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Why Our Great Taste Award Winners Taste Great

Award winning tea. Top quality loose leaf tea available online from the UK

With nearly 10,000 products entered and over 400 judges, it would seem that Great Taste Award winners have something going for them.

But what exactly? For teas, what are those remarkable qualities that made these teas rise to the top?

You don't have to be a food critic to spot good teas. Appreciating fine teas involves recognizing a few characteristics:

1. Appearance. Appreciation of the appearance of the tea leaf and the liquor can help guide you in gauging the tea. Well-finished leaf suggests a carefully crafted tea and a clear, bright liquor often indicates clean, smooth flavour.

2. Aromas. Aromas can vary across dry leaf, wet leaf, and in the actual tea liquor. You will want to note and savour the intensity and duration of aromas, especially when drinking the tea.

3. Texture. Textures can vary from thin and watery, silken, or even a coating on the tongue that feels creamy. Some textures last longer than others.

4. Astringency. Some astringency can be harsh, overbearing and excessively drying, while others balance well with a brisk sensation to give tea a welcome puckeriness that encourages the mouth to salivate.

5. Taste and After taste. Tastes should be layered in complex teas. Within this complexity, it is important that the tastes are still balanced without being too extreme or contradicting one another. For example, a symphony of flavors may begin with roasty characteristics when the tea first hits your tongue. Fruity notes may arise as the tea moves toward the back of your mouth and throat. After swallowing, the tea may have a sweet finish. As with aromas, these tastes and flavors can vary in intensity and duration.


Our Award Winning Teas


Our Great Taste Award Winners help show how these characteristics come together.

Wan Ling Tea House Jasmine Pearls Grade A (2013 Winner) and Jasmine Green Tea Pearls Grade AA (2012 Winner) offer natural, sweet fragrant aromas of jasmine without the sense of being overpowered by perfume. As a result, the character of the green tea is not overwhelmed, rather complemented.

The silken texture enfolds the sweet flavors and aromas, and the aftertaste leaves lasting hints of jasmine. Compared to inferior jasmine teas, our Grade AA and Grade A give the sensation of an soft evening breeze as opposed to having swallowed a bouquet of flowers. Glynn Christian noted its satiny texture in this 60-second video.


Brewing Oolong Tea.

Our Guan Yin Wang and Tie Guan Yin teas - 999 Guan Yin Autumn 2012 (2013 Winner), CanSai JiPin Guan Yin Wang Autumn 2011 (2012 Winner), and Hong Xin Te Chun Guan Yin Wang Autumn 2010 (2011 Winner) exhibit the best that Tie Guan Yin has to offer. These have a brothy texture with floral tastes that our fans liken to sweet pea blossom, lilac, orchid or similar gentle floral fragrances.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of superior Guan Yin Wang is the duration of fragrance. Inferior Tie Guan Yins come off strong in the beginning, but quickly fade. Ours are more balanced, with long-lasting tastes and aromas that extend well into a rounded aftertaste.

Making the Most of Prized Teas

It is often the case that excellent teas are more forgiving. There is less concern of over-steeping and creating an undrinkable cup of tea. But who would want to waste a divine experience?

Our Great Taste Award Winners can be steeped multiple times for maximum enjoyment, so you can make the most of each cup. Gaiwans give excellent control of brewing parameters, and enable you to produce multiple infusions.

Read more about our Brewing Guide to learn about serving excellent tea.

Also, an understanding of Fujian Province brings deeper appreciation. Our Tie Guan Yins, Guan Yin Wangs, and Jasmine Pearls are grown in Fujian Province.

Don't forget to sign up for our Newsletter or even better an account which will give you access to limited edition products and early access to new season teas.

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