Topic: What to do with tea in an awkward phase.

I have a 2001 which I'm sure has been very dry stored for at least the past  4-5 years.  And  as I have no basis to compare this exact tea to when it was young.  I feel that this tea is in an transitional phase between youth, and showing signs of being aged.  As when I brew it, there is a slight bite that a younger pu would have, but it seems to lack the overall power a younger one would have.  While it shows some subtle ness and more mellow flavors of age, they are not fully pronounced yet, and are in stark contrast with the slight bit of youth left in it.

Are there any recommendation as to the most effective way to get it out of this funky stage?  I mean is it really best that I just let it sit for 5-10 more years and try it then?

Thank you.

Re: What to do with tea in an awkward phase.

Maybe not the answer you want to hear, but I think you kind of answered your own question -- maybe wait another 10-15 years and drink something else in the meantime. Or at least try and forget about it and let it sit for a year or two before trying it again. I read somewhere that pu'er has major changes in 6 year increments; not sure if that's true, but if it is, you might not see more major changes for another 4-5 years. To me, a '99-'-01 sheng that's been pretty dry stored might show some changes, but still hasn't changed so radically that I'd want to spend a lot of time drinking it, other than to assess its progress.

If you only tried it once, try brewing it another time or two -- maybe the tea was having an awkward day rather than an awkward year (though I do agree that aged teas often do go through "awkward phases"). If you're brewing young sheng with lower heat or less leaf volume to make it less unpleasant, I guess you could try brewing this tea a little more aggressively.

Re: What to do with tea in an awkward phase.

Take it easy. If you like it - drink it. Noone can really tell if it will become better within another 10 years.