We often talk about steeping here, yet it still comes up almost daily (usually in the comments section) with folks stating how much they disliked juice X when everyone else thinks it's To Die For.
The fact is, juice is a complex blend of different elements and quite often, it's not very good until those different flavors have a chance to meld into a singular, cohesive flavor profile...think about how much better a hearty stew tastes a day or two after it's been sitting in the fridge.
That being said, here is the process I use for steeping every juice I receive for review (unless the vendor specifically requests that the juice be reviewed fresh from the mailbox).
- Upon receipt, every bottle is opened, old air is squeezed out, new air enters.
- The bottle then goes into the steeping drawer (cap on), in the order they were received so that I can better keep track of what's next for review.
- Every day (sometimes every other day, as I do tend to get busy) the bottles are shaken, opened, and given another light squeeze to allow more fresh air into the bottle.
- This process continues with every bottle until it is ready for review, usually 3-4 weeks.
- I have also recently begun giving every bottle a single night, in the drawer, uncapped, just before review to help dissipate any of the volatile perfume-y/floral notes that some juices (pomegranate, blackberry to name a few) are burdened with.
- If at that point, when I sit down with the juice to begin the review, it still doesn't taste right, I will occasionally attempt a hot water bath (sometimes even two) to see if there is any difference in flavor...to date, this has had no effect on bottles that have already been properly steeped.
I know there are many other methods (i.e. hot rice), but this is my method, and it works. I am hopeful that it will help out a few people who can't understand why everyone goes crazy for something like Indigo's tobacco flavors, when all they taste is hot gasoline and burning tree bark.