Updated: Mar 13, 2022
In February 25, 2022, the official website of Wuyishan Tea Bureau (government institution) has released a document: The Interpretation of the GB/T18745-2006 Geographical Representative Product, Wuyi Rock Tea, and the original document has been displayed as below:
According to the traditional manufacturing process of Wuyi Rock tea, the tea plantation can self-promise to mark sell-by date based on the baking degree under the storage conditions specified in GB / t30375 (current national standard of Wuyi rock tea).
The tea plantation can also check the tea inventory. If they consider the rock tea can be storage for a long time without any influences, they can mark “This product can be stored for a long time” on the sell-by date when the outer package has marked the protects had been satisfied with the storage conditions of oolong tea specified in GB / t30375.
The description here is serious, which is not only for the new rock tea, but also for the aged tea that exceeds the valid storage period. On a word, the sell-by date of previous national standard rock tea is generally no more than 18 months. This year, it has been changed into the long-term storage, which means that the rock tea will be included into the long-term storage tea type such as the white tea, raw Pu-erh tea, fermented Pu-erh tea or any other dark tea.
With the releasing of new national standard, the rock tea will go into a new market cycle. According to the industry data, recently the rock tea in the market, especially the “aged tea”, will become the mainstream. Tea lovers need to specially focus on the gimmick “aged rock tea” in the market while picking and drinking tea.
Wuyi Rock tea
Liu Zhonghua, an academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, has analysed the Wuyi rock tea over 20 years. Combined with the healthy function research of different Wuyi rock tea in different types, years, and areas, he has reached the conclusion that the aged Wuyi rock tea did not produce any harmful things to human. The unique flavour of wood and medicine of the aged rock tea, the thickness, smoothness and lingering of tea soup, the mild soup, and the nutrition for the body are all impressed people a lot. This picture also simply explains the flavor change of the high-quality rock tea with aging.
So, there is a question. Are all types of the rock tea worth aging, and get better with time? Here are 2 methods for you to decide your rock tea is worth aging or not:
1．To choose tea: the quality is good enough and the aging is old enough.
It can be told from the name that the quality of the made tea should be good enough. Usually, we should choose the tea with the mountain field, and each making process must strictly follow the traditional process. In particular, the baking is important, the tea should be fully baked. Because that after baking, the moisture content of tea will be reduced to less than 7% to reach the national standard, which can help improve the smell, tasting and strengthen the tea quality. This kind of tea can be stored for a long time without staling, the rock tea belongs to the dried tea type, and the moisture content of it is usually between 1% - 3% after baking; when warehousing, the moisture content of it still in only around 3%. Therefore, in theory, the tea with low moisture content will be stored easily. What’s more, only the high-quality tea with rich endoplasm can be tastier after storage. The tea with poor quality could never lose its cheapness no matter how long it is stored, and the storage will be nothing but a waste.
2．The aging method and time of the rock tea: the longer the better?
Here is a popular saying 'The aged tea gets triple price, thus every family shows off last years tea'. The aged tea is always a necessary gimmick for sellers. However, the rock tea is not the antique which will be better as getting older. According to related researches, the best drinking time of the aged Wuyi rock tea is different because of its own quality, and the law is too complicated to consider. The best drinking time can be judged by irregular sampling review, which can record the tea quality during aging. There is a picture to introduce the changing process of the rock tea during aging:
To the summary, the new national standard of rock tea explained the tea can be stored for a long time. However, compared with the white tea and dark tea, there are still risks and uncertainties existed in the storage of the rock tea. These words are what I want to remind everyone: there are risks when you purchase 'aged rock tea', and we should be cautious.
Baking process for Wuyi Rock Tea
Finally, I would like to introduce the T Life rock tea. The rock tea in our shop is all from the Wuyi Mountain, central rock region, which meets the current national GB / t30375 standard and the imported food standard of Australia. Now, we only provide the current year's tea, and the “aged rock tea” is not available for sale at this moment. For the aged tea, tea lovers can store your T Life rock tea for sure, and as for the flavour, let’s comment it after a few years.
T Life tea in Wuyi central rock region
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