Have you heard of tea tasting and wine tasting going together? Why not!! It can be an amazing experience. The luke warm cup filled with a light, herbal smelling green tea literally works wonder alongside the Wine. You will find it common is Chinese fine dining sittings.
If looks at the similarities in experience and characteristics, tea tasting is pretty much like wine tasting. The aroma comes first. You take a full delicious breath of oxygen with each sip as much as possible and roll the tea around your mouth. There are as many different teas in the world as there are wines – perhaps even more. The tastes are fabulously diverse.
For making a good tea; the leaf to water ratio is crucial. It is best to measure a teaspoon of tea per cup and infuse for about 3 minutes. Pour all the infused tea leaving the leaves out. Don’t keep the leaves the bottom of the cup or in the infuser to keep them infusing the taste. It’s a bit like taking a steak out of the grill or pan when it is cooked to perfection.
Just like wine, there are high quality teas and low quality teas. Are there specific signs we can look for when searching for a high quality tea?
The best teas come from whole or large pieces of leaf- these need room to unfurl as they infuse so they are always better loose. Cramped in a tea-bag whatever shape or material- even the best tea wont be at its best. And just like wine, you get what you pay for. If it costs a dollar than there is a reason and you can be sure they have compromised on taste.
It is the huge misconception that tea needs milk and sugar to make it palatable. Its actually reverses, the good stuff is delicious on its own.
Another misconception is that tea is a cheap drink. While, It can be made cheaply by many businesses so that our supermarkets can use it, but the good stuff needs to be crafted and what you pay for is a concentration on flavour rather than volume. If we are prepared to pay a bit more for our teas it would benefit not just us in terms of flavour but the small farmer.