When buying tea, people often don’t know where to start, because there are too many varieties of tea in the market. How to choose tea has become a real problem for tea lovers.
If you want to buy suitable tea, in addition to "Look+Smell+Ask+Brew", one also need to pay attention to some tea purchasing misunderstandings. So how to choose tea?
“Look”, specifically, refers to “look at its appearance”, that is, whether the shape of tea is uniform or not, how is the lustrousness of its color, and how many impurities such as broken tea and stems it contains, which are regarded as the standards to evaluate the quality of tea. Take green tea for an example: green tea which is green with white fuzz/Pekoe on the surface, and bright in the tea soup, is good in quality. Green tea which is yellow or even dead red and dry dark in color is poor in quality.
Some famous tea has unique appearance features, for example, Organic Premium Long Jing (West Lake Dragon Well) Loose Leaf Green Tea First Grade from Zheng Jiang is generally smooth flat and straight in shape, brown-rice-like yellow in color, and does not show any fuzz on the surface; Chinese Huang Shan Mao Feng (Yellow Mountain Fur Peak) Loose Leaf Green Tea has many fuzz on the surface and appears in the peak shape; Xin Yang Mao Jian Chinese Green Tea is fine and straight in shape and is smooth with many fuzz; and Premium Supreme Chinese Famous Jiangsu Dongtin Bi Luo Chun/Snail Spring/Pi Lo Chun Loose Leaf Green Tea is fine in strips and is curled into a shape like a snail.
If the visual effects of tea are not good, then just listen to the inner self, but not to deception of businessmen, and give up immediately. Generally speaking, there is a basis for further investigation only when the tea passes through this first hurdle.
“Smell”, specifically, refers to “smell its fragrance”: the aroma of good tea should be pure and contains no miscellaneous odor. The quality of tea can also be distinguished by smelling the smell of tea. There are two ways to smell the aroma of tea: dry smelling(Smell the dry tea leaves) and wet smelling(Smell after the tea contacted water).
In the dry smelling process, good tea should have no green grass smell and no miscellaneous odor. In the wet smelling process of the tea soup after the tea was brewed, good tea is fresh and strong in aroma and has no abnormal odor.
If the tea contains a highly strong aroma, or even a scorched flavor, then it needs to be carefully identified, generally speaking, this kind of tea is often somewhat problematic. Some tea merchants will take some old tea to bake again to improve its aroma and sell it as fresh tea so as to achieve the purpose of making profits.
“Ask”, specifically, refers to “ask about its origin”, such as its variety and place of origin so as to probably infer the quality of tea. While buying tea, you should also consider its authentic place of origin and corresponding varieties.
For example, according to the local standards of Zhejiang Province, Shifeng, Meiwu and Longwu areas in the West Lake area of Hangzhou are the specific producing areas of the West Lake Longjing Tea; The place of origin of Biluochun is Dongting Lake in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province; and Tieguanyin (The Iron Goddess Buddha Bodhisattva of Mercy) Oolong Tea is produced in Anxi, Fujian Province.
Before buying tea, you can find some relevant information in advance to understand the basic problems and then consult the seller with problems which you are know exactly, which will make buying tea easier and prevent you from being tricked as far as possible.
“Brew” specifically, refers to “brew and taste it”: after all, tea is for drinking, so brewing and tasting are, of course, indispensable.
What you need to do is brew tea by yourself on the spot. There is also another advantage by doing this, that is, if the method of brewing the tea is wrong, the tea merchant will guide you to the correct tea brewing method, and you can find more brewing skills and tips, which is a very good way to learn. Only the taste of the tea brewed by your own hands is the true taste of the tea you need to understand. You should observe the tea soup as you taste it.
Generally, tea soup which is strong, mellow and refreshing with sweet aftertaste is of top grade, and tea soup which is light and astringent is of low grade. Then you should observe the brewed leaves: brewed leaves which are complete, soft, thick, fresh and tender with buds are good, and brewed leaves which are thin and hard in dark color are poor.
Only by trial and error and by learning more tea knowledge can you finally buy the well-content good tea which are suitable for yourself.