When it comes to the world’s best teas everyone with a tea passion will naturally offer an opinion of some sort.
A cup of beautiful tea, whether it’s oolong, black, white, green or Pu’er, is worth a thousand words. Thanks to our contributors, this post on the tea world’s favourite teas is packed with great insights and stories.
Perhaps we’ll never agree on what the world’s best teas are, but we can say that tea inspires love. So, to reframe the question…
What Teas Do You Love, and Why?
1. Yunnan Teas
Frank Hitman from Zouba Tours
I usually have a good daily dose of a raw Pu’er when I’m in the office in the morning.
That’s usually the kind of tea that I consume the most of.
It’s important to recognize that there are different teas for different moods, and so, parts of the day.
An ideal day of tea drinking for me would be to have some soothing buckwheat tea in the morning to settle the stomach.
Then a nice batch of raw Pu’er in the morning after breakfast, and if I’m so lucky to have family and friends over who are in for the good old infinite Chinese cup-after-cup tea session, we switch to some (aged) white tea and a few varieties of unclassifiable aged wild teas until lunch.
I have a few fantastic ones from the Gaoligong forest, one of those would probably classify as “my favorite tea”.
After some food, we’ll continue with the round and mellow taste of a good Yunnan Red tea. If I really go wild, I’ll have fermented Pu’er in the afternoon, but as I seem to stay sensitive to the uplifting effects of tea, I need to start being very careful what kind of tea I consume in the afternoon.
Anyway, to go back to the topic of Raw Pu’er, even within realm of only this kind there is just so much to explore.
At the moment I’m consuming loads of Purple Leaf Raw Pu’er from Jinggu. It should age for a few years, but I couldn’t resist breaking one cake up for my morning tea and it is just great! And quite uplifting as this tea is really loaded with theine.
Yunnan teas–Pu’er, black, white, whatever–can take you through the whole day and leave you thirsty for more: Frank Hitman (@ZoubaTours) on a healthy addiction. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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Georgia from Notes on Tea
I enjoy oolong most often because there is such diversity in this tea type.
Oolong teas offer a huge range of taste sensations: Tea reviewer Georgia (@notesontea). CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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3. Black Tea/Hong Cha
David Lyons from 18ThirtyFour
Being born and raised in the Lancashire mill town of Bolton, you’re not going to find this lad too far from a good strong cuppa!
Although today, the range of teas I enjoy is vast. I believe our early childhood has affects on many things in life but particularly when we turn to those everyday comforts.
For me this comes in the form of a good British style cup of tea, my nana’s style of tea. Flavoursome and served in a fine China cup (saucer optional).
My absolute go to teas are full bodied malty black Assams or rich full flavoured hong cha from the province of Yunnan. Being just on opposite sides of a few relatively high mountains means that my taste buds have a geographical liking. If the kettle’s boiling and it’s an Assam going in my pre-warmed teapot, then a splash of milk with this cuppa is perfect to me.
But not always do the brews of Assam need that drop of milk. Some of the larger leaf and tippy Assams are perfect without. Also never poo poo the vast range of CTC teas produced in Assam.
One of the smoothest, creamiest teas came from a beautiful CTC leaf I found in the back streets of Kolkata. As they say never judge a book by its cover and certainly not all teas are made equally!!
When it comes to a fine, rich and flavoursome Yunnan hong cha, the brew should be savoured. Don’t drink it – taste it, and allow the whole of the mouth to smile.
Feel the goodness of leaves plucked from ancient trees, and the richness of the brew. You don’t need to be told it’s doing you good, the tea tells you itself.
A brilliant black tea is the ultimate “hug in a mug”. Tea consultant David Lyons (@18ThirtyFour) on a familiar favourite. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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Kym Cooper from The Steepery, Brisbane
I love and enjoy all tea.
But there is one tea that I drink everyday and find the most satisfying and soothing of them all: black tea.
I have fond memories of drinking many a cup of milky black tea with my parents while I was growing up and I have continued this tea practice with my own family.
A couple of times a day we gather as a family in the kitchen while the tea brews taking a short respite to re-energise before continuing the hectic day’s activities with two little ones.
These days I have replaced my parents’ teabag with a lovely long-leaf Assam tea from the Dejoo Estate as my everyday tea.
When time permits and I can sit quietly on my own or serve tea to my friends I love nothing more than exploring the nuances of an oolong tea. Oolong tea is a personal favourite and sparked my interest in tea.
These moments are rare with a young family so I am truly grateful when I do get a chance to appreciate a tea in this manner.
I love brewing black tea as a kind of daily ritual, and exploring the complexity of oolong tea during “me time”. Kym Cooper (@thesteeperytea) on different teas for different moments. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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5. Teas That Get “Better” With Age
Daniel Lui from The Chinese Tea Shop, Vancouver
This depends on the weather, the day, my mood, and who I’m drinking tea with.
I enjoy different kinds of Chinese teas, especially aged teas (i.e. aged oolong, aged puerh, aged white, aged heicha etc).
I am very impressed by the unique aged flavour, which offers a simple and mellow taste from the long periods of storing and aging.
New tea has a refreshing taste and sensation, while giving one a sense of vitality.
Aged tea has passed its youth. With years of oxidation/fermentation, it loses its fresh sensation, but gives a more peaceful connotation. Tasting aged tea is like embarking on a personal journey in an attempt to understand the tea’s past and its history.
Storing a tea in different regions of the world, in different types of containers, and for a different number of years, are all important factors that will determine the development of the tea’s flavour. As well, tasting a tea with different friends, at different locations, and during different times, will also affect the different feelings one gets from the tea.
I sometimes also think that the flavour of aged tea is not detected by the senses, but by the spirit/soul, which may be defined by the spiritual connection one has with the tea’s past.
Your experience of tea will vary according to a host of factors, especially its age. Daniel Lui (@chinese_teashop) on what makes tea special. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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You’ve just heard from passionate tea lovers from all over the world.
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