what affects a tea’s smoothness? is it in the leaf or the brewing? what smooth teas do you recommend?
Great question. When you say “smooth”, are you referring to not bitter? If that’s the case, then both the leaf and the brewing will greatly affect the smoothness of the tea. However, the smoothness of a tea is primarily due to the leaf, soil and climate of the growing region. Even when you slightly over-brew these naturally smooth teas, you can still feel the smooth texture of the tea through the bitterness caused by the over-brewing. I’ve had this conversation with our Assam tea grower, but he tends to get very technical and loses me in the discussion!
Hope that helps!
Qne of the smoothest teas I’ve had lately was a 1998 pu’er. It had a very nice character-a developed earthiness that did not overwhelm, a velvety mouthfeel, and a lingering sweetness on the palate. The qi of the was excellent, too. It warmed the chest after the drinking. I had this tea’s younger cousin and the difference was marked.