判斷茶葉好壞的方法

你知道怎麼區分茶葉的品質嗎?

整體而言,茶葉品質的好壞可以從茶葉的外觀來判斷,以下分成6個面向:

  1. 乾燥程度:乾燥與否是決定茶葉品質好壞的重要因素。以手指輕捏茶葉,若感覺尖刺,較有彈性且茶葉會碎,表示乾燥程度良好,茶葉幼嫩,品質較佳,沖泡時香氣也會容易釋放出來。反之,如果用力捏而不碎,觸感僵硬,則表示茶葉已經受潮或是是粗老的茶葉,品質可能較不佳,沖泡時香氣也明顯不足。如果茶葉表面有白白的不明物體,則表示可能已經發霉,更應該避免[1-3]。
  1. 葉面完整性:葉片形狀完整整齊且色澤均勻,表示品質較佳,碎葉則表示品質可能較不好,而茶梗、茶末或雜質含量等則越少越好,避免影響茶湯品質[1-3]。
  1. 色澤與湯色:茶葉外觀以鮮綠、亮麗有光澤較佳。茶湯顏色要透澈明亮,避免混濁灰暗,懸浮物或沉澱物也越少越好,茶湯以綠茶呈蜜綠色、紅茶呈鮮紅色、烏龍茶呈金黃色最佳[1-3]。
  1. 茶葉的展開程度:以沖泡後逐次展開最佳,表示是由新鮮幼嫩的茶葉所製成的,柔軟耐沖泡且茶湯濃郁。如果沖泡後快速展開或是少有開展,則表示是由粗老茶葉製成或是茶葉已經放置一段時間,茶湯可能較平淡無味且不耐泡[1-3]。
  1. 輕聞香氣:如果茶葉帶有油臭味、焦味或悶味等異味,則表示品質不佳,通常綠茶散發清香,烏龍茶有熟果香,而紅茶則帶有焦糖香。另外,也可以待茶湯放涼之後,聞聞茶葉的冷香,若是品質不好的茶葉則香味會消失殆盡。最後,如果一聞茶葉,發現香氣濃郁刺鼻,則表示可能有噴灑人工香精的可能,應該要避免[1-3]。
  1. 品嘗滋味:雖然不同茶葉會有不同的滋味,但整體而言,以苦澀少、回甘醇厚,能夠在口腔中散發香氣與產生圓潤喉韻的較佳,如果口感苦澀味重且帶有陳舊味或火味,則表示品質不佳[1-3]。

想要感受到真正的茶葉滋味就必須要選擇品質良好的茶葉,好的茶葉不只能夠有益健康,幫助心情放鬆,還不會破壞當下飲茶的美好興致。下次購買茶葉之前,別忘了要好好檢查茶葉的品質,才能全面感受到茶葉所帶來的豐富體驗哦!

-Research team @ 茶水部 LittoTea, 澄萃茶藝.

 

The ways to distinguish the quality of tea

In general, the quality of tea can be judged from the appearance of tea, six aspects in the following:

  1. Dryness: Dryness is an important factor to determine if the quality of tea is good. Use hands to pinch the tea leaf lightly at first. If it pricks, elastic and tea become crushed, it means that tea is fresh, dry, and the quality is good. The scent would release easily when brewing. In contrast, the tea leaf is damp or become stale if it is tough and can’t be crushed, which means the poor quality, and the scent is weak when brewing. In addition, it may mildew when there are white dots on the tea leaf surface, which should be avoided as well[1-3].
  1. The appearance of the tea leaves: The shape of the good tea leaves is intact, and the color is even. Crushed leaves may equal the poor quality. Meanwhile, the less tea stems, tea dusts and impurities that may interfere the quality, the quality of tea is better[1-3].
  1. The color of tea: The color of the good tea leaves is brightly green. Furthermore, the color of tea should be clean and pure instead of turbid. Suspensions and precipitates should be reduced as well. It is believed that the good quality of green tea looks honey green, black tea is lightly red, and oolong tea is as bright as the gold[1-3].
  1. The degree of stretch of tea leaves: the good quality of tea leaves stretches gradually after brewing, which is usually processed with the fresh tea leaves, and can be brewed many times. It is soft and the taste is strong. However, tea leaves with little stretching could be processed with the old tea leaves or have been placed for a long time, which ranks the poorer quality, and have no tastes[1-3].
  1. Smell the scent: The poor quality of tea smells peculiar, such as the oil, burning or stuffy smell. Usually, green tea is fragrant, oolong tea has a ripe fruit smell, and black tea smells like caramel. Furthermore, we can smell again after tea is cooled. The scent would disappear for the poor quality of tea. However, if tea smells both strong and pungent, it may be added artificial flavoring, which should be avoided[1-3].
  1. Taste: It tastes diverse with the different kinds of tea. It is believed that the better quality of tea tastes less bitter, has the sweet aftertaste, and the scent would spread in the mouth. If it tastes bitter and astringent with the burning smell, the quality of tea may be poor[1-3].

The good quality of tea benefits our health, helping relieve our stress without damaging the atmosphere of tea sipping. Check the quality of tea next time before purchasing it. Only the good quality of tea can bring you the real wonderful taste of tea.

-Research team @ 茶水部 LittoTea, 澄萃茶藝.

 

Reference

[1]https://kmweb.coa.gov.tw/subject/ct.asp?xItem=83996&ctNode=1649&mp=86&kpi=0&hashid=

[2]http://www.dongdin.org.tw/index.php/component/content/article/1-latest-news/52-2008-05-02-15-44-02.html

[3]http://www.zhenhong.tw/upload/faq_files/741942f655df2f9d3d2f9bbd546227c9.pdf

Lynn Chiang

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