It’s easy to describe what tea tastes like.
It can taste strong and bitter, and very sweet at the same time as heaps of white sugar were added to fix its flavour. Little Asia did not like plain tea when she was 8 years old.
It can taste of fruit and spices as producers tend to fool people into thinking that fruit infusions that they buy are actually made of leaves of Camellia sinensis. They are not.
It can taste of paper, if you buy this sort of cheap teabags that taste of nothing but cardboard and dirty water.
It can also taste of friendship and love and actual Camellia sinensis, and perhaps of jasmine or roasted ricem or of a Finnish sauna (tribute to Lapsang Souchong*).
But how to describe the colour of tea?
With the same words? “Tea has the colour of Earl Grey”. What kind of grey is Earl Grey?
Not grey at all.
“Tea is red”. True, but not true. Aspalathus linearis is red. Tea isn’t, no matter what importers of African red bush tell you.
“Tea is black”. Is it?
The debate gains a whole lot more dimension when we start talking about the British style tea. When you add milk to the usual black beverage, you can add just a splash, a couple of splashes, you can fill half of the mug with milk, or do a freaking tea latte (add vanilla syrup and you get a London Fog). After all, if you find yourself making tea for a British person, they’d usually tell you to add “just a bit of milk” and then, once you bring the cup to them, they’d judge if you made it the right way by looking at the colour of the drink.
Say, first world problems. The colour of tea.
I suppose I spent too much time in the UK to overlook the importance of tea.
Anyway, what is the colour of tea?
Now as I’m sitting at the rail station and waiting for my train, and it’s 5 o’clock but the sky’s already gone its night colour, I come to a conclusion.
“Tea has the colour of the sky, where the sky is brown”.
I suppose in this situation the daytime sky would have the colour of a stirred caffè latte.
*Since this post is dedicated solely to tea, I allowed myself to write tea type names starting with capital letters. Pardon my insolence.