Aged Oolong–a must try

This is one of the most flavorful and interesting teas I have ever tasted.  As with all oolong teas, the tea leaves are partially oxidized during processing.  An aged oolong may be fired longer or baked several times during the finishing process to begin development of the characteristic flavor.  After finishing, the tea is stored in porous containers that allow some air flow, but is kept free of moisture and extreme temperature.  The tea is allowed to breathe, but not ferment (like pu’erh).  Periodically, the tea is taken out of storage and baked to remove any developed moisture and deepen the flavor,  then cooled and returned to the clay containers.  This process may go on for many years—depending on the flavor characteristics desired.   Good aged, baked flavor can be achieved in as short as four years, yet some of these teas are aged and baked for up to 30 years and longer.   This is a “must try” for any oolong fan: experiencing the scent of the wirey, springy, steeped leaves is heavenly and the tea itself has a deep, layered, baked caramel flavor.  Yum.

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