Tea Quiz: Can You Match the Tea to the Leaves?

In a previous article I had shown some photos of tea leaves and asked if you could identify them. Some were easy and at least a couple were difficult. One responder commented that a look at the steeped liquid helps when identifying teas from photos. I thought it would be good to see how this would work. So here goes! (Hint: one of these steeps up a color that is quite unexpected for its tea type.)

A

LLT-SEBlkOolong-leaves

1

Tea_Blog_ETS-SpgPchngB002bA

B

Tea_Blog_ETS-GyokuroA002a

2

ETS-AssmTGFOP-B002a

C

Tea_Blog_ETS-SpgPchng-CompA

3

Tea_Blog_ETS-GyokuroB002a

D

Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea-leaves

4

LLT-SEBlkOolongB1a

E

ETS-AssmTGFOP-leaves

5

Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea-liquid

Answers:

  • A goes with 4 — A black oolong. This is the tricky one. It is a highly oxidized oolong and so is more of a black tea, so you might expect more of a reddish liquid instead of this light liquid color, but it is an oolong after all. The flavor is also a bit of a surprise, being stronger and smoother than might be expected, with a slight touch of smokiness in the first infusion.
  • B goes with 3 — Gyokuro. Japan’s best green tea made from single buds that are picked only in April and May. To develop increased chlorophyll (making them dark green) and reduced tannin (giving a sweeter flavor with no bitterness), the tea is covered with black curtains or bamboo and straw shades for three weeks in early Spring. The leaves are about three-quarters of an inch long and extremely fragrant and tender. They are steamed immediately after plucking for about 30 minutes to arrest fermentation and seal in the flavor. Then they are fluffed with hot air and pressed and dried to 30% moisture content. Repeated rolling takes place until the tea develops long thin dark green needles at which time it is finally dried to a 4-6% moisture content. (my review)
  • C goes with 1 — Spring Pouchong. From Pinglin Township in Taiwan, considered one of the most beautiful tea producing places of the world with one of the most pristine waterways and thick forests. The town is only accessible by one tiny road which is lined on both sides by small workshops where the Pouchong is produced and packed. Tea season brings the entire town to life – as their teas have made the town famous. Pouchong comes from special bushes that grow on only a few tracts of land around the town. After plucking, the leaves are only allowed to oxidize for a limited amount of time before they are wrapped in paper and dried. Spring Pouchong is processed entirely by hand in the same manner it has been for 5 generations. This delivers one of the world’s most exceptional teas, with fragrances of flowers and melon, and a rich, yet mild cup. (my review)
  • D goes with 5 — Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea. Composed of tippy, neat, wiry, and well-made leaves, and characterized by their shape, color, aroma, and malty taste. This tea produces a bright reddish cup (but distinct from Assam) with a brisk, fragrant aroma. One of the highest quality teas available from Yunnan Province, it is made during the last two weeks of March and the first two weeks of April, delivering a brighter golden tip. Known as one of the worlds great teas, this tea is perfect on its own, but also takes a bit of milk or sugar well, as it helps to capture the malty character. (my review)
  • E goes with 2 — Assam TGFOP. This TGFOP (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe) blend from English Tea Store is flavorful with superb astringency and full on 2nd flush jammy profile. An expansive malt character opens with milk. (my review)

So, how did you do? By process of elimination, you most likely got at least two right. Now it’s time to pick a tea, steep it, and enjoy!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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