Well, one of them is fun, the other is good to know, or you might end up throwing out really good oolongs. I learned them from the Taiwanese oolong class last week. When you put a group of avid tea drinkers together, questions come up.
1. What do I do with the leaves after I steep the life out of them?
The Japanese grandfathers will make a tea pillow, and say that if you sleep on it, you get smarter. Another way to enhance your SAT score. Or you can compost it. Only 10% of the nutrients in tea leaves are steeped out, that leaves 90% for the soil.
(It was a joke between Kristen and I, but maybe it won’t be too bad if I start eating tea leaves for sustenance… Hmm…) 😛
2. If I look into a tea canister and see some white powdery thing on the canister and the leaves, and I know it wasn’t there when you first bought it, did your tea get mold? Should you throw it out?
If the teas are kept completely dry at room temperature, they don’t get mold. Good oolongs have some buds among the leaves. The buds always have some fuzz, that’s why white teas, which are all buds, are all fuzzy and white. As time goes on, the fuzz shed, so you get that white powdery thing in your canister. So no, don’t throw out your tea because of that. It’s a sign that you have a good oolong!