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Discovering Legendary Teas

What the Color of the Tea Broth Tells Us...

Tea Broth Color is Not Only Pleasing to Look at, It is Telling Us Much More...

Be it a shade of emerald, gold, copper, bronze, or amber it is so satisfying to sit a gaze at the crystalline soup in our teacup.

As a matter of fact, for those that want to get the most pleasure from their tea drinking experience, we are quite sure that sipping your broth from a clear glass cup will add a dimension to your tea drinking experience you didn't imagine was so value-adding and delightful.

The experience is satisfyingly because as our familiarity with the character of our preferred range of teas grows, we become aware of the experience we enjoy from each unique tea, and develop an expectation which is triggered by just the sight of the shimmering broth.

But beyond the aesthetic delight, the broth color is telling us more...much more. 

The broth color is telling us about what we have accomplished in the cup when we steeped our tea. Accomplished? Indeed. During the leaf-growth period, Mother Nature is loading our prized leaves with ingredients that are both a bounty of beneficial bioactive compounds, but also are ingredients that man has learned to manipulate by controlling oxidation rates and amounts in the leaves, resulting in a range of teas from white to black, each with it's own cup character.

Tealeaves are loaded with compounds that effect both health and flavor.

When you stop to think about it, it is understandable that the leaves contain many water-soluble ingredients that make their way into our cup when we soak them in hot water.

The consideration is about the anticipated, desired experience one will get when steeping their tea. We have an expectation of that first sip and the delight we know it will bring us...or not. 

The question becomes how do we steep each tea to perfection? 

Steeping Tea is a process of extraction...

 We know the leaves contain a bounty of the good stuff we want to make into a soup that is going to make us happy.

 It makes perfect sense to extract the perfect amount of water soluble ingredients from the leaf to provide a soup that will produce your perfect broth.

The trick then becomes one of anticipating your expectation and extracting the amount you want to match your desired cup, what we call your Sweet Spot.

The Color of the Tea Broth tells Us...

 As water soluble compounds ooze into your broth we get to enjoy the show. We can observe the gradual change in color which indicates the change in the concentration of leaf compound to water.

The broth color is a direct result of the concentration of leaf compounds that have steeped into your cup. It tells us level of concentration we are achieving second by second during out steeping.

With each unique tea, as we learn our sweet spot, and observe the broth color, we create an understanding of the concentration that we enjoy from that tea the most.

Light color broth can still be highly concentrated...

When tealeaves oxidize, which is what converts the tea into black tea there is a chemical change in some of the ingredients. 

Much of the ingredient that steeps into your black tea soup has been fully oxidized, giving it a darker color. 

White and green teas can have broth that is just as concentrated, but with ingredient that is unoxidized and does not produce as obvious color in the cup.

I want it all...

And you should have it all. Get the most for your money...but not all at once. Quality whole leaf teas contain large amounts of valuable tea ingredient that would go to waste if you simply steeped the leaves one time.

If you were to steep long enough to bring all the water soluble ingredient into the cup at once, you would not be happy with you tea flavor experience as it would be over-concentrated ad over-flavorful including too much bitterness and astringency. 

Learning to extract at optimal levels based on broth color allows you to utilize multiple infusions to exhaust your leaves getting all the good stuff, while consuming cup-after-cup of simply delightful tea.

But I like Really Robust tea...

Broth Color still works as a guide to finding your extra-concentrated sweet spot. Knowing what you are looking for will still give you good cup-to-cup consistency.

You will get fewer infusions because of the amount of water soluble ingredient in each infusion. 

If you want more infusions of your extra-robust broth, you can increase the size of your Three-Finger-Pinch a tad starting with a little more tea.

How about if I want to add milk?

In order to maintain desirable tea flavor when you add milk to your tea, you push the color of the broth a touch darker (more concentrated) than you would if you were enjoying it as a self-drinker.

The broth will become a bit astringent which will be mitigated by the addition of the milk.

Now...On-to Some Happy Steeping!

 See Tips on Steeping Perfection Here...

More on Tea Broth Color Here...

The Best Tasting Cup of Tea...Seriously!...