Tea Culture, Tea Education, Tea Tips
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How To Judge The Quality Of Tea

wooden spoon and wooden background

Don’t get suckered into buying tea that is overpriced and low quality, learn to distinguish the good from the bad with this simple guide.

The Look

It is usually best for the tea leaves to be whole and unbroken, as broken leaves can create a bitter taste. However some black teas are cut on purpose to give it a stronger flavour. When choosing a good quality green tea, opt for smaller buds and leaves as this generally produces a more delicate flavour. When green tea is brewed, the colour should be a fresh subtle green. If the leaves are old the colour will be murkier and brownish. Black tea should be vibrant reddish gold when brewed.

The Smell

If you can’t smell anything when the tea leaves are dry, then they are very likely to be of a poor quality. Dry green tea should have a fresh fragrance while black tea should have a sweet floral fragrance.

The Feel

The texture of the tea can tell you a lot about its quality. For example, a good tea should feel smooth, not coarse or crumbly. If the leaves crumble easily, this indicates it is either old or has been overbaked, robbing it of flavour.

The Taste

Of course, the taste is the most important aspect in assessing tea quality. Green tea should taste smooth and fresh and shouldn’t contain any bitterness. Black tea should be robust and floral. There should be a noticeable aftertaste no matter the kind of tea. Try taking a sip of water after a sip of tea to fully experience the aftertaste of your tea.

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