When it comes to high fired or roasted oolong, many Chinese tea drinkers would like to drink older and aged versions of these tea. Such oolongs with some age in them are highly prized and can be quite expensive as well. The high firing tea, after aging, would be more subdued and the aroma and taste of the oolong would become more smooth and mellow.
There is a anomoly - The Fukien teashop Tie Kuan Yin
Fukien teashop in Hong Kong produces and sell a high roast oolong. The roast levels are very high of about 40 hours of roasting over 2-3 days. The result - a high roasted but sweet caramel finish. This very popular tea has gained fans from Korea and Japan that a few of these loyal customers would patiently stand outside the shop in the mornings waiting for the doors to open (10am).
I had a tea drinker friend that had purchased this oolong and found out to her dismay that the tea lost its flavours and became 'flat' and mellow after the tea was opened and kept for a year.
I was in Hong Kong last week and bought out this concern to Mr Yeo, the proprietor of Fukien Tea. He explained that the high roasted oolong would mellow out after one year and the 'roastiness' of the tea would decrease after a year. Mr Yeo explained that this tea was produced to be enjoyed for its high roast and this tea should be consumed within 1 year. This tea is not designed for aging.
A loyal customer myself, I buy the tea for the roast and the aromatic caramel results of this roast. This appreciation of this tea is different when compared to the traditional high roasted oolong where it is more desirable to age the tea to reduce 'high fire' oolong to a more mellow and smoother finish.
I buy my tea from Fukien about 3 times a year in small quantities and will continue to do in years to come.
A happy anomoly. Time for tea.