Aged Green Tea...drink or throw?

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Sep 24th 17 1:38 pm
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Aged Green Tea...drink or throw?

by HifideliTea » Sep 24th 17 1:38 pm

I have with me a very old tin of Nanjing Purple Mist that has been stored away, my guess for about 30 years (?). Is this tea still drinkable, or should it be tossed away.

I drink pu erh and I am not familiar with other teas, although I have some aged Oolongs but small my collection of LongJings are kept in the fridge, but I have seen in a tea shop aged Longjings that is not for sale.

Thanks for any advice.
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Sep 24th 17 3:17 pm
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Re: Aged Green Tea...drink or throw?

by SanzenOver » Sep 24th 17 3:17 pm

I would be willing to try it if you're not. :wink:

Honestly, my understanding is that all tea ages - green tea just goes through a prolonged "awkward" phase due to the relatively high moisture content in the leaves. I don't know what 30 years will have done to the tea but it would be interesting to find out.

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Sep 25th 17 2:34 am
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Re: Aged Green Tea...drink or throw?

by Frisbeehead » Sep 25th 17 2:34 am

If it is indeed a green tea, then it probably will not taste very good. Green teas are made with relatively quick drinking in mind, and taste best when fresh. Unlike pu'erh, where the flavor deepens as it matures and can be enjoyable young or old, green tea is typically not aged because it loses its character and flavor over time. I can imagine that after 30 years, your green tea has oxidized to the point where the flavor would be more akin to like a greener oolong.

For example, not too long ago I tossed the last bit of a longjing I had bought a couple years ago. I tried it just to see if it was worth saving, and the flavor was just totally flat and not too enjoyable.

All this being said, give it a shot and see how it is. If it's not very enjoyable, toss it or try to find some other use for it (cooking, composting, etc.). If you like it, then keep it.

Sep 25th 17 4:31 am
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Re: Aged Green Tea...drink or throw?

by steanze » Sep 25th 17 4:31 am

I had very good 60 years old green tea. It does go stale after a few years, but if the material was good after a few decades it could be quite good.

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Sep 25th 17 6:21 am
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Re: Aged Green Tea...drink or throw?

by john.b » Sep 25th 17 6:21 am

I stopped by a Bangkok Chinatown shop once where the owner had been drinking a thirty year old aged longing with some other guests. I didn't try it but I did take a picture of it.

Of course I don't know what that tea or the one you have tasted like but if it was stored reasonably well (isolated from too much air and moisture contact) it should be fine, and interesting.

I have some green tea around that's probably three years old now, as much as an experiment to see how it changes as anything else (not longjing but close enough to it). The freshness wears off in the first year or so and then it just changes in character; it doesn't seem to rush towards ruined (unless someone doesn't like the changes, and then maybe it is that). Even sheng pu'er versions, the tea most associated with benefiting from aging, vary by how time and differing conditions affect different teas, and are said to generally go through a phase where they aren't positive. All of this doesn't relate to me saying that tea should be good, but I guess brewing it would let you know what you think, assuming it didn't look off in any way. Per the look of that old longjing darkening would be typical.
aged longjing, jip eu tea shop.jpg
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Sep 25th 17 10:03 am
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Re: Aged Green Tea...drink or throw?

by jayinhk » Sep 25th 17 10:03 am

john.b wrote: I stopped by a Bangkok Chinatown shop once where the owner had been drinking a thirty year old aged longing with some other guests. I didn't try it but I did take a picture of it.

Of course I don't know what that tea or the one you have tasted like but if it was stored reasonably well (isolated from too much air and moisture contact) it should be fine, and interesting.

I have some green tea around that's probably three years old now, as much as an experiment to see how it changes as anything else (not longjing but close enough to it). The freshness wears off in the first year or so and then it just changes in character; it doesn't seem to rush towards ruined (unless someone doesn't like the changes, and then maybe it is that). Even sheng pu'er versions, the tea most associated with benefiting from aging, vary by how time and differing conditions affect different teas, and are said to generally go through a phase where they aren't positive. All of this doesn't relate to me saying that tea should be good, but I guess brewing it would let you know what you think, assuming it didn't look off in any way. Per the look of that old longjing darkening would be typical.

aged longjing, jip eu tea shop.jpg
Interesting! I was planning on roasting stale green tea.

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Sep 25th 17 1:30 pm
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Re: Aged Green Tea...drink or throw?

by HifideliTea » Sep 25th 17 1:30 pm

Thank you for the responses and your personal experience with aged green tea.
I will give it a try later this week and report back.

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Re: Aged Green Tea...drink or throw?

by HifideliTea » Oct 1st 17 11:27 am

HifideliTea wrote: Thank you for the responses and your personal experience with aged green tea.
I will give it a try later this week and report back.
Took a large scoop and rinsed it, it smelled of "old paper" and something that my nostrils are not familiar with at the first rinse. After 2 rinses, the smell was more pleasant.
Taste wise, it is floral, grain, sweet.

The tea needs to be aired, it's been in the tin container for way too long.
But drinkable.