Premium Tea Brands – Tea Companies Selling The Best Quality Teas
May 28, 2017
Premium tea is a bit of a loaded term; any tea company can slap the “premium” label on their brand of tea. There is no agreed-upon standard or cutoff about what constitutes premium tea, and the classification is entirely subjective. Furthermore, even among connoisseurs and tea enthusiasts, there is no absolute consensus about what qualities the “best teas” must have. But in spite of these apparent difficulties, there are a number of simple principles that can guide you to select the brands of tea that will live up to your desire for a premium-quality product.
If you came to this article, you are likely interested in locating and selecting a premium brand of tea: one that delivers superior flavor for a fair price. Whether you are selecting a brand to sell in your business, choosing something to buy for someone as a gift, or just choosing something to drink and serve in your own home, this article can give you a few quick tips to help inform your decision.
Buy loose-leaf tea:
While the quality of the leaf used in tea bags is highly variable, the best teas are only available in loose-leaf form. When you buy loose-leaf, you are paying primarily for the quality of the leaf, whereas when you buy tea bags, you are paying in large part for an industrial packaging process. Not only is it more sustainable to buy loose-leaf, but you will get more for your money. All of the best brands sell loose-leaf, and many sell exclusively loose leaf. Any tea company that deserves the “premium” label will have a clear focus on loose-leaf teas.
Buy single-region, single-estate, single-harvest teas and named varieties:
Although the blending of teas can be a legitimate art that can use great skill to produce novel and nuanced tastes, most blending does not live up to this glorified standard: instead, it is a way to mask cheap teas bought for a low price on the open market. There is an addition reason that tea connoisseurs prefer single-region and single-estate teas, and teas of specific, named varieties. When tea is individually produced from a specific varietal of the Camellia sinensis plant, grown in a specific locality, harvested at a specific time, and processed according to a certain process, the finished tea will manifest nuances of flavor and aroma that reflect each of these factors.
Ironically, many companies labelling their brand as “premium tea” are selling blends rather than specific batches. When tea is blended, these distinctions are lost. You will learn a lot more about tea, and often locate better teas to begin with, if you limit yourself to companies and brands that sell named tea varieties from specific regions or, when available, named tea gardens or estates.
Inform yourself about tea:
You will be best-equipped to locate brands and companies that sell premium-quality tea if you have a fair amount of background information about the different varieties of tea, major tea-producing regions, and how these varieties vary in flavor, aroma, and other qualities. A little bit of background reading can greatly inform your tea-purchasing, but all the reading in the world cannot be a substitute for actually sampling teas.