In commerce there are many varieties of tea and it is not always easy to choose the best one.
Generally the most valuable teas are made with whole leaves. Puer can be found in the form of cake or brick, whereas white teas, for example, have distinct leaves.
Five elements to consider when choosing a tea
- Look: does the tea look healthy, are the colors natural, is the leaf intact?
- Smell: does the tea give off a strong but balanced scent?
- Taste: the taste of tea is balanced, acidity, bitterness is too strong?
- Mouthfeel: does tea feel good in the mouth?
- Aftertaste/sweetness: does the tea have a long, pleasant aftertaste? Is it sweet as it rises in the throat and in the sinus cavity?
In all cases, the tea should have a balanced taste. There should not be an overabundance of fragrance, acidity, bitterness or astringency.
Tea should never give you feelings of dizziness or discomfort.