Single Origin Tea and Coffee is the latest buzz word doing the rounds. Today, from the Tea Trunk, pops out the Dummies Guide to Single Origin Tea.
First, it's important to know that the same batch of tea leaves can be processed to make upto 25 different grades of teas. Grades referring to quality of tea and hence the brew. Typically 2-3 different grades of tea are blended for various factors such as market forces and others. The blended tea may give a favorable color when it is brewed but the flavor or aroma may have been compromised by adding different grades of tea. Today, with the promising reach of gourmet and artisan teas, people are slowly becoming more conscious about choosing single origin tea where there is zero compromise on the final flavor.
Here's sharing the top 5 things you need to know about Single Origin Tea:
- Single Grade: Single Origin Tea is the opposite of Blended Tea. This means that all the tea leaves belong to one single estate/region and only one single grade of tea is used.
- Premium Grade: Single Origin Tea allows you to taste the full flavor in it's original form. Hence, mostly the premium grades of tea are packed and marketed as single origin. Hence, it also acts as a quality assurance that you have picked the right tea.
- Color Game: Sometimes Single Origin Tea may not have a favorable color (for example: golden or light brown liquor that you are used to). However, this in no way signifies that it is not of good quality. Be prepared to sample tea by it's taste and not just appearance of the brew.
- Expensive or not: It's a myth that Single Origin Tea is always more expensive, In fact, blending tea is costly and resource intensive, as it requires both energy, tasting, and adjusting in order to create the right balance of color, flavor and aroma. Hence, many estates are happy to skip this part. Hence, although the premium grade is used, it does not necessarily mean you are buying more expensive tea. (Caution: pricing differs from brand to brand and location of estate from point of sale.)
- Buying Guide: When buying Single Origin Tea make sure that the label carries name of the estate and/or tea growing region including specifics like district/prefecture/province. If you are particular about the notes of tea, you might want to look up the estate or region online to understand what kind of flavors, aroma and color you can expect. Most established estates offer this guide to every tea connoisseur.