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Title: Tea-Blending as a Fine Art
Author: Walsh, Joseph M.
Language: English
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[Illustration: Tea Hills of China.]



TEA-BLENDING AS A FINE ART

by

JOSEPH M. WALSH,

Author of
Tea
Its History and Mystery.

[Illustration]

“THE CUP THAT CHEERS BUT NOT INEBRIATES.”--Cowper.



Philadelphia:
Published by the Author.
1896.

Copyright
By
Joseph M. Walsh.
1896.



CONTENTS.


                                                       Pages.

    I.--INTRODUCTION                                     7-11

   II.--CLASSIFICATION AND DESCRIPTION OF TEAS          13-36

  III.--ART OF TESTING AND SELECTING TEAS               37-44

   IV.--ADULTERATION AND DETECTION                      45-49

    V.--ART OF BLENDING TEAS                            51-91

   VI.--ART OF KEEPING, SELLING AND PREPARING TEA      93-104



[Illustration: (Branch of Tea Plant.)]



PART I.

INTRODUCTION.


There is no article handled by the grocer which demands greater
attention, engages more of his time, or has a more important bearing
upon the success of his business than Tea, as it stands in many
respects far ahead of all the other commodities in commanding and
maintaining patronage, as well as in attracting and retaining trade
for numerous other articles, and at the same time yielding a larger
margin of profit to the dealer. Gain being the fundamental object of
all business transactions, and as tea to the grocer plays such an
essential part in determining this profit, we may be excused if, in
considering the article from a purely practical standpoint, we urge
the relation which it has to the success of the dealer, and who, as
a general rule, experiences much more difficulty in the judicious
selection of his Tea than in any other staple he trades in. The cause
of this difficulty is obvious to dealers in Tea in general, being
entirely due to the numerous varieties and almost innumerable grades,
flavors and characters of the commodity with which he is confronted and
to be selected from in order to satisfy the diversity of tastes and
various preferences to be catered to in order to please each individual
taste and preference. It therefore requires no ordinary skill or brief
experience to make the proper selection or combination to suit the
consumer under these trying circumstances.

The acquisition of such skill or knowledge, for all practical purposes,
is not, however, quite as difficult as is supposed by many dealers, it
being fairly obtained by an intelligent study of the leading varieties
and grades most in demand in the country or section of consumption, in
addition to a few simple and inexpensive experiments by the dealer in
order to familiarize himself with the leading characters and values
of the different varieties, grades and flavors of the Teas best
adapted to each particular class or section of the country in which
he may be doing business. Little is known, comparatively, in this
country particularly, of the art or principle of blending or “mixing”
of Teas. The American dealer and consumer alike being averse to the
practice as a general rule, regarding it as about on a parity with
the other too numerous forms of adulteration and sophistication now
in vogue, not only in the countries of consumption, but also in those
of production. Such objections, however, are entirely erroneous, as
it is an acknowledged fact that a combination of different varieties
of wheat make better flour, the same being true of coffee and many
other staples of diet and drink, so that the practice of blending
Teas for the consumer, if properly understood and skillfully and
judiciously performed, would prove a more satisfactory one to the
consumer, and at the same time a more profitable one to the dealer.
The object of blending being, not as the Tea-using public imagines to
lower the standard or reduce the cost at the expense of quality, but
to produce a measurably better Tea and obtain a fuller and heavier
liquor in addition to a much finer and more desirable flavor than
that yielded by any single variety when used alone. _A Tea, in short,
giving better satisfaction to the consumer at a more moderate price,
and at the same time allowing a better margin of profit to the dealer
without lowering his standard of quality._ To illustrate, a dealer
may already be selling a Tea to his customers, possessing a pleasing
and suitable flavor, but be lacking in body or too light in liquor,
whereas by his adding to it a small proportion of one or two other
varieties possessing these requisite properties the defect is easily
and inexpensively remedied, and a fuller-liquied, heavier-bodied,
richer-flavored infusion is produced; the drawing and drinking
qualities of the Tea being improved all round without extra cost to the
dealer or increase of price to the consumer. It must therefore follow
that by the skillful and judicious mixing or blending of a number of
Teas, each differing in variety or grade, a more uniform, pleasing and
palatable Tea, that is, one richer in liquor, heavier in body and more
aromatic in flavor, can be produced by this now acknowledged principle
at a more moderate cost to dealer and consumer than can otherwise be
obtained from any single variety or grade of Tea.

