This Green Tea Improves with Age

I opened our recent shipment of Heritage Green last week and was surprised by what I saw.  The leaf was big and leafy and a very bright green.  A fluorescent green.  This was different from the tighter, darker leaf of previous shipments.

We quickly whipped up a cup of both teas to compare the flavor.  The new, brighter green had a light, creamy taste.  Our current tea had a bolder, sweeter taste.  (Make no mistake, both of these teas are delicious!) I WhatsApped Jason, our tea source, to confirm we got the right tea.  I wanted to check that it as still coming from the Ancient Tea Trees, too.  Jason confirmed the new shipment was indeed from the Ancient Tea Trees.

He also shared a few other points with me about our recent shipment of Heritage Green that was a good reminder when thinking about tea.  The tea was picked in a different season, so the leaf color and flavor varied from previous pluckings.  He said that it is a characteristic of the Ancient Tea Trees for the flavor to enhance with age.  This makes sense.  As this shipment of green tea ages, it will darken and the flavor will become more complex and sweet.

These points about tea directly relate to the concept of terroir.  Terroir, as many of you know, is the concept that the flavor of a tea (like wine) is determined by where it comes from-the geography, soil, and culture, when it’s picked, and the climate.

Keep this in mind as you open a new bag of tea, the factors that affect terroir will impact the flavor from batch to batch.  Enjoy these nuances and appreciate that much thought and consideration goes into each cup your tea!

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