I see. I have noticed fruity flavour when used water at lower temperature with the silver needle. I'll have to try to age some to see how it develops as I love those fruity notes.

Saludos desde el Mediterraneo :)
Some of my bai chas react pretty drastically to slight temperature changes, almost like chinary Darjeelings. I have a nice, tippy Bai Mu Dan cake that has one of the turning points at slightly over 80°C. A little below that point and it mainly shows sweet, mellow spicy notes of gingerbread (cloves, some pepper, dried fruits, honey, ...) but from about 82° upwards vegetal notes take over, predominantly white celery and so on and so forth. Most of my Shou/Gong Meis are more fruity with a stronger base (lots of similarities to some taiwanese 'Fancy Oolongs' in this regard), and from what I've seen so far aging does help to accentuate that part of the spectrum.

Saludos desde Fresenia del este; tengo que cuidar a mi abuela por unas semanas más.

Mar 30th, '17, 13:53
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Re: Aging white tea

by gatmcm » Mar 30th, '17, 13:53

I hope no one minds I bump this thread, didn't want to create a new one plus this one has some nice info

I sealed some 2016 Azores white tea to try and age it in a sealed tin, it is processed as a bai mu dan but the flavour is very different, it tastes closer to a yunnan black due to it's malt and ripe fruit flavours, combined with some white grape more usual in white teas, the mouthfeel is pretty thick so it doesn't have the lightness bmd usually has (in my limited experience), I'm curious to see how it will turn out.

The only tea I've found that was similar tasting was the w2t hot brandy, and according to the tasting notes http://oolongowl.com/red-peony-floating-leaves-tea/ this sounds very similar as well.

As you can see in the pics the larger non bud portion of the leaf is not green at all as I've seen in some bmd, it's completely brown, I don't know if this will be a pro or a con in the whole process.

To more experienced people in the topic, how often do you check on your ageing whites, I was thinking in about 3 years time as I only have a small amount(150g) so checking every year might leave me with nothing pretty soon :lol:
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Mar 31st, '17, 21:45
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Re: Aging white tea

by chrl42 » Mar 31st, '17, 21:45

Aging white is a trend in Beijing, they has it has medicinal benefits and the taste can be quite acceptible as well...normally they did it with unsold Shoumei or Gongmei materials but nowadays they also use higher-grade intended to aging

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