The idea of blending Teas originally arose from the experience
incidentally gained by some old and life-long Tea dealers, that a
beverage richer in liquor, more pleasing in flavor, more satisfactory
in price to the consumer and less costly to the dealer, could be
produced from a number of the different varieties or grades when
skillfully amalgamated or judiciously combined than could otherwise
be obtained from any single sort when used alone. No sooner was
this experience confirmed than the “mixing” or blending of Teas was
generally resorted to by many of those who had the dispensing of the
commodity to the public. But while some dealers had a marked success
in this branch of the Tea business from the start, others again who
attempted to practice it failed completely in their efforts to produce
any satisfactory results to themselves or their customers, the end
accomplished being instead of an improvement an injury and detriment to
the quality and value of the Teas so combined, more often to such an
extent that the single and regular variety of Tea in demand would have
pleased better at less labor, time and cost to the dealer. The cause of
this failure was, however, due entirely and alone to the want of that
necessary training, experience or intelligent knowledge which would
enable the unskilled blender to understand the peculiar characteristics
and affinities of the different varieties and various grades of the
Teas which are improved by combination, and their component parts, as
well as to avoid those which are deteriorated by the amalgamation.
The knowledge and skill required for this very particular and precise
branch of the Tea business being only attained in its perfection by
numerous tests and constant experiments, which are best performed by
the admixture of from two to five--or more in many instances--small
samples of Tea differing, frequently materially, in variety, character
and quality, and alternately changing, altering and substituting the
varieties and proportions of the same until the dealer has finally
succeeded in producing a Tea unique in character, identified with
himself, and differing in every respect from that of any Tea offered
or sold by his competitors, the liquor, flavor and aroma of which
will prove more pleasing and satisfactory in quality and price to his
patrons, and at a more moderate cost to himself.

Time and experience have proved beyond question that skillful and
judicious tea blending will be found to amply repay for all the
study, labor and expense bestowed on it by the dealer, as the
chief and only difficulty existing in the art lies in the fact of
first finding a combination or combinations that will please the
majority of consumers. But it is an egregious mistake to imagine
that the successful or profitable blending of teas consists solely
in the indiscriminate or injudicious heaping together carelessly
and indifferently of two or more varieties or grades of tea in one
homogeneous mass without the slightest regard to quantity, quality,
affinity, affiliation or assimilation of leaf, liquor, character
or flavor of the component parts. While on the contrary the art or
principle consists in the proper combining of two or more different
varieties or grades of tea intended to form the combination on an at
least intelligent or judicious, if not scientific manner, so as to
yield a unique or particular tea, of uniform quality, strength, flavor
and pungency, at a given price, being at the same time pleasing and
satisfactory to the average consumer, and maintaining its standard of
quality at all times and under all circumstances.

But while it may be admitted that it is difficult to master the art
of successful tea blending thoroughly without the serving of an
apprenticeship to the business, and that the combinations that may be
found in it are almost kaleidoscopic in their range, still even the
veriest novice need not spoil good tea by injudicious mixing, as all
that is required is a little study and a few simple rules carefully
followed, although these cannot be substituted entirely for years of
practical experience in such a difficult and at the present time most
essential branch of the tea business, but will nevertheless prevent any
serious error, and at the same time insure a fair measure of success to
the most inexperienced in the art.



[Illustration: (Chinese Tea Garden.)]



PART II.

CLASSIFICATION AND DESCRIPTION OF TEAS.


The Teas of commerce are classified as China, Japan, India, Ceylon
and Java Teas, but are generally divided into Green and Black Teas,
under which terms they are best known to the public. They are again
sub-divided into numerous varieties and grades, with names derived
from the districts of production or indicative of their age, make or
quality, these numerous applications being almost entirely of Chinese
origin.

[Illustration: (China Tea Plant.)]


CHINA TEAS

Are divided into Black and Green, the former comprising Oolongs,
Congous, Souchongs and Scented Teas, the latter including Imperials,
Gunpowders, Hysons, Young Hysons and Twankay or Hyson-skin Teas.

[Illustration: _a_--Firsts. _b_--Seconds. _c_--Thirds. _d_--Fourths.

(Black Tea Plant.)]


OOLONG TEAS

Are sub-divided into Ankois, Amoys, Foochows, Formosas, Saryune and
Pekoe-Oolongs, grading from lowest to highest in the order named.

~Ankoi Oolong~--Is a doubtful species of the genus tea and said to
be prepared solely from the leaves of a shrub closely resembling but
widely distinct from those of the true tea plant. The leaf is rough and
coarse, reddish-black in color, indifferently prepared, and ragged in
general appearance, while the liquor is dark-brown, oily or earthy in
flavor and bitterly astringent to the taste. It is generally used for
mixing with low-grade Amoys, to which it imparts a wild, rank or weedy
flavor, and should be avoided by the dealer altogether.

~Amoy Oolongs~--Embrace Kokew, Mohea and Ningyong Oolong teas and
are fairly good teas for blending purposes, many of them drawing
and drinking exceedingly well in the cup. The leaf, while large and
somewhat coarse in appearance, is well prepared as a rule, while the
liquor is clear, strong and frequently pungent. The poorer grades,
however, possess a wild or herby flavor, strongly objected to by the
majority of tea consumers.

