Seasonal Products & The Beauty of Seasonal Flavors
With a small batch seasonal product, like artisan tea, flavors change from season to season. The general qualities of a particular type of tea remain but weather, processing, and roasting will effect the character of each batch. This is the beauty of a hand made seasonal product.
For example, here's a quick comparison of 3 batches of Concubine Oolong from Lugu Taiwan:
2013 Summer: very floral, light, subtle fragrance nicely balanced with the viscous, honey flavor that is characteristic of Concubine.
2014 Summer (our current offering): distinct honey flavor of concubine with a slightly more hearty, robust and balanced character that was brought about by a second roasting - making it more similar to a lightly roasted Dong Ding Oolong.
2014 Summer (same batch as above, different roast): a single roasted batch which is more similar to last year's (2013) batch in that it is lighter and more subtle in character which allows the honey flavor to stand out more distinctly without being balanced out by further roasting, as roasting brings a more robust character to the overall composition.
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The shelf life of tea is a common topic of discussion among tea drinkers. We often see questions such as:
- Can tea go bad?
- How do I keep my loose leaf tea fresh?
- Which teas have longer or shorter shelf lives?
Let's look at some of the factors that affect how long your tea stays fresh.