Red tea; how to select the best quality

All around the world, red tea is known and loved for its sweet and mellow taste, and its perfect compatibility with milk. More importantly, drinking it can be very beneficial for our bodies as it’s been shown to stimulate digestion and strengthen the heart. But to get the taste and health benefits, good quality tea is a must. This article will give you some tips on the selection.

Examining the leaves

It all starts with examining the dry leaves. These should be sturdy strips that are clean, intact, fine, heavy, evenly sized and colored, with golden fluffs on the surface. When spotting contrast in the leaves, make sure to pick another kind.

Examining the smell

Then, get your nose to determine the right smell. When pouring hot water over the leaves, the aroma will arise. A musty or sour smell is a sign of low quality. Look for a subtle, but lasting, refreshing aroma. After the tea is brewed, pour some of it into a tea cup and check the color. Red tea, in Chinese  “红茶”, should – as the color reveals – be red, bright and crystal clear.

Examining the taste

Now, it is time to taste. As mentioned in the first paragraph, red tea should taste sweet and mellow. If it tastes bitter and astringent, you’ve probably picked low quality.

The final step is to look at the leaves lying at the bottom of the cup after you’ve finished it. They should be soft, elastic and tender.