I've been obsessing on the freshness of coffee, and I started wondering if the same issues apply to tea. When does tea ... peak? Does it have an optimum flavor period, after which it begins to degrade in the same way that coffee does? It seems appropriate to end Hot Tea Month with some answers to these questions. Not from me, mind you, I only had questions. These answers posted to the Teamail list came from Cindy, the Tea Fairy who sent me all those wonderful yunnan teas to try, with contributions also from Jill of Special Tea Pots.
How Old is Too Old?
So I guess I need to check the tea in my cupboard for dates. But I honestly don't know if I'd recognize staleness in tea. I've done quite a lot of tea tasting this last month, now I just need to get a little more refined about it. I've decided I need to do the same thing with tea that I did with coffee... compare. Eddi-cate myself. Get some fresh, and compare it to some old stuff, and calibrate my tongue. Ok, then. Ready, set, shop!