Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Sexy Baozhong leaves from the early 1960s

Well kept tea leaves not only taste better as they age, but they look better too!

I took them for a photo tour in the open last week, and here are two of my best shots. I am still amazed by how easy it is to make beautiful pictures with them. It's like having top models in the palm of your hands. They agree to bare it all and never loose their temper.

The red-brown stems and black leaves have not lost their shine. On the contrary, the taste has matured and concentrated. The result can be almost as black as coffee, but soothing and calm like tea.

3 comments:

sophie, de Lannion said...

est-ce que c'est Teaparker qui donne ces idées coquines à ses étudiants en thé ?!

ce post est super, Stéphane ! nul doute que tu es à bonne école...

Timothy said...

Dear Stephane.
From your knowledge and experience. What is the right or better criteria to aging tea. oolong and pureh? The tea you have there in the image looks so well kept!
I heard that tea store in Yunnan will not be age better then tea in Beijing, because of the four seasons climate changes?
I am aging mind in a basement maintaining 62-70% humidity and 60-70F.
Whats your thoughts.
Cheers,
Timothy

Stephane said...

To age oolong, you need to lightly 'bake' it yearly, to reduce the humidity it absorbed.

Puerh does not have this problem. Thanks to humidity it experiences post fermentation. Humidity and heat actully improve aging, but best is to let this happen naturally. So, I wouldn't control humidity (except if too dry) or temperature (except to keep it from cold or freezing!) Only important thing to control: odors! Keep bad smells away from your tea.

Climate change has an impact. Good or bad also depends on taste, I guess. You may also grow more attached to a tea aged at home than in a place you never lay foot.