What “Quality Tea” really means?
Quality of the finest tea can be distinguished from a cheap tea considering four senses as sight, touch, smell, and taste. The appearance of a good quality tea should be very clean, without stalks and unwanted particles, which causes the loss of fresh tea flavor. When you steep a good quality tea, tea particles should unfurl slowly. The high quality dried tea should feel whole and sturdy to the touch. If the tea is very light weighted, it may be an indication of over dried tea. An excellent tea always gives a fresh and distinct aroma. You can sense a very weak aroma with a deep inhale of dried tea, which indicates a low tea quality. However, the strong mouthfeel of refreshing taste is a sign of excellent tea.
9 Reasons to buy Quality loose leaf tea vs. Cheap tea bags
When tasting a premium black tea, you can sense a distinctive astringent taste mixed with a malty flavor. Also, the smooth, bittersweet taste can be found in the best quality green tea. All the other tea varieties such as white, green, oolong, yellow, rooibos, Puer and purple tea also have unique taste profiles relevant to their best quality. The taste of tea is affected by origin, soil, harvesting time and manufacturing process. However, economic tea (cheap tea) products do not practice high-quality processing, which always results in a poor taste with a negative experience related to the brand.
The aroma is a very important character of an outstanding tea because it is characterized by a wonderfully refreshing smell, which inspires the body and mind. All teas have different descriptive aromas as floral, fruity, grassy, earthy, spicy, etc. For instance, green tea has a light soothing scent with a floral or grassy, clean finish, where black tea has a cocoa-like aroma and a sweet aftertaste, where one can find an almost peppery note. On the other hand, economic teas barely have any sense and are very plain when inhaled.
- Color of the Brew
The appearance of the tea brew is important to impress your mind before you taste it.
To illustrate, the brew color of a superior black tea can range from amber to red to dark brown, while the brew color of a well-tasting green tea is yellowish-green or bright green. In contrast, low-cost black tea would give an extremely dark, unclean color and green tea in the same category would appear as murky or cloudy.
- True to type grades
Mostly, the final step in the tea manufacturing process is tea grading. In this operation, tea is passed through sieves of progressively smaller mesh sizes to separate the leaves into different sizes called grades. Primarily, lowest-quality grades of tea come from the finest siftings (dust) left after the tea separation process. In many cases, broken tea leaves are mixed with other tea grades. This also creates a poor cup of tea. However, quality teas are true to their grade types and are not mixed with lower tea grades.
- Cleanliness of tea
An old Chinese saying states, “Famous mountains produce famous tea”. An outstanding cultivation area provides the foundation for an excellent tea, which is naturally pure. Therefore, high standards of tea processing and storing provides the freshest and most delicious tea! A Japanese Grand Tea Master, Dr. Sen, emphasized harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility as the central principles, of “virtues”, of Tea. (“The Japanese Arts & Self Cultivation” by Robert Edgar Carter)
- Health Benefits of Tea
When talking about high-quality teas, loose leaf teas contain a higher level of antioxidants vs. the lower quality, finely broken tea leaves or the dust type in tea bags. Cheaper teas produce more caffeine and the residue from the tea bags themselves may contain bleach. To obtain maximum health benefits, make sure to use only premium, loose-leaf tea. Moreover, it can be re-infused several times!
When it comes to the list of health benefits in tea, it can be endless. Here are some of the examples of what a wise tea consumption helps with, based on its type:
- controls diabetes
- helps in preventing obesity
- assists in weight loss
- manages metabolism
- improves heart health
- prevents cardiovascular disease
- improves bone health
- boosts mental health
- helps to battle cancer
- assists in cancer prevention
- herbal tea soothes the digestive system
- boosts immune system
- Not having bad side effects
Since the cleanliness and high standards are assured from plucking to packing, premium teas do not give any bad side effects after consuming them when prepared as suggested.
- Contribution for CSR
Quality teas are sold at a slightly higher price as most of those tea plantations are contributing to activities related to Corporate Social Responsibility. Low-cost tea brands are not involved in those concepts, as they are having a marginal profit. Therefore, purchasing high-grade teas will directly contribute to CSR activities.
- Mental Satisfaction
Because of the all above described facts, anyone who chooses to consume a superior tea will get a mental satisfaction by having an excellent tea experience for the amount paid.