Guide: how to identify quality tea

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There are tea traditions in every corner of our planet.

There are individuals among us who cannot imagine their life without fragrant tea for immunity. A new day begins with it, and drinking a cup at the end of the day is also a good ritual. And when you cannot imagine your life without this tonic, the question naturally arises - how to choose a quality product?

This category of products is presented on the market in such a wide range that it can be quite difficult to determine its quality. There is good tea among inexpensive ones, and there is expensive, but leaves much to be desired. Which tea is good and which is not. We tried to collect as much useful information as possible in this review so that you can choose the best drink that will have a rich taste and aroma.

What is tea: a quick guide

What is natural tea? This is a drink that is obtained by brewing or infusing primary, pre-prepared raw materials. Thus, tea can be called both chamomile infusion and tea leaf infusion. A quality product, as a rule, contains only natural ingredients and various natural additives. If certain chemicals are present in the raw materials, such as dyes or flavors, then such tea should already be questionable by a potential buyer.

Today you can find tea:
• green;
• black;
• berry;
• herbal;
• fruity, etc.

The criteria for choosing good tea can be conditionally divided into objective and subjective.

Objective or subjective criteria for tea selection

It’s worth starting with subjective criteria, as they often become a key point when choosing a particular variety. These include our personal tastes and preferences. For each of us there is a good, high-quality tea that has the necessary properties:
• aroma;
• taste;
• color;
• transparency and other criteria.

Some of us prefer certain brands  of elite tea , others pay attention to certain taste qualities. For example, some of us do not like tea leaves floating in the cup and prefer to choose delicious black tea bags or natural tea bags.

According to research data, the taste preferences of consumers can be subjectively influenced by the region of residence, gender and age. It was found in the course of research that men aged 45+ love real Ceylon tea, but green tea, in most cases, is the choice of women under the age of 40 and boys and girls after 18. In megacities, they still lead the market occupies tea bags, and in the remote western regions, people often choose natural tea bags or in the form of a wide variety of blends.

Thus, we can assume that all the organoleptic qualities of tea can only be considered as subjective. Tastes could not be discussed! Every lover of this drink is looking for their own unique sensations. And what suits one person may not suit another at all.

Black tea, green tea and others

Depending on the way the tea leaf is processed, the tea can acquire its own “color”. The color of tea determines its taste, and sometimes the cost of the product. What tea is considered the best in appearance? A drink that has a pronounced copper rich hue. If the infusion is too dark or cloudy, this indicates the low quality of the feedstock and the presence of certain impurities.

The color of tea also depends on the method of fermentation:

• black tea is obtained during deep fermentation;
• faster fermentation produces oolong;
• red tea is obtained by short-term fermentation and fixation with steam;
• green tea is a tea leaf that has not been fermented at all.

It is a common misconception that some types of tea are healthier than others. Types of teas and their properties may differ, but each variety has its own undeniable advantages and merits.

Green tea is a source of antioxidants and vitamins. It has, among other things, diuretic and other properties.

Almost all varieties, without exception, help:

• get rid of excess weight;
• control the level of sensitivity to insulin;
• take care of the oral cavity;
• prevent Parkinson's disease;
• reduce the likelihood of developing cancer;
• increase bone density;
• avoid diseases of the cardiovascular system.

Real tea contains a small amount of caffeine, which gives the body energy and well-being throughout the day. Black tea contains more caffeine than other varieties.

How to choose high quality tea?

The main quality criterion is the quality of the sheet. Good black or green tea is made from high-quality raw materials, without impurities and tea dust. Thus, if a granulated or otherwise processed tea leaf has a uniform consistency, this is a sign of high quality.

Another common myth is that  tea in bags is  of lower quality. In fact, if we are talking about good varieties of tea, then the quality of the tea leaf does not depend on the shape of the package. In tea pyramids from a conscientious manufacturer, you will find the same quality tea as in the leaf version.

How to choose tea bags? Very simple. To assess the quality of raw materials, it is enough to break one filter bag. High-quality black tea or green variety is leaves or granules of approximately the same size, without extraneous additives. If the additives are declared in the composition of the drink, then they are bright pieces of medium size, which are easily distinguishable in the total mass. If you tore open the package and really saw the "dust of Chinese roads", then you can not talk about the quality of such tea for a long time. This should not be high-level raw material.

Country of origin of the tea leaf and tea variety

When choosing a tea blend, it is always important to understand that the country of origin can also affect the quality of the tea leaf. The purest tea in the world, according to experts, grows in Tanzania and Kenya. The best green and black teas are made from raw materials that grow in the tropics and subtropics, China and India. In the post-Soviet space, tea is grown in Georgia and Abkhazia, but less and less, as the climate does not allow for a good harvest and, accordingly, competitive raw materials.

Chinese and Indian are varieties of the tea bush and not always the country where the raw materials are grown. A lot of tea is produced in African countries, as there are good climatic conditions and cheap labor. Elite varieties of tea are grown, as a rule, on small plantations. Tea from such manufacturers is distinguished by high cost, but at the same time high quality.

The best tea is natural

Natural green tea or black varieties do not contain chemical additives, dyes and flavors. In order to give the drink a special taste, manufacturers add natural spices, citrus fruit zest and aromatic herbs.

How to determine natural tea or not? There are two ways:

• Fill the tea with cold water. If the water has changed its color at the same time, then this means that a dye was added to it in order to achieve the optimal color. High-quality tea colors water only under the influence of high temperatures.
• Add a slice of lemon to your tea. If there are no additives, the drink will change its color to a lighter color after a few minutes. Such "lightening" will not occur if the colors are achieved by adding certain chemicals.

There are many varieties, types and subspecies of your favorite product, but in fact, everyone chooses the best variety for themselves. However, it is worth choosing among high-quality varieties and time-tested manufacturers so that the infusion brings joy and health to your body.