Choosing teas from the seemingly never-ending selection can sometimes be daunting. Let Samovar Tea Lounge guide you through the maze of different teas and help you learn about what makes a good tea.
Before buying tea, it’s always optimal to taste it, just like wine. In general, you should buy small quantities – unless it’s a particular favorite – because this will allow you to consume the tea while it’s still fresh.
Looks Good = Tastes Good
The first thing that you should notice about tea is how it looks. You probably already know that the whole leaf is preferable to CTC (Cut Torn Crushed) ‘tea’ dust that is put into many tea bags. If leaves are broken, it probably means that they were harvested by machine. Broken leaves often results in bitter tea.
Use Your Nose
After the tea has been infused, good teas will give off a delicious aroma. Green teas are often refreshingly grassy; oolongs can be peachy and super floral; blacks are sometimes sweet; pu-erhs are earthy.
The most important thing is that there should be some smell, whatever the tea, even in the dry leaves. Flavored teas such as Jasmine Pearl and Earl Grey should retain their essential aroma even after an infusion.
Feel Me (Examine the Infused Leaves)
A great pleasure can be found in unfurling leaves. If you open a large tea such as Buddha’s hand or Tiequanyin (Iron Goddess of Mercy), you may be astonished at the size of the leaf. A good leaf can be handled without crumbling or breaking.
Taste is Tops
As with any food or drink product, taste is the ultimate test and everybody’s tastes are different. Tea should never, ever taste stale or flavorless or flat. If brewed properly, tea should not be displeasingly astringent or bitter.
The best way to taste tea, like wine, is to slurp it in order to allow air to mix with the tea and enhance the flavor. It’s also a lot of fun.
Ultimately, whatever the tea, the decision to buy it or not depends on your own personal taste.
How Much Should I Buy?
Our philosophy at Samovar Tea Lounge is: smaller quantities are better.
Our rationale is, if you buy small quantities of tea and buy more often, you’ll get a better brew because you’ll only ever have the freshest tea at home. The best thing to do, of course, is to come to Samovar Tea Lounge and sample every tea – that way you can be sure to know how it tastes when it is brewed perfectly.
If you don’t live nearby, we recommend that you buy in quantities up to about 4-6oz. All Samovar teas are packaged in airtight, double-lidded metal tins to keep the tea as fresh as possible. Following our philosophy, we only sell tea in weights up to about 6oz.
FREE Episode: How To Taste Tea The Samovar Way
Engage all your senses as you learn the art and practice of tasting tea. Enter your email and we’ll send you details to unlock this information packed episode from The Samovar Tea Lounge Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Tea, for FREE.
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Buy Tea from Samovar – Visit our Online Store
If you buy tea from us, you can rest assured that you are buying the freshest tea. We also buy tea in small quantities and we move it quickly. So, unlike other tea sellers who boast an offering of hundreds of teas (which sit around getting stale until they are sold) we offer a few that are fresh, great, and delicious.