Tuesday, January 05, 2016
Old and aged Oolong. What's the difference?
In our first experience, I made a blind tasting of my winter 2014 and my winter 2015 Da Yu Ling Oolong. Both are kept in vacuum sealed packages. Everybody thought that the winter 2014 was the freshest and better one, because it felt smoother and more refined than the 2015, which still had too much energy from its recent production!
spring 2013 Qilai shan Oolong. (It's a tea that Ryan has tasted in the past as you can see if you click on the previous link!) I have kept it for over a year in the qinghua jar seen in these pictures. The result was simply delicious. The freshness was still there, but not in aggressive, powerful way like in new Oolong. The aromas had matured a little bit, but didn't turn sour, because the sweetness was still dominating.
There are 2 reasons this High Mountain Oolong could be aged (instead of turned old). First, the quality and energy of the leaves was strong enough when young. Secondly, it was well processed: sufficient oxidation level and thorough drying of the leaves. 'Nuclear green' Oolongs are not suited for aging. They will simply turn old and are best drunk ASAP!
here! The question is then how to store the tea? To find out, we brewed the same roasted twinter 2007 Lishan Oolong stored in a porcelain jar and stored in a plastic foil (not vacuum sealed). We could first taste the stability of the aromas. At 8 years of age, it didn't yet have significant aged scents. The leaves from the jar tasted more complex, harmonious and aged. The leaves from the foil tasted a little bit fresher, but also less refined and not as interesting.
Cingjing (2000 meters, near Tsui Feng). Ryan performed the third brew and, since we used very few leaves, he must have brewed them for 10 minutes!
this Oolong from Fenqihu (Alishan) for its very light roast.