I’ve written before about how to store green tea.
Green tea degrades quickly, so keeping it at a low temperature is a good idea if you don’t plan to drink it right away.
Interestingly, if you do this for a long time, it will age.
The grassy notes will be toned done and thus the green tea becomes more mellow.
I decided to try aging it myself.
Aging green tea for one year
In January of 2020, I took a good quality sencha from Kagoshima prefecture and placed it inside a tin can.
I also used a resealable plastic bag to protect the tea leaves from moisture.
Now, a year has passed and I’m finally able to open my aged green tea.
One important thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t unseal your tea immediately after you take it out of the refrigerator.
You should wait some hours until it reaches room temperature. Otherwise it will get moisture inside.
The tea still has a fresh aroma. But it isn’t as fresh as when I first opened the original tea.
I now realize that I should have tried aging it as soon as I opened it for best results.
Since I didn’t do that, I can’t be sure if the freshness was preserved correctly.
The color and shape of the tea leaves does seem to be exactly as before.
Let’s give it a try.
The wet leaf aroma isn’t as grassy as I remembered. So it probably did age.
But it’s hard to compare it directly, because the original tea that wasn’t refrigerated is definitely not fresh anymore.
I just have the initial tasting notes with me.
The liquor has a yellowish green color, also the same as the original.
As a side note, old green tea has a tendency to oxidize and the liquor starts to turn brown. It has happened to me as well.
I find the umami taste to be intense, just like the original tea.
It is a good sencha, I made three more infusions and liked them all.
So in conclusion, refrigerating the tea does help.
You can also try freezing it, but I didn’t have space in the freezer.
I’m also thinking that I probably should have aged it for longer and maybe the results would be more distinct.
Maybe next time.