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I embarked on my tea journey when I studied abroad in China in 2008 and traveled around Taiwan that summer. I'm here to share my experiences and offer my own opinion, advice, and comments on tea.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Moldy Tea, Part II

Well, I didn't die from the moldy tea (at least not yet).

I know this is a point that's been emphasized by others such as MarshalN, but one truly cannot underestimate the importance of airing out/awakening a tea, even if it's not a wet-stored mess. I aired out the broken up moldy cake, and let it chill out for a while in a partially opened paper bag. I tasted it last Saturday, and although you can still taste some of the wetness, it's relatively smooth with slight sharpness. Pretty tasty as a daily drinker kind of tea.

Now, the importance of airing out tea isn't just limited to moldy teas, however. I bought some samples a while ago, and one of the samples was a 2001 Changtai Yi Chang Hao Yiwu. When I first tasted the tea, the tea tasted okay but a certain musty scent led to a negative impression of the tea. I wanted to get a second opinion from resident pu-erh expert BearsBearsBears before dismissing the tea completely. I left the sample bag open for a while (two weeks I believe), slightly curious to see if the mustiness was something that could be "aired out."

It tasted very differently than I remembered

Granted, it could have been a difference in water (we actually used my pot for that tea), but even so...the mustiness was gone. It's difficult for me to assign words to the flavors/aroma that I taste, but it was good. It's mellowing out, but there's still some of that sharpness which you would expect from something this young. The tea body was good, and there was a nice aftertaste. It was also at a good level of maturity for its age. Definitely something I will order cakes of, assuming other samples don't impress me as much.

1 comment:

RTea said...

I met a guy a few weeks ago that said he once found some black mold inside of an old tea cake that he had bought not too long ago. He didn't drink it and the cake's seller was gracious enough to return his money (unfortunately, no more cakes of that tea left).

I'd have to say that if I was in your position, I'd probably cross my fingers and drink the tea as well.