Attention all tea lovers! We understand that tea is a central aspect of your everyday life. A cup of tea on a winter morning instantly brings back pleasant memories and leads you down the road of joy.
However, buying the right tea can be difficult, with many brands claiming to provide the best. But not anymore. We have developed this guide to help you find the best value for your money spent on tea.
But first things first. Understanding why quality is a key consideration when choosing tea can help us better grasp how to recognize high-quality tea, whether it be loose-leaf tea, green tea, organic tea, herbal detox tea, or any other tea.
Why choose high-quality tea?
Low-quality tea is inexpensive and easily found in shops, yet it is inferior in many respects.
This becomes clear, particularly in terms of taste, quality, and health advantages. High-quality teas are prepared from carefully chosen ingredients and often hand-processed, so the aroma and flavor are complex, strong, and unaffected by any production procedures. However, this is not the case with low-quality tea, and saving money by compromising these qualities is not worth it.
In fact, low-quality tea could even be more expensive than premium loose-leaf tea. This is because premium teas permit numerous infusions, unlike poor-grade tea, which cannot be steeped or reinfused more than once.
Low-grade teas lack the health advantages of pure high-grade teas and can be minorly contaminated by tea bag additives such as chlorine and microplastics.
Tips for finding the best tea
Check its look
In particular, with teas, appearance matters! The finest tea leaves have a uniform shape as a result of appropriate sorting. Therefore, if the tea is a loose leaf, check to see if the leaves are more or less the same size. If it is tea in powder form, it should seem dark brown.
Your initial reaction to tea is probably going to be how it smells. The natural scent of the tea should welcome you when you open a new pack. All teas have a unique aroma but often have a light, airy scent. Poor-quality scented tea will not smell at all or lose its smell rapidly.
How does it taste?
The finest tea will roll over the tongue easily and have a pleasant texture. High-quality tea leaves stimulate many taste bud experiences, regardless of the type of tea (whether black, green, or herbal tea for sleep.
If the flavor is weak or leaves a chemical aftertaste, the tea is likely to be of poorer quality or has outlasted its shelf life.
Check its feel
Tea leaves should feel solid, supple, and healthy, just like they seem. Good-quality tea leaves have a pleasant texture that feels silky. Also, premium teas, according to experts, feel feather-light in your hands.
It is generally not of excellent quality if it appears rough.
Look for unflavored or naturally flavored teas
It is wonderful to explore the delicate natural flavor notes in tea. Often, artificial flavoring overwhelms them.
Real tea can have a subtle flavor that suggests wood, smoke, grass, fruits, and other flavors. Without each flavor being genuinely present in your tea, it might taste like peach or chocolate on its own. At first, it could be challenging to notice these minute signs, but with practice, everyone can.
How to check tea quality during and after brewing?
Observe at every stage
Simple observations can disclose fundamental quality indicators.
- Are tea leaves whole or chopped? Usually, chopped leaves release flavor and tannins more rapidly.
- When brewing, do the leaves unfold rapidly, or do they take a while? Longer unfurling durations indicate that the leaf has fully dried out and can be kept for a long period.
- Is the tea clear? A "muddy" brew can be the result of washing off artificial flavors or contaminants from the leaves.
Warm the vessel, add tea leaves, then smell
This intermediary stage is essential for unraveling premium teas' intricate, subtle fragrances.
Dry leaves seldom accurately give away a tea's flavor since hot water activates many fragrant components in natural teas. Use excessively hot water, for instance, and the leaves will smell like overcooked vegetables.
So, first, warm the brewing pot with warm water before adding the tea leaves. Then drain the water after the vessel’s basin is thoroughly heated. Next, put the dried leaves in the bowl while the vessel is steaming.
This way, steam rises out, and a gentle aroma hits the nostrils, giving the exact smell of the tea.
Check the color after brewing
After brewing, examine the tea's color. Whether it is menopause herbal tea, green tea, or black tea, it should have a deep color, more like watercolor paint.
Black tea of the highest caliber should be bronze to dark reddish. Green tea has a yellowish to green color. On the other hand, oolong tea ought to be a rich, lustrous yellow/green color.
Compare brewed side by side with other teas
Without something to compare with, it might be challenging to determine whether a product is high quality. Because of this, comparing teas is crucial.
You can better appreciate the differences in flavor and quality by comparing the flavors of two similar tea types. This is a fantastic method to refresh your taste buds so you can recognize the distinctive qualities of each tea.
However, you must ensure that you are comparing similar types of teas. For example, if you are comparing two herbal detox teas, it is fine. But you should not compare peppermint tea with tea providing weight loss support.
Try the tea after it is cooled down
Hot water distracts the palette. So, the cooled-down tea will give the exact taste of the tea.
Moreover, lower temperatures can bring out unexpected flavor notes that were not necessarily noticeable when the tea was hot. These notes may be pleasant subtleties in a high-quality sample or unwelcome harsh shocks in a low-quality tea.
Try the same tea with different people
Observing how others respond to the tea and what they think of its flavor would be helpful. No matter how knowledgeable a person is about tea, good tea should still leave an impression.
Having said that, it might be intriguing to see how various individuals respond to the same tea. Do they like a similar flavor? Do they agree with each other about the flavor?
Looking for a high-quality tea?
Mila Miamor has got you covered. We use ethical and ecological methods to obtain our tea leaves so that you can make the most wonderful cup of tea you have ever had!
You will find some unique flavors in our store, from herbal detox tea to English breakfast tea. Our herbal teas will help you with many health problems, whether you need weight loss support or want to manage menopause symptoms.