So many of us are curious about which tea is best. There are tons of answers online telling the difference of each tea. And people are questioning themselves if the type of tea they have is the best. Some are looking for the best type tea and taking a short cut, but end unpleasantly. We are going to walk you through how to choose a best tea for yourself.
Most of us start to drink tea beginning with green tea or black tea. That is where we first contact and get to know about tea. Some of us stay with beginning tea, enjoy the taste and get into more knowledge about the tea. But there are always a group of people like to experience, keep trying out something new. These people are just like Christopher Columbus who eventually found the new land.
Which is the best tea? This is a very wide question, has different answers to each person. Green tea lovers always persist in the aromatic nutty flavor while others may prefer smoky aroma oolong or earthy Pu erh.
Every tea has its own characteristic and unique flavor. Green tea has clean nutty and vegetal notes, tastes brisk with little sweet flavor and feels peaceful nature. The color of loose leaf green tea looks clear transparent, some with a touch of greenish impression, unlike matcha or other artificial teas which have vivid green tea and straight strong taste.
Compared to green tea, oolong tea tastes richer, more like “tea”, and has fresh floral aroma. Tea color appears deeper, varies from light golden to deep golden due to its fermentation process. Some heavily fermented oolong even tastes smoky, such as the iconic Da Hong Pao Rou Gui. Phoenix oolong is the tea tastes between green tea and oolong. It has both flavor of green tea and the aroma of oolong tea.
Black tea is more closed to dark tea; the fully fermented tea still has floral notes with mellower taste. Some of them have sweet finish, and some of them with smoky ends. The color of black tea looks dark brownish red or bright red. According to study, the better quality black tea should have the sign of bright red tea liquor.
Comparing to all other teas, Pu erh tea is more advanced level, rich and strong, especially ripe Pu erh. There are two types of Pu erh teas we basically need to understand. Pu erh tea is divided into ripe and raw type. We have to be clear what Pu erh before buying it. Some tea vendors may specify ripe as “shou”, meaning “ripe” in Chinese, and raw as “sheng”, meaning “raw” in Chinese.
Ripe pu erh has stronger and darker tea which tastes earthy, musty, mixed with special unique notes. The lower quality ripe Pu erh tastes either fishier or sometimes plainly stale while good quality pu erh has richer and smoother taste, and has so much flavor to discover when savoring seriously.
Raw Pu erh tea is a complete different tea to ripe Pu erh, although it also carries slightly earthy note. Raw Pu erh tea looks greener or light, but it has no meaningful to the taste. If you ever had liquorice or licorice, you probably understand more thoroughly what it tastes like. The taste of raw Pu erh tea is very similar to the way liquorice tastes, which leisurely brings natural sweetness back and retains between palates. New raw Pu erh tea tastes more irritating than aged raw Pu erh tea, because of its fermentation time not yet being well developed. When the fermentation time passes through, raw pu erh tea becomes softer and richer, and less irritating.
There is no specific indication telling which the best tea is, only when you endlessly trying something new you will reach your final destination. Of course, you can stay where you are if you satisfy with what you currently have. There are so many things to discover in every destination that we cannot deny. The routine we have to follow that we cannot take short cut.
Personally, the taste of Pu erh tea has so many flavors to experience, especially raw tea which other teas cannot compete to. Rather than saying it is best, infinite discoverable taste would be preferable words for Pu erh.