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Self Anointed Tea Wisdom: How much leaf do you have?

tea flavor expectations from tea bags
Not many people realize that most of the teas they are savoring are essentially handed-down versions of something that is exotically and entirely different. The usual tea powder we get is nothing but a processed, and planned, byproduct of an original that is unique with its leafy goodness. If you have ever had a cup prepared from tea that was provided complete with its leafy forms, chances are that you would have realized the difference - and this is huge! This is not about herbal or green teas. This is about what real tea tastes like - nothing like what the vending machine offers, nothing like the tea bags that seem like well-dressed soldiers packed together. The prices are really different too.
 

Choose Leafy Tea over Bagged Tea or the Finely Granulated Form

less milk more stove brewing good tea discussion
Real leafy tea does not look like small granules. Instead, the presentation resembles small curled-up, hard-dried small leaves. You can ask for white tea which uses perhaps the most well preserved form of tea leaves. The coloring is not that intense but the taste is uniquely garden-like, utterly herbal.

You might not realize that tea types out there are based upon which of the main tea processing steps are used and if needed, which of them are repeated, and to what extent. 

All teas must go through plucking, withering, rolling, oxidizing, firing and perhaps, rolling again. The cheaper variety of tea does not give sufficient time for all of these steps. Rolling is often reserved for the high-end varieties where as exposing the rolled tea leaves to the air, for oxidization, is often accelerated...you need volumes here! Try to ask for tea that still has a majority of the leaf structure in place. Gentle, more manual over mechanized, rolling will help you get this and this is also what fires the pricing upwards!


I am not the Real Deal on Judging Tea but Some Wisdom Acquired Over the Years:
funny tea mannerism image

  • Bigger tea leafs are better. The less broken, the better. More real sized leaves cost big
  • Stronger tasting tea starts with using lesser processed tea leafs and not more tea bags
  • Dried tea leaves should have some aroma, even a slight one means you have closer-to-genuine stuff
  • Tea leaves that crumble too easily, like Samuel Jackson in Unbreakable, are most likely inferior
  • Green tea benefits don't happen overnight. Think of at least 6 months x 2 cups a day for results to show
  • Not all types of honeys are suited for making green tea concoction
  • Green tea brews cannot neutralize the effect of smoking or drinking like a fish...nothing can - don't be a dumb-ass!
Read about some of the other Tea & Tea-inspired discussions here:

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