How Are Teas Different When Picked in Each Season
There are three main tea picking seasons in a year : spring, summer and autumn. What’s the difference between teas picked in each of these seasons?
Generally, differences between spring teas, summer teas and autumn teas are mainly attributed to seasonal conditions such as sunlight, rainfall, temperature etc. As a reference, spring teas usually refer to teas harvested before the end of May while summer teas are harvested between the beginning of June and beginning of July. Again, the timeline vary between localities and climate, between the South to the North since the South warms up earlier.
Spring teas are said to be more robust in comparison to the summer and autumn picks. After a season of winter recuperation, nutrients are accumulated in the tea bush. The tea bush undergoes a season of recovery with the moderate temperatures and abundance of spring rain. Such climatic conditions aid in the production and retention of amino acids, as a result spring teas are relatively richer in amino acids. Amino acids are a decisive factor in the taste of tea, resulting in fresher and a more refreshing spring pick. The colours of spring tea leaves are crisper, with a lasting fragrance.
In comparison, summer teas are slightly astringent. Higher temperatures and longer duration of sunlight encourages carbon metabolism in the tea leaves which contributes to this flavour profile. While amino acids and vitamins are reduced as a result, the contents of anthocyanins, caffeine, and tea polyphenols are increased in such conditions, yielding the slight astringency in taste. New tea shoots also grow and age rapidly in this season. Colours of tea leaves also tend to be darker in summer picks with a slightly lighter aroma. Such characteristics make summer picks a great selection for the cultivation of black tea. The fermentation process in the creation of black tea reduces the bitterness and accentuates the innate sweetness of the tea leaves.
Autumn teas are marked by their fragrance with a milder and more delicate flavour. Balmy autumn temperatures, lower rainfall and dry weather result in relatively drier tea picks. The amount of daylight and low temperatures encourage the accumulation of aromatic substances in the tea.
Tea picks in each season is marked by a signature of their own. Visit our catalogue and find your favourite cuppa!