Think you know tea? Some teas are very distinctive in dry form while others are “mimickers” and tend to look a lot like other teas. Just for fun here, I’m posting a few teas and letting you test your tea acumen, starting with some of the obvious ones and going to some that are a bit trickier. No prizes here, unfortunately, except your own sense of self-satisfaction at knowing any of the tougher ones.
I know that none of you peeked at the answers here before making your own guesses (it’s the honor system) and some of you did not need to guess but knew the answers. See which you got right and give yourself a gold star for each correct answer.
A. Genmaicha — Probably one of the most recognizable shown here. (Read my article about this tea.)
B. Pai Mu Tan (Bai Mu Dan) — A classic white tea that has a very distinctive appearance in dry form. (More info.)
C. Dragon Pearls — If you just said “pearls,” we can count that as correct, since it’s the pearl shape that is important here, not the exact type of tea. (See my review.)
D. Tie Kuan Yin — The Iron Goddess Oolong, a very desirable tea that is also fairly well known among tea aficionados. The dry tea tends to be fairly recognizable to those who have it on a fairly regular basis. (More info.)
E. Young Pu-erh — Probably fooled ya with this one. For many pu-erh drinkers, the loose form is almost unknown, plus this is a “young” one, that is, it hasn’t sat around in storage for months or years, getting more aged. It tends to be earthy in a pleasant way and can be steeped as long as 10 minutes without being bitter. (More info.)
F. Tarajulie Estate Assam — This is an orthodox Assam and tends to look like other orthodox Assams in dry form. The flavor, though, is very different from those Assams. You really need to steep and taste a tea to “see” the difference! (See my review.)
Now it’s time to pick one, steep it up, and enjoy!
See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.
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3 thoughts on “Tea Quiz: Can You Identify These Teas?”
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A good test – I have to admit I only scored 4 out of 6. A note for the unwary on orthodox Assams (and any other orthodox black): each of these is made in anything up to 15 grades – though not all of these will appear for sale in Western markets. So an orthodox Assam Orangajuli for example is just as much a tea when it is an Assam Orangajuli BOPD (Broken Orange Pekoe Dust) or Assam Orangajuli OF (Orange Fannings) as when it is an Assam Orangajuli TGFOP (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe) – though visually you might not distinguish between the BOPD and the contents of a PG Tips teabag.
Yes, indeed, and why I put Tarajulie Estate last. Very difficult to distinguish many teas visually!