Tea is drunk in virtually every country that you can think of. And, as scientists uncover more and more health benefits, this beverage is becoming even more popular. However, the average person tends toward low-quality tea. This is because most people aren’t aware of how to select the best teas.
In fact, if you aren’t too fond of the flavor of tea, it could be because you haven’t tried the right ones. Poor quality tea can be weak, bitter, or taste downright awful. Needless to say, drinking these teas isn’t going to be a pleasant experience.
If you are looking to improve your tea situation, though, then this is the guide for you. Here you can discover all the tips and tricks that you need to pick a better quality tea.
Find the Right Type of Tea
Did you know that there are five categories of tea under true teas? Once the leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant have been picked, they can undergo five different types of processing. This leads to various categories of tea.
Now, most people are familiar with green tea and black tea – these dominate the market. At the same time, you also have the option of enjoying white tea, oolong tea, and pu’erh tea. Now, pu’erh isn’t readily found at most local tea stores, but white and oolong tea are easy enough to find.
So, why are these types important to know about? Well, they each have their own unique flavor profile. For instance, white tea is quite light and mild, with a very subtle taste. Oolong tea has a natural sweetness to it. Pu’erh, on the other hand, has an earthier, woodsier taste to it.
Thus, if you don’t enjoy black or green tea, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t like tea. Instead, it is quite possible that you haven’t discovered the most suitable kind for you. With a little bit of experimentation, you could discover a new, more pleasant flavor.
Know Your Brands
You will have probably realized that there are tea brands for the entire price spectrum. Some are incredibly cheap and quite popular. These are the brands that most people opt for when drinking tea on a regular basis. Then, there are the more upscale options. Naturally, these tend to be pricier.
On the surface, it can appear that there isn’t too much of a difference between economical and more expensive brands. After all, tea is tea, right? Well, not really. More expensive brands will invest more time, money, and effort in growing their tea trees well. They will also take greater care in processing the leaves. All of this means that the tea leaves taste better.
Of course, many people can’t or don’t want to pay incredibly high prices for tea, particularly if they enjoy a cup every day. In such situations, look for brands that fall in the middle of the spectrum. This will offer you a good balance between quality and price.
Select Loose Leaf Tea Over Teabags
You will find that tea bags tend to be the most popular option in most households. This is because they offer convenience. To brew teabags, you simply have to steep the bags in hot water for a specific period of time. Then, it is just a matter of tossing the teabag and enjoying your drink.
Nevertheless, you should begin to pick loose leaf tea over tea bags from now on. This is because, on average, loose leaf tea tends to be of a higher quality. Understand, teabags tend to contain tea dust or fannings. When placed in hot water, this dust releases its flavors and components quickly.
However, along with the delicious tea flavors, you will often find that the bitter-tasting components of tea are also released. Thus, you tend to get a bitterer brew. Also, due to the way that the dust is processed, it is unlikely that you will be able to enjoy subtle and nuanced flavors in your cup.
Loose leaf tea, on the other hand, is long, curled, and uncut. When these leaves are placed in hot water, they gently unfurl, slowly releasing their natural flavors. The bitter components of the tea take longer to emerge. So, as long as you stick to an appropriate steeping time, you can enjoy a far better tasting tea.
It should be noted that not all loose leaf teas are alike, though. You still have to be discerning about the brand and how the tea is made. Once again, you should pay attention to all the factors of the leaves, including where they are picked, how they are processed, and what they look like.
Now, does this mean that you can never select teabags? Of course, you can use tea bags if you want. As mentioned, they are undeniably convenient. If you do wish to go with teabags, though, it becomes even more important to pay attention to the quality.
For instance, opt for a higher-end brand. In particular, look for larger teabags – the ones shaped like pyramids are a good choice. Also, take a look at the tea leaves inside the bag. As much as possible, they should be whole and unbroken.
Learn the Art of Selecting Tea
What you may be wondering about at this point is, how do you tell high-quality leaves from low-quality leaves? Is it enough to just pay attention to the brand name? Well, not really. If you do want to ensure that every cup that you drink is great, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with good quality tea leaves.
For the most part, this means observing the leaves yourself. When you are trying out a new brand for the first time, go ahead and pour some of the leaves into the palm of your hand. Then, it is time to take a closer look at them. There are various factors that you should pay attention to.
To begin with, consider the weight of the leaves. High-quality teas have a little bit of weight or heft to them. If the leaves appear to be too dry or crumbly, then this isn’t a good sign. Look for something that is more solid and has a definite shape to it.
You should also consider the aroma. Does the tea give off a distinct and pleasing scent? This means that the leaves aren’t just high quality, they are also fresh. In turn, they will make a far better cup of tea. Steer clear of the leaves that don’t smell as they should.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
There is no guarantee that you will find your favorite tea on the first try. It may take numerous attempts to discover your most preferred tea. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t give up. Look at reviews, read tea guides, and keep searching until you find your ideal brand. You can be guaranteed that it will be worth the effort.
These are the top tips to pay attention to when looking for high-quality tea. Follow these to the letter and you will be able to find a tastier, more enjoyable tea. This will certainly brighten up your mornings quite a bit.