Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Why Better Teas Have Less Flavor
If you haven't yet learned this base fact about tea, then now is the time. You may have found yourself quite pleased by the emboldened flavors of cheaper, less quality teas, only to be disappointed when you took a leap to the next tier (probably in price), by a definite lack of flavor-bursting pleasure. This is no surprise to the experienced drinker who understands that better teas have less flavor.
While a bold statement, it holds 100% true, if we are to define the level of flavor by the profoundness upon which the main flavor greets us. However, to shift this definition to the allowance of a complex, post-introduction, intellectual investigation into the flavor profile of a tea will move us into the realm of connoisseur. What is meant by this long-winded definition is that a truly flavorful tea, in the connoisseur's eyes, will have it's live, main flavor, followed by complexities such as other milder flavors, mouthfeel, and even chaqi, which give the tea a wealth of character and an engaging profile.
The goal of every tea-loving person should be to try to find these complexities and understand in their own way what these flavors and feelings impart onto a teas true character. Is it their terroir, or something more distinct? The most difficult part of becoming a knowledgeable tea taster is to get a foothold on these things. Terroir, mouthfeel, and chaqi are very interesting aspects of drinks that will slip right by you unless you take the time to find out what they are. But once able to identify them, you'll enjoy tea on a whole new level, and understand why better teas actually have more flavor.