Different sorts of tea

There are different kinds of tea, different sorts, different preparation. I can’t say I’m professional in understanding and drinking tea, just hobbyist.

The most important difference is the type of processing (white, green, black, etc). Wikipedia has a lot of nice articles about the processing types of tea. Also, quite important the size of the tea leaves, swimming in your teapot. In most cases the more preserved the original form of the tea leaves, the better.  The worst case are the tea-dust, which is collected from the floor of the tea factories after making all the normal sorts of tea. This tea-dust is normally put in teabags and distributed all around the world.

Hugest brands of tea like Lipton, Twining and other promote the quality of their dust in teabags like it’s something normal. Even expensive fancy organic stores and restaurants are selling their expensive fancy organic dust. They just put them in more expensive silk of nylon teabags and inefficient containers. Here is a nice example, from fancy organic restaurant Le Pain Quotidien in the center of Brussels:

Don’t buy this marketing story,buy tea!

Quite good quality of tea can be found in Dutch chain-stores Simon Levelt. They’re not fancy and not that expensive.  And they always have a couple of dozens of normal teas. Don’t pay attention to different flavored teas, it’s also a tribute to marketing bullshit. If the tea is mixed, it should be mixed with other grass, like jasmin, not with raspberry aroma. I normally buy those:

  • Gunpowder
  • Yannan Gold
  • Lemongrass tea
  • Jasmin Chung-Hao

They cost around 3-6 euro per 100g

There also other, better and more expensive alternatives. Right across the Pain Quotidien restaurant on Sablon square, where I’ve made the picture, there is a small shop L’Univers du thé. Careful, marketing alert! Although the do have normal tea, they prefer to  mix it with different chemical aromas and try to sell 2 times more expensive on beautiful plates. Don’t buy the plates, go to the end of the store and check the big metallic boxes with normal tea.

The Frozen Summit Oolong from Taiwan is exceptional! It does cost around 20 euro per 100g, but you see the difference immediately. Nice, big, untouched leaves are opening in your teacup. And you can use it twice with acceptable result.

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