I have, with me, a 10 years old tin of Darjeeling
I bought this quite some years ago in New York city, some first flush stuff that I never really drank much of. I carried it with me to many places, and after numerous moves (and multiple times considering whether or not to throw it away) it is still there
Having had some fresh first flush recently from Lochan tea, I can say that the muscatel from this aged darjeeling is much more subdued. There’s a different character that shows up early in the cup — some form of sweetness. The tea is still bitter if you overbrew it, but there’s less of a bite and a little more rounded, I think, than fresh stuff. It’s not quite as aromatic, and will certainly taste a little strange to someone expecting the usual. I do wonder though… are these things ageable?