How old is too old?

Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

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Feb 1st 08 2:33 pm
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How old is too old?

by augie » Feb 1st 08 2:33 pm

i found a sample tin of Adagio Sencha Premier a few days ago at work. I didn't care for it so I set it aside to move on to better things. . . Found it cleaning off the shelf and I was so surprised that it's still pretty good! I can't believe i hated it just 12 months ago . . . what was I thinking?

I know Pu Ehr needs to age and can get better. However, with green tea, fresher is better. Right?

I would never throw away tea anyway.

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Re: How old is too old?

by Chip » Feb 1st 08 5:42 pm

augie wrote:I know Pu Ehr needs to age and can get better. However, with green tea, fresher is better. Right?
Generally yes, but not always. Gyokuro is a classic example as it is traditionally aged 6 months. Aged gyokuro may be well over a year old. I purchased an actual aged gyokuro in fall 2006, it was Kuradashi gyokuro, signifying specially aged over a year.

I was not enamored with it and kinda shoved it aside, which caused it to move further and further away from reach. In one of my tea cleaning modes, I tried it again, I found it to be remarkable. I wish I could take credit for my brilliant aging of this gyokuro, but I can't, pure neglect. So, this gyokuro was well over 2 years old.

Some of the more intense Chinese greens can mellow and reveal a hidden sweetness that was not there when super fresh.

That said, I think 95% or more of green are best when freshest.

So, brilliant aging of the sencha, Augie!!!

I never throw old tea away either, but I admittedly do maintain a TeaBath reserve...long live TeaBaths!!!

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by joelbct » Feb 1st 08 5:46 pm

Well I'm 24, so I would have to say anything above mid 30's :)

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Re: How old is too old?

by cherryking » Feb 2nd 08 3:46 am

augie wrote:i found a sample tin of Adagio Sencha Premier a few days ago at work. I didn't care for it so I set it aside to move on to better things. . . Found it cleaning off the shelf and I was so surprised that it's still pretty good! I can't believe i hated it just 12 months ago . . . what was I thinking?

I know Pu Ehr needs to age and can get better. However, with green tea, fresher is better. Right?

I would never throw away tea anyway.
Each tea has their best drinking time, so fresh is the best, for green tea, new crop fresh green tea comes from tea garden is the best, it will keeps freshness, sweet, and nuts aroma with fresh green. it also should be kept in icebox, and I think 1 year old green tea is old, it would lose fresh green color and fresh, sweety aroma, if you put them directly into sunshine, so every tea can keep their best taste only within some period, Pu'erh have this period as well, the best period of Pu'er is 5 years. 8)

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by ABx » Feb 2nd 08 6:04 am

I think it also depends on how it's kept. Tea that's kept in a completely airtight tin that's never opened will last longer than tea that's kept in a tin that's opened frequently. Some does indeed get better with age, and I'm not sure that you can always predict what will age gracefully. For the more enterprising folks, you can also "refresh" tea with a few minutes roasting at a low temperature (not enough to actually roast the tea).

I have to disagree with you, cherryking, about puerh. Cooked puerh is often best after about 8-10 years (longer may still sometimes be better, depending), and uncooked isn't usually even drinkable before 10-20 yrs (depending on storage conditions, compression of the beeng, and the leaf), though the longer the better. I've seen it said that 30 years or so is often peak for uncooked puerh, though this will certainly depend on many things.

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by Lama » Feb 2nd 08 7:11 am

I was once served an eight year old generic black tea by accident.
It had absolutely no flavor left, it tasted like water someone used to rince a teapot.

I would sugest you try it, if you like the taste, drink it! It wont be bad for you, if its kept dry anyway.

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Re: How old is too old?

by augie » Feb 4th 08 3:45 pm

Chip wrote:
augie wrote:I know Pu Ehr needs to age and can get better. However, with green tea, fresher is better. Right?
That said, I think 95% or more of green are best when freshest.

So, brilliant aging of the sencha, Augie!!!
Well, it wasn't brilliance . . . more blind, dumb luck! And it's color is deep, rich green. However, it's lost some of the sweet, green scent. Tasted great, though. Maybe it was just too much for me 1 yr ago and now that it's less intense I like it better. I have also expanded my taste for other kinds of tea and find that I like it now.

I just couldn't toss it and couldn't see any reason why I shouldn't drink it. Need to clean the cabinets more often!

joelbct . . . watchit buster! I wasn't 24 that long ago . . . :wink:

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by Photiou » Feb 7th 08 9:47 pm

Some senchas are aged on purpose too - Horaido for example advertises their top sencha as "crop from high mountain plantation and aged with traditional way".

One tea merchant from Holland also told me that
"In Europe it is allowed to put an expiry date of 3 years after production on tea". So expiry date does not always guarantee freshnesh of the tea.

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by tenuki » Feb 7th 08 11:50 pm

joelbct wrote:Well I'm 24, so I would have to say anything above mid 30's :)
Shows how much you know.... ;P

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by Chip » Feb 8th 08 2:29 am

Photiou wrote:One tea merchant from Holland also told me that
"In Europe it is allowed to put an expiry date of 3 years after production on tea". So expiry date does not always guarantee freshnesh of the tea.
Expiration dates on teas...suck. Gimme the frickin' harvest info.

The expiration date by itself is meaningless, completely arbitrary, approximate, capricious, discretionary, erratic, fanciful, frivolous, inconsistent, injudicious, irrational, irresponsible, offhand, optional, random, subjective, supercilious, superficial, unaccountable, unreasonable, unscientific, wayward, whimsical, willful and subjective.

I don't like throwing words like that around when discussing teas, stresses me out.

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by augie » Feb 8th 08 3:06 am

Chip wrote: The expiration date by itself is meaningless, completely arbitrary, approximate, capricious, discretionary, erratic, fanciful, frivolous, inconsistent, injudicious, irrational, irresponsible, offhand, optional, random, subjective, supercilious, superficial, unaccountable, unreasonable, unscientific, wayward, whimsical, willful and subjective.

I don't like throwing words like that around when discussing teas, stresses me out.
Wheeew! Chip, dude, relax. Life is too short, take a vicoden or something. If you had less disposable income, like me, stuff like old tea wouldn't get to you! :wink:

I found some asam also, but I didn't feel like vomiting so I did toss that.

I have been drinking my superciliously old tea and it's OK. The first 2 infusions are great, after that it's heave ho.

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by Mary R » Feb 8th 08 3:18 am

I want your thesaurus. Sounds like a good one! :wink:

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by Chip » Feb 8th 08 4:44 am

Mary R wrote:I want your thesaurus. Sounds like a good one! :wink:
What are you talking about, I always list synonyms alphabetically when absolutely, acutely, amply, astonishingly, awfully, certainly, considerably, cruel, dearly, decidedly, deeply, eminently, emphatically, exaggeratedly, exceedingly, excessively, extensively, extraordinarily, extremely, greatly, highly, incredibly, indispensably, largely, notably, noticeably, particularly, positively, powerfully, pressingly, pretty, prodigiously, profoundly, really, remarkably, substantially, superlatively, surpassingly, surprisingly, terribly, truly, uncommonly, unusually, vastly, wonderfully making a point!!! :idea:

[Mary's Edit: Oh, ya big goofball... :lol:]