The Mystery Tea Bought in China Often Taste Different at Home

[2014.04.08] Posted By

There is a difference between the tea brought back from China and when it was tasted back there.

There are many people who had bought teas from China during their trip, often mentioned that the quality of tea they brought back is not the same as the ones they’ve tried while in China. They also strongly stated that they were cheated by the tea salesperson in China.
Based on my experiences, some of these cases are not based just on the tea quality that was not the same.

The tea would be a wonderful cup of tea when the water is of excellent quality.

In China, I often visit tea shops when I travel various places in order to survey and understand the local tea market trend. I would like to share one of my experiences I had with a tea shop in China.
When I was in Fuzhou, I stepped into one of the tea shops in town. The salesperson immediately asked us to sit and try their teas.
I requested to try their Tie Guan Yin. I looked at the tea leaves and noticed that it was of very poor quality. However, the tea prepared by them was amazingly nice. It gives strong flavour and long lasting after taste.
Since the quality I judged based on the tea leaves were different from the quality of when I tasted, I suspected that the water they’ve used for brewing tea may be very good. So I asked for just a cup of plain water and tasted.
As I predicted, the water they used for brewing tea was outstandingly good in quality. The water itself was of full body and had a very smooth drinking feeling, thanks to the strong after taste. I understood later, they have collected the spring water all the way from the mountains; moreover, the water is then kept in a clay pot for a few days in order to make sure that their tea taste nice.

This is a very common practice in many tea shops. The person who runs the tea shop knows how important the water quality is. We also cannot blame them for brewing tea with good water. It is important to taste their water first to calibrate and understand the water quality. If you want to be very careful in tea shopping, you may bring some samples back to the hotel and brew it using the normal water to confirm the tea quality before you make a big decision.

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