Tuesday, June 17, 2008



Linda Osborne, author of the ALL ABOUT TEA CARDS from the Library of Congress says that "...tea enthusiasts describe and assess individual teas on the basis of the following characteristics:

  • Appearance: How do the dried leaves look? Are they all of the same color and shape? What is the color of the steeped liquid?

  • Scent: How do the leaves smell? How does the tea smell after it is steeped?

  • Flavor: How does the tea taste with the first sip? Later? After a second or third infusion? Is there an aftertaste, either good or bad?

  • Body: Is the tea strong or weak? Does it feel full-bodied or thin when drunk?

  • Astringency: A pungency or bite that puckers the mouth. Is the drink more or less astringent?

Each tea is different, as is each personal response. These are all characteristics to be savored--the enjoyment of a tea should not be rushed."

Here, here Linda!

I bet you wonder if the stuff mentioned above is really important. They surely are. You'll be able to find the flavor, body, and astringency in a tea that appeals to you, but don't let that stop you from venturing into new territory once you find your favorite. Find new teas and flavors that you've never tried or even considered trying before. How does Tibetan butter tea sound? They churn yak butter and blend it with their tea. Why? Because the butter adds much-needed calories and fat because of the cold region they live in and the work that needs to be done. Definitely an acquired taste, wouldn't you say? Or how about salt tea from Northern Pakistan? Okay, so you don't have to venture out that far, but do taste, smell, and look at different selections of local teas and have a tea-tasting day by yourself or with friends. You'll be glad you did. Try judging the teas using some of the tea characteristic hints from above. Find your favorites and then stock up. Have fun!

(pictures gathered from Wikipedia)

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