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One of the indexes to evaluate the quality of tea is the body. Body is a term often used to describe the taste, yet I think very few people precisely comprehended it well. The word “body” can be described as boldness, width, and heaviness. Basically, it is the term that describes the taste and flavour that spread horizontally on our palate, while the after taste describes the vertical feeling (i.e., down our throat) in taste and flavour. Even in many books written by food scientists, the term “body” is wrongly used, where it often describes the heavy texture of the taste and flavour. I would like to introduce the typical mistakes as follow:

  1. Red wine has more body than white wine
  2. Milk shake has more body than milk
  3. Addition of starch in soup increases the body
  4. Fukamushi Sencha (Deep Steamed Sencha) has more body than Sencha

Calcium plays an important role in body

The body of tea does not reflect the method tea was grown or processed, but is of the soil from each location. In particular, the calcium level in soil plays an important role, where the production area that is rich in calcium generally produces tea with strong body. Commonly, the tea that gives strong body is appreciated by the beginner as well. It gives rounded taste and out-coming flavour. This is why, tea from famous production areas tend to have very rich calcium content; making it popular thanks to the full-bodied characteristic.

The famous tea production areas that are rich in calcium

  1. Dong Ding mountain where Taiwan Dong Ding Oolong is produced
  2. Lao Ban Zhang and Bu Lang Shan tea area in Yunnan
  3. Asamiya from Shigaraki in Japan
  4. Singbulli Ting Ling district in Darjeeling, India

The body can be the index to understand the production area

Naturally, other agricultural products being produced in the same area give the similar characteristic in terms of body; for instance, the Asamiya tea gives strong body. If we look for Sake or fruits produced in Asamiya area, they will produce an identical characteristic as the Asamiya tea in terms of body. Asamiya is a place in Shigaraki city, where it is also famous for its clay called the Shigaraki clay. Besides, we also found another type of clay from this area, which is called the Kobiwako clay. We have teapots made from this clay collected from these areas. Both the Shigaraki and Kobiwako clay from this area gives strong body to the tea. Based on my experience, the taste of water in Shigaraki, Dong Ding mountain area and Bu Lang Shan also has strong body; similar to the taste of tea from these areas. After all, the body is an useful index to understand the characteristic of each production area.

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