saxon75 wrote:So, I put it to you folks: what does "young" mean?
Well, firstly the tea don't follow the calender to age like human
A lot of factors are involved for determining the aging process i.e.
1 the tea;
2 the way they are processsed and stored;
3 the level of oxidation/frementation;
4 and the taste
Depending on the above factors, from personal experience, most sheng show sign of maturity after 10 years, based on dry sealed storage. So 1-5 years, maybe young, 5-10 years, maybe teenage years and maturity start after 10 years.
But too many factors are involved, aging could be earlier or later, and ultimately, yes, the taste can be used to gauge the aging process.
Young tea has its merit and older tea has its character. If you want to learn more and have better understanding on aging process, you should follow the aging process by brewing the tea every 3 months to experience the change. It is also an enjoyable and educational process. You can brew the younger tea with lesser amount of tea leaves, lower temp and faster pour to moderate the taste and strength if it is too strong.