Tea Refresh and Tea Roating At Home Part II
-One thing you can use at home is your oven. The following information is from a dear friend of mine, Jason, reprinted here with his permission. I have to admit I don't do this at home. I try not to do any tea activity at home besides drinking it.
"I start at 170F (lowest my oven goes), with the door slightly open. I'll let the tea come up to that temperature over 20 min, stirring a couple times.
Then I close the door and wait about 5 min. Then stir the tea every 5 min or so and increase the temperature every 15 min by 5F degrees, adjusting the timing a bit depending on the scent. If the scent is still stale I'll increase the temperature a bit faster. If the scent is good (maybe starting to smell like roasted grains), I'll let it go for a bit longer. If the scent is a hint burned, I'll wait longer, or sometimes take the temperature down a bit.
Over time, I'll increase the temperature to about 200-210F. Then once it gets the smallest hint of bitterness or burned tea scent I'll take it back down to 190F, decreasing by 10F every 5-7min.
Some robust teas, like Dong Ding or ones that started roasted, I can get up to 220F before they show signs of over-roasting. Other delicate teas or teas where I want to preserve more subtle flavors (like gaoshan), I can only get up to about 190F during the initial roasting (but I can get them higher after letting them rest for a week or two)."
-Use a small tea roaster. Please see the photo below:
A small tea roaster like this will hold about 4 ounces of rolled oolongs. It's very easy to use. There is a temperature dial built into the roaster. I like to start at around 60C and let the tea sit for around 20 minutes or so, stirring it occasionally, and adjusting the temperature higher. When do you need to adjust the temperature? Once there is a shift in the smell. Pay attention to it. If you can't catch it, it's alright, just go ahead and adjust the temperature by 5 to 10 degrees. This will take about two hours and it will actually turn a lightly oxidized oolong into a roasted oolong. The process will make your house smell fantastic!