Monday, February 21, 2011

resting tea?

The other day I was drinking a Darjeeling tea that was fine, but not remarkable.  I had walked away from the cup for about 20 minutes or so, and then when I came back the tea tasted better.  It was brighter, and had more nuanced flavors.  It made me wonder if certain teas develop more flavor if they 'rest'.  To clarify, this is after steeping- there were no leaves in the cup. Could this just be a case of a tea tasting better warm, instead of hot?  Does anyone have any experience with this?


  1. This is fascinating. I've done this but I can't recall any specific circumstances to comment about...but I'll keep this in my mind and let you know if I have any experiences like this.

    My thoughts are that there are several different explanations for this. One is that some chemicals escape to the air, whereas others (which are not dissolved) sink to the bottom of the cup, thus changing the flavor and aroma of the tea. Another is, like you noted, the lower temperature affecting your perception. Another could be a change in your mood or mindset.

  2. I was thinking it could be similar to decanting a red wine, but it's hard to say. I will definitely try to pay attention to this in the future. Do let me know if you discover anything.

  3. Yes, I've come across the same thing. There was this particular oolong that I was enjoying that had very subtle notes to it. I kept sipping and sipping and couldn't put my thumb on it and say exactly what it was that I was tasting. However, after I brewed the tea I put it in a thermos to take to work. So, in my case it was still hot and did not cool. I kept sipping the tea once I arrived at work and realized that it tasted different than when I first brewed it. The notes were more pronounced. I could taste a floral lavender-like note to the oolong.