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Saturday, April 04, 2015

Tasting porcelain jar stored teas

My customers often ask about the benefits of storing tea in different kinds of jars. I stored 4 different teas in porcelain jars for about a month: Alishan High Mountain; 2011 Muzha Tieguanyin;, a traditional Oolong that was just fired for the 3rd time on December 26th 2014, and an Aged Baozhong. 

I tried each of the teas recently. I brewed each tea alongside the same, original foil bag stored. There were 6 people tasting the teas with me that day. Here are our tasting notes:
Alishan: Everyone said it tasted better from the foil bag. They said the bag-stored Alishan had more bouquet. However, I think the jar did make the tea taste softer. I've been told that high mountain teas do best in storage with the least amount of air and light, so I'm not surprised that the Alishan lost some flavor in the jar.

Traditional Oolong: The tea is too strong right now, straight out of the bag. After the tea was stored in the jar for a month, we tasted a big difference. It's obvious the tea has become more balanced and less harsh than the same tea from the bag. 

Muzha TGY 2011: This tasting results for this tea was a big surprise. We all liked it better from the bag. The tea from the jar lost some flavor.

Aged Baozhong: Also a hands-down winner for the jar stored batch. This Baozhong needs a lot of time to open up. It's beneficial to store this tea in a jar. More body and more flavor got released from the jar-stored version

It is a lot of fun to experiment with different teas in jars, as well as different types of jars. I'll be leading my first tour to Yunnan soon, and I've been told that there are many types of jars there, mostly for pu'er. We will be doing more tastings like this one in the future and I would like to do a class on it, too. Look for these in our calendar or sign up for our e-mail newsletters so we can notify you when special events come up.

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