When it comes to white tea, a renowned category among China’s six major teas, natural processing methods play a significant role. Whether it’s the loose-leaf or compressed cake form, the storage of white tea becomes an intriguing aspect. So, what happens when loose-leaf white tea is stored for a long time? Let’s explore the remarkable transformations and the role of a dedicated white tea storage box in preserving its qualities.
Freshly picked tea leaves are spread thinly on bamboo mats and placed in weak sunlight or well-ventilated rooms to wither naturally. They are then dried slowly over low heat until they are about 70-80% dry. Alternatively, they can be air-dried directly.
For newly processed white tea, the production process includes withering, light rolling, drying, sorting, sieving, piling, roasting, and packaging.
Storage of White Tea
When storing white tea, it is recommended to choose a container with good sealing properties, such as a tea caddy, to retain the moisture and aroma of the tea leaves effectively. Alternatively, you can opt for well-sealed tea bags and keep them away from odorous items while storing them in a dark place.
Normally, using a dedicated white tea storage box can be an excellent choice. These specially designed boxes provide an ideal environment for preserving the delicate flavors and aromas of white tea. The white tea storage box is typically made of high-quality materials that offer insulation, moisture control, and protection from light. With compartments or individual containers, it allows you to organize and store different varieties of white tea separately, preventing cross-contamination of flavors. Investing in a white tea storage box demonstrates a commitment to preserving the integrity of your white tea collection and ensuring a truly exceptional tea-drinking experience every time you open the box.
Q&A: Can white tea be stored in a purple clay pot for a long time?
No, it is not recommended. White tea requires a container with good sealing properties, while purple clay utensils are breathable by nature.
Q&A: Can naked white tea cakes be directly placed on a bookshelf?
No, without any protection, the tea leaves can be contaminated or exposed to sunlight, leading to deterioration.
Q&A: Can white tea be stored together with Pu-erh tea?
No, the storage requirements for these two types of tea are different. Storing them together can result in the absorption of flavors, compromising the quality and aroma of both teas.
Q&A: Can white tea be stored in the basement?
No, basements tend to have high humidity, which can introduce moisture and unwanted odors, accelerating the deterioration of white tea.
Q&A: Is it necessary to use air conditioning to store white tea during summer?
If the room where you store the tea is exposed to direct sunlight or is located on the sunny side, with high and prolonged temperatures during the summer, it is advisable to use air conditioning during the hottest period. However, if the storage room is on the shady side or not exposed to direct sunlight, and the summer temperatures are not excessively high, air conditioning may not be necessary.
The key points for storing white tea correctly are to keep it away from light, seal it in airtight containers, keep it off the ground and walls, protect it from odors, and ensure a dry storage environment.
Q&A: What changes can occur during the storage of white tea?
During storage, white tea undergoes changes in color, taste, and aroma due to factors such as moisture, temperature, and sunlight. The tea’s liquor color transitions from apricot-yellow to reddish-yellow, and the aroma changes from fresh to aged, with a reduction or even disappearance of grassy notes.
Changes in Aroma
Aged white tea acquires unique fragrances such as jujube, orchid, aged, and woody aromas. Proper storage conditions allow white tea to develop these desirable scents.
Changes in Extract Content
Extracts in white tea include flavones, tea polyphenols, soluble sugars, amino acids, caffeine, and water-soluble pectins, among others. The level of water-extractable substances reflects the content of soluble substances in white tea, indicating the thickness of the tea liquor and the intensity of its taste.
Changes in Liquor Color
White tea contains a significant amount of polyphenols, which are a group of diverse compounds mainly consisting of catechins. These polyphenols are colorless and have a bitter and astringent taste. During storage, they undergo auto-oxidation, transforming into quinones and further polymerizing into brown compounds. These color changes lead to a gradual deepening of the liquor color.
Changes in Caffeine Content
Caffeine, one of the characteristic substances in tea, is the most abundant alkaloid in tea leaves. Studies consistently show that caffeine content decreases over time during the storage of tea.
These changes in white tea during storage contribute to its unique qualities and characteristics. Proper storage conditions can enhance the aging process and allow white tea to develop complex flavors and aromas.
In conclusion, the storage of white tea brings about fascinating transformations in its color, taste, aroma, and chemical composition. While the sensory changes may be intriguing, it is important to store white tea properly to maintain its quality and prevent deterioration. By following the recommended storage guidelines, such as using sealed containers, keeping them away from light and odors, and ensuring a dry environment, white tea enthusiasts can enjoy the remarkable journey of flavor evolution that occurs during the aging process. So, embrace the miracles that happen during white tea storage and savor the delightful nuances that only time can unveil.