This prompt could not have come at a better time – right after my first tea tasting experience a few days ago 🙂
Tea, this most wonderful concoction, is the 2nd most consumed beverage in the world after water. I will share a few random facts about tea that I learnt of in addition to tasting different teas.
- All the different teas – Black, green, oolong and white tea all come from the same plant: Camellia Sinensis; a species of evergreen shrub or small tree whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea.
- It takes around 2000 leaves to make just one pound of finished tea. The best teas are hand picked at very high elevations.
- The different tea types are only created due to different degrees of oxidation of the leaves. For example, black tea is highly oxidized whereas white tea is minimally oxidized and is usually dried under the sun.
- The less processed the tea leaf, the greater antioxidants. This makes green tea the best in terms of high antioxidants than black.
- Tea tasting is quite similar to wine tasting. Hours go into pairing the right tea with the right meal. A basic outline of how tasting is done:
- You look at the leaves – some would be curled, some feathery and some spiky.
- Smell the brew – it could be bitter, neutral, have a sweet undertone.
- Gently mix the brew and smell again – you will most likely smell something different than the first time.
- Take your first sip. It might be bitter, raw, sweet, spicy, or nutty.
- Wait for the residual flavor on your tongue after sipping the tea. You might get a bitter first taste followed by a sweet after taste or a spice.
A fun fact that I learnt during my tasting…
In the Victorian era, a ‘Mustache Cup’ was invented which had a small ledge across the cup. The ledge had one semicircular opening against the side of the cup for the mustache to remain dry during drinking.
This is kinda what it looks like. I wonder if they have any on ebay or amazon… Would make a great gift 😀