How to distinguish spring tea, summer tea and autumn tea from each other?
They can be distinguished according to the taste, aroma and leaves of brewed tea.
When we buy tea, the tea dealers usually tell us that this is spring tea or autumn tea which is difficult to identify for those who rarely drink tea. Spring tea bitter, summer tea astringent, only autumn White Dew (which refers to autumn tea) intergrates the quality of spring tea, summer tea and autumn tea. To distinguish spring tea, summer tea and autumn tea, it is necessary to understand why there is such difference among them.
Spring tea, summer tea and autumn tea are distinguished mainly according to the difference in their appearance and intrinsic quality ,due to the different seasonal climatic conditions, such as air temperature, rainfall and sunshine. The difference is more obvious in the main tea producing areas in middle and low reaches of Yangtze River because of four distinct seasons.
Generally, among tea producing in south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze river, spring tea refers to the tea harvested before the end of May; summer tea refers to the tea harvested from early June to early July; and autumn tea refers to the tea harvested since mid-July. Furthermore, the harvest time of these tea varies in different tea producing areas, i.e. the harvest time may delay from south to north with a difference of 3-4 months.
However, the harvest time for tea in different years has a difference of 5-20 days due to climate, management and other reasons, even in the same tea producing area or the same tea plantation. In addition, the harvest time for Yunnan autumn tea commences from the Beginning of Autumn in some cases; but usually, the time of actual acquisition of raw materials starts from the mid-to-late August and even the end of August when rainy season ends and dry season begins.
Spring tea, summer tea and autumn tea can be distinguished, on one hand, by the appearance, color and smell and, on the other hand, by the taste, aroma and leaves of brewed tea.
1. Distinguishing dry tea
Dry tea is mainly distinguished by color, smell and appearance. Generally speaking, spring tea features with plump, dark-green and glossy buds and tight and solid tea shape; summer tea features with thick and loose shape, parti-colored appearance and distinctly woody buds; autumn tea features with tight, thin and light shape and green appearance.
In addition, they can be distinguished by flowers and fruit in the tea leaves. During the harvest of spring tea, young fruit which is small as mung bean begins to grow; during the harvest of summer tea, young fruit is small as pea; during the harvest of autumn tea, fruit is big as longan, because tea trees are in blossom.
2. Distinguishing brewed tea
Brewed tea is further distinguished by smell, taste and leaves. Generally speaking, tea water with spring tea is strong, sweet, mellow and brisk in taste and heavy in aroma, with tender and bright leaves; the tea water with summer tea is astringent in taste with hard leaves with visible veins and green leaves; the tea water with autumn tea is light in color, slightly sweet in taste and light in aroma (some with special flowery flavor), with soft and more copper-colored leaves.
There are many factors affecting tea quality and it is difficult to summarize. For ordinary consumers, it is not easy to distinguish them at a glance. We need to gain experience in practice with rules to follow.
In a word, spring tea features with plump buds, tight and solid shape, strong taste and nice smell due to rich nutrients; autumn tea, due to its rapid growth, features with hard and thin leaves, thick, loose and light shape, weak taste and poor smell; the growing time of autumn tea is between that of spring tea and summer tea, climate in autumn is between that in spring and in summer,so the features of autumn tea is between that of spring tea and of summer tea.