Storage experiment: young sheng, 2.5 years, 32C vs 23C
Another update on my experimental storage (click here for all relevant posts). The first hotbox has now been running for 2.5 years, with no intervention from me. One of the cakes I divided for hot vs cold storage was the Essence of Tea 2015 Autumn Chawangshu, a tea I liked quite a lot in 2017 because of its strong sweetness, resinous pungency, and relaxing psychotropic effects.
The hot stored tea is on the left.
The heated tea has a very slightly darker and more pungent dry leaf. The wash, shown first below, is noticeably more orange in the heated tea.
Tea stored at 32C
- Darker and sweeter taste, white tea note
- very nice initial taste, a hint of signature mid-aged sheng taste. sweetness and overall “broader” taste. Has a tiny hint of oolong but less than the other.
- more sweetness, and pungency is a bit delayed but still excellent.
- no green initial hit. sweetner. Interestingly more astringent.
- Quite drinkable but with significant astringency.
- Thick, oily, sweet, and astringent.
Tea stored at 23C
- Some green in the taste, good sweet aftertaste. Sencha taste, slightly harsh.
- Barnyard aroma on gaiwan lid. TKY oolong note.
- thicker now, not as oolongy, very good emerging aroma in the nose and mouth. Excellent pungency
- Has the green sheng initial hit followed by strong bitterness
- striking green here, not very drinkable.
- green bitter and thick. Good content but too green.
It is very encouraging to see that the heated tea is a) obviously evolving faster and b) heading in a good direction. By this I mean that the heated tea is darkening, the bitter green sencha-like notes are diminishing, and the sweetness is increasing. It is interesting that the astringency appears to be more pronounced in the heated tea, whereas the bitterness is much more clear for the unheated tea. Also, the unsettling oolong notes are much diminished for the heated tea. Unlike the side-by-side tastings after 1 year, the difference here is pretty stark. At the same time, I am definitely on the lookout for any wet storage notes and so far I don’t detect any — this is still very much dry storage (humidity is remaining in 60-65% range).