The purpose of this experiment is to observe the effects of heated storage on the aging process of sun-dried black tea.
Upon examining the material, it is apparent that the heated tea has undergone a slight amount of decompression in comparison to the unheated tea.
Rinse: Heated tea is darker on the rinse, but very light on both.
- Unheated tea has a brown sugar sweetness. The heated tea is zingy in aroma and has a warm, fruity sweetness.
- Floral qualities emerging from the unheated tea, which is just about unchanged. The heated tea resembles the flavor of a slightly under-ripe, cooked tomato.
- More body and less astringency from the heated tea. It is apparent after the third steep of each tea that the heated tea is on its way to coming apart. The unheated tea is still one intact chunk.
- At this point, the unique qualities of each tea have mostly given way into the same base flavor. The heated tea is just a tad sweeter and thicker from here on out.
Overall, I have no real preference between the two. I do like the earlier steeps of the unheated tea for the clean brown sugar notes. And the early steeps of the heated tea are colored by some storage flavor that doesn’t appeal to my taste. However, the heated tea has more to give in the later steeps without running into astringency.