What is premium tea

Tea can be roughly divided into 3 qualities: bulk tea, brand tea and premium tea. Bulk tea is harvested by machine, and is ground, twigs and all. This method bruises and damages the leaves, which can give a bitter taste. A country like Kenya that is not originally a tea producing country is already third on the list of tea producing countries, after India and Sri Lanka. With bulk tea it mainly concerns the packaging and the taste, which is kept the same through melanging/blending. This is a very marketing-oriented segment. In China, this tea is often described as 'dust'. For example, tea plantations in China use a machine to process the tea that separates the good leaves from the dust and grit. However, this dust and grit is used in the processing of bulk teas. The costs of the raw material tea are very low, often less than a cent per bag. Branded tea is also characterized by major marketing efforts by well-known brands, which capitalize on the cozy feeling. You currently see a lot of new tea brands that try to distinguish themselves through marketing, design and vision, such as organic and Ayurveda. They are usually blends of different teas or a tea mixed with cheap herbs, flowers and fruits, possibly supplemented with aromas. The branded teas rely heavily on their brand names and focus on a beautifully packaged product that is easy to drink. Premium tea, the market for high quality is often traditionally made teas and originally comes mainly from China, Japan and Taiwan. These teas are characterized by the fact that they are usually picked and processed by hand and grown with the greatest care, because this ultimately determines the quality of the tea. The best conditions for tea is a location where the tea grows slowly, such as altitude, light, temperature, humidity, soil. Depending on the terroir and the type of climate, taste variations occur, just like with good wine. This largely explains why premium teas are often linked to an area, such as Darjeeling. Premium teas are a personal choice, just like premium coffee or wine.
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