Welcome in my tea pantry anytime! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Welcome in my tea pantry anytime! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Many say that variety is the spice of life, but I say that variety is the tea party of life. And teas seems to be getting more varied, as well. Talk of tea parties, and not always the kind at which tea is served, is rather common these days. Not surprising. Tea parties are social but, since the days of the Boston Tea Party, have also been a bit political. And now they are becoming a proving ground for the various types of teas being produced. So, I guess variety is also the spice of the tea party.

When I say “Assam” do you automatically think “black, lower quality tea”? And if I say “Darjeeling,” do you think of that blend of nondescript stuff that tastes sort of like Muscat grapes with a bit of a tangy aftertaste? What springs to mind when you hear “green tea from China”? Or if I say “oolong,” do you have a set taste associated with it? Time to shake things up. These and other tea producing areas and types are becoming more varied. The state of Assam in India is a prime example. They are now producers of all kinds of teas of much higher quality.

Tea producers are more focused away from straight black teas and going with white, green, and oolong style teas. It’s a trend that has been growing over the last five years or more. One thing motivating this is the goal to raise the bar on quality, and hopefully raise up market prices (usually at tea auctions where many vendors buy the teas in bulk) and therefore the salaries of the people harvesting and processing these teas. But all this effort means nothing if you, the tea loving public, don’t know about it or appreciate the teas being created. Even if you do, though, it may not deter you from continuing to imbibe your current favorites. I enjoy a lot of these special teas but still go for that strong pot of black tea as my go-to cuppa. Brands like PG Tips and Typhoo still have a place in my tea pantry. You might say that my tea party has variety.

How to add that variety to the tea party of your life:

With tea around your life will certainly be a party!

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

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