There are many reasons for becoming a tea aficionado. You might have some English friends that you want to impress with your newly learned extensive knowledge. You might be thinking of becoming a natural healer and want to include herbal teas in your repertoire. Maybe you think that every body needs to be an expert on something, so why not tea? Or, maybe you just want all your friends to know to buy you fancy tea sets on your birthday.
All kidding aside, tea has been associated with about every health benefit under the sun, from lowering risk of heart disease to cancer prevention and, if that isn’t a good enough reason to become a tea connoisseur, what is? Let’s take a look at how you can increase your experteas.
Know Your Tea
There four main types of tea are white, green, black and oolong, here’s a little bit of information about each one.
The least oxidized and processed of all the teas, white tea also contains the least caffeine and most antioxidants.
Green tea is steamed after it is harvested; this gives it its distinctive flavor and slightly more caffeine than white tea.
The most processed of the teas, black tea has the highest caffeine content, strong flavor and fewer antioxidants.
With a caffeine content somewhere between that of green and black tea, oolong tea is a favorite among connoisseurs and features rolled or twisted leaves for a distinct appearance.
Lalith Lenadora is the East India Company’s chief taster. He says, to properly taste tea, “Take a small sip and let it cover the tip of your tongue. Then take a second sip and taste it with the back of your tongue. Now your taste buds are all awake as you take a third sip.” He also recommends that you slurp your tea to mix in air, however, you may want to avoid this at parties and social gatherings.
While many big brand teas use machines to pick their tea leaves, others pick by hand to ensure the crop consists only of the bud and top two leaves of the tea bushes, which is as it should be. If you are going to become a tea aficionado, pay attention to where the tea comes from, how it is produced and whether or not the grower is getting a fair price.
The flavor of tea is affected by the climate, soil and weather conditions in the region and year in which the crop is grown and the time of year in which it is harvested. The harvesting and blending will also have an impact on the taste. As Lenadora says, “You could probably try a different type of tea every day for the rest of your life and never run out of options.
Of course, after all this, you must find “your tea”. Let us know how you “found your tea” or maybe how you plan to. We want to hear all of your tea encounters! Let us know!