Although many people see tea as an alternative to coffee (in part because it is often served hot and it contains caffeine), the breadth of tea’s aromas and flavors is far more comparable to wine.
In a recent chat, Samovar’s founder Jesse Jacobs said, “Part of the joy of being a human being in flesh and blood is experiencing physical sensations. In terms of palate, tea’s an incredibly sensory, sensual way to connect with your own being human.”
He said the recent availability of high-end teas means that tea is just as capable of providing these experiences as wine. He added, “Tea is such an amazing way to trigger all your senses. You get a robust experience for very little time and money.”
Below are Jesse’s tea-tasting suggestions for oenephiles. These are not intended to replicate individual wines’ tastes, but to serve as a guide for affinities – the overall profile, the particular aromas, the intended use, and the goals of the drinker.