How Do I Choose The Right Tea? – Volume 3

Cost-benefit ratio − tea budget

How do I choose the right tea


There’s a parallel with the world of wine. We recommend starting with basic types of tea, learn to appreciate them and only then venture into the world of top (meaning expensive) teas. Because there’s no way back. Or better, there is − one can go back to cheaper teas, but it is often a painful experience. Of course, this is a bit of an overstatement. There are plenty of great teas at reasonable prices.
In many teas, price and quality are directly proportionate, in others they are not. A typical example of disproportionate increase of price is pu-erh. It’s been some time that the prices of old mature teas have been rising, which is understandable because they are scarce. However, the prices of the basic material for the production of pu-erh type of teas − maocha − have sky-rocketed, too. Among the reasons is a disproportion between offer and demand. The rise is caused by the combination of great demand associated with the rising popularity of teas from Darjeeling combined with rather limited (and recently decreasing) yearly tea production. Unfortunately, this is the reality we have to adapt to. We can invest, purchase large amounts of pu-erh and wait for its price to rise even more. We can scout for Nepalese teas as an alternative to Darjeeling tea.
Luckily, even a pot of the most expensive tea that makes several brews over which you can spend a whole afternoon, still costs tens of cents or Euros. Tea is not an expensive hobby.

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