When you first start searching for high-quality teas you face a lot of uncertainty. There are hundreds of vendors and thousands of teas. You know you need to taste to learn, but you don’t want to waste time and money buying rip-off teas that aren’t fit to drink.
So, here are three tips to help you navigate the world of high-quality tea with a little more confidence.
#1 MAKE SURE THE VENDOR GIVES YOU WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION
Country, region, cultivar, season, date of production, tasting notes, name of the farmer, how to brew the tea etc. The more information, the better. You may not know what to do with it all at first, but there are plenty of tea nerds out there who do.
If a tea vendor makes an untrue claim, sooner or later, some tea nerd on some forum somewhere will put them in their place. Vendors that lie about tea don’t tend to last very long. The more specific information a tea vendor gives, the more likely it is that they’re selling high-quality tea.
#2 NEVER SPEND MORE THAN 10$ ON A SINGLE TEA
This is especially true for those new to the high-quality tea world. If you don’t know your favorite taste profiles yet or you’re unsure of what you really want, you don’t want to invest a lot of money in one tea.
Try starting out with small samples of many teas rather than making larger purchases. Most reputable vendors will have an affordable sample set where you can try 5, 6 or even more teas for less than US $30. Even if you’re an experienced tea drinker, this is a great way to test out a new vendor.
#3 BUY TEAS THAT ARE EASY TO BREW
If you’re new to the tea world or trying a new vendor, you really don’t want to get finicky teas or teas that might be hard to get just right. Try to find teas marked as ‘easy to brew’ or ‘hard to mess up,’ and if you’re not sure, ask the vendor!
One of the markers of a great tea is that no matter how you brew it, it still tastes great. Search for teas like this, and you’ll know you’ve purchased quality when it still tastes pleasant no matter what you do.
With these three tips, you’re prepared to avoid the rip-offs and your chances of enjoying your tea purchases will go up a lot! Every tea you try is of course a learning experience, but hopefully these tips will help you enjoy your lessons a lot more.