I am not really a big tea drinker, a big contrast to Izzy who consumes copious amounts of tea. Spending time around such a tea afficionado has had a big impact on my understanding of tea. There are a handful of things I have learned about tea.
As a complete tea novice, here are 5 things I have learned about tea, which should help you pick good tea if you’re looking to buy some!
Twigs Are Bad in Loose Leaf Tea
If you buy loose leaf tea it is a good idea to look at the make up of the tea you’re buying. If you can see stalks or twigs in the mix, it means the company has bulked out their product with parts of the plant that don’t belong.
A good quality tea will have an absolute minimum amount of debris other than tea leaves. Surprisingly, even premium brands use this tea packing tactic and don’t be mistaken into thinking the higher the price the better quality the tea.
You can gauge quality instantly by looking for twigs in your loose-leaf tea.
Bigger Tea Leaves are Better than Smaller Tea Leaves
Whoever said size doesn’t matter clearly isn’t a tea expert.
When buying tea look at how big the leaves are. Tea leaves that are smaller are normally the by-product of processing tea and packaged to sell. Unfortunately, once again, price doesn’t necessarily dictate the quality and you can buy very expensive loose-leaf tea that consists of small, crushed leaves.
What I have Learned About Tea Leaves
- Larger leaves are preferable to smaller tea leaves
- Intact leaves that resemble actual leaves are best regardless of their size.
The British Add Sugar and Milk to their Tea More Often Than Not
Izzy recently reviewed Yorkshire tea and found it reasonably drinkable and passable as an affordable teabag tea.
I Learned About Tea in British Culture
She explained to me that overall, the flavour profile of Yorkshire Tea is more bitter compared to other black teas. She also explained Yorkshire Tea is the most consumed tea bag in the UK, much to my surprise expecting one of the following brands PG Tips, Tetley, or Typhoo to be top dog.
This uniform bitterness in Yorkshire Tea suggested to her that British tea drinkers don’t drink their tea ‘straight.’ Instead, she believes the flavour profile of the teabag was created with the idea milk and sugar would be added.
My Favourite Tea is Tuk-tuk Chai and Chai in General
A year or so ago I was watching clips on YouTube of Dragon’s Den and was drawn to a clip of two entrepreneurs looking to expand their tea company – Tuk-tuk. The Dragons were notably impressed by the taste of the tea.
I immediately shared it with Izzy and asked her to order us some.
I enjoyed each drop and found a love for Chai tea in general. We visit Costa Coffee frequently and my drink of choice is Chai. No more coffee for me, I am not a tea person!
I highly recommend trying Chai tea if you get the chance and you can’t go wrong with Tuk-tuk Chai.
Despite What I Learned About Tea – I Prefer Teabags Over Loose Leaf
Whenever we find ourselves in a tea shop, Izzy will be exploring and checking out the caddies and looseleaf tea.
I on the other hand will be looking for teabags.
For me personally, I am not a huge tea drinker or enthusiast, so the additional time and effort of brewing tea from loose leaf seems wholly unnecessary.
In much the same way I prefer instant coffee, a teabag suits me just fine. What’s more, I have learned from Izzy that a well-made teabag with a good quality tea can be nearly as good as brewing the tea yourself.
If you’re like me and don’t have the time or energy to brew up tea from scratch, rest assured there are plenty of incredibly good teas to discover that come in teabag form!
Izzy may call me a heathen for that last tip – hopefully, she won’t read this!