~Foochow Oolong~--Ranks among the best of the black teas of China. The
leaf of the finer grades being black and silky in appearance, rich and
mellow in liquor and fragrant in flavor, while the medium and lower
grades are somewhat larger and looser in make they possess splendid cup
qualities, making the most suitable foundation for all blends in this
country, being useful and serviceable for the purpose.

~Formosa Oolong~--Is unique in leaf, liquor and flavor, differing
widely in character and flavor from the former varieties. They possess
a rich, fragrant aroma, the leaf being very pleasing in the hand,
evenly curled and crapy in texture, and impart tone and character to
any combination in which they may be introduced.

~Saryune and Pekoe Oolongs~--Are very rare sorts in this market, the
latter deriving its trade-name from being liberally sprinkled with
Pekoe-tipped leaves. They are somewhat large and bold in style, evenly
curled and pleasing in appearance. The infusion being dark brown in
color, heavy and full in body and very fragrant in flavor.


CONGOU TEAS.

Congou Teas are grown principally in the Bohea hills in China, and are
known to trade in this country as English Breakfast Teas. They are
divided into Kaisow or Red-leaf and Moning or Black-leaf Teas, and are
a distinct variety differing in color, liquor and flavor from the
Oolong sorts.

~Kaisow~--or Red-leaf Congous, comprise, Chingwos, Seumoos, Suey-kuts,
Saryunes, Sin-chunes, Cheong-soo, Cheong-lok, So-how and Yung-how.
The leaf is reddish-black in color, well and firmly made; the liquor
rich-red or wine-color, and flavor pungent but pleasing to the taste.
Their special feature is their delicate and to a high degree fragrant
flavor, which they impart to other Teas in combination, provided the
others are not too strong or coarse.

~Moning~--or Black-leaf Congous include Ning-chows, Oonfas, Oonams,
Oopacks, Kintucks, Kee-muns, Kiukangs, Panyongs, Paklins and
Paklums, and are black in color, stylish in make; the finer grades
being Pekoe-tipped and flavored. The infusion is also dark-red or
wine-colored, but delicate and aromatic, making very useful Teas for
blending purposes, combining advantageously with any and all the other
varieties.


SOUCHONG TEAS

Are among the finest and richest of the Black Tea sorts of China,
but are limited in supply, being chiefly prepared from the youngest
leaves of the earlier pickings. They are known to trade as Lapsing,
Padrae, Pekoe, Tonquam, Canton and Oolong-Souchongs. The leaf is long,
flat, handsome and “crapy” in texture, finely and artistically curled,
being only lightly fired. They yield a rich wine-colored liquor, with
a fragrant flavor entirely peculiar to themselves, and described as
“tarry” in trade, which, when not too pronounced, adds rather than
detracts from their value. The product of the later pickings are of
less strength and flavor, but are still smooth and pleasing in liquor
and flavor, making very serviceable teas for mixing owing to their
general intrinsic properties.


SCENTED TEAS

Form a special class of the Chinese product, and comprise Foochow,
Canton and Macao Scented Teas. They are sub-divided into Capers,
Pekoes, Pouchongs, Orange, Flowery and Pouchong Pekoes, and are very
fragrant, being highly scented with the leaves, flowers, blossoms and
roots of other plants, such as that of the Iris, Jessamine, Gardenia,
Chloranthus and Oleofragrans. They are principally prepared from the
largest but most succulent leaves of the first pickings and cured by a
series of brisk firings and rollings. The dried leaf is finely made,
long and evenly folded, and the infusion is wine-colored, piquant
and aromatic, from which fact consumers not accustomed to their use
erroneously imagine that they are much stronger and more exciting than
the Oolong and Green Teas sorts, and should be used only very sparingly
in blending.

~Caper~--Is so termed from its small, round leaf resembling capers, and
is prepared from the youngest and tenderest leaves of the tea plant.
The infusion is of a rich wine-color, pungent and aromatic in flavor,
forming what is termed a bouquet.

~Pekoe~--Signifies in Chinese “White down,” applied to the whitish
or downy substance at the end of the leaves. It is usually prepared
from the young leaf buds just expanding, and is a very much overrated
variety.

~Pouchong~--Is a bold, rough-looking leaf, dull black in color and
peculiar in scent, the latter being imparted to it by the admixture of
the seeds of the Chulan flower.

~Orange Pekoe~--Is a long, flat, even-leaf tea, jet black in color and
containing yellowish, downy tops at the ends, from which it derives its
trade name.

~Flowery Pekoe~--Is a smaller but more evenly-folded leaf,
olive-colored with ends ornamented with whitish or velvety tips, being
also very highly scented with the flowers or blossoms of other plants.

In some of the Chinese districts the scenting material is added to
the tea during the firing process and afterward separated by sifting,
but is, however, more generally introduced into the tea after it is
prepared and ready for packing. It is spread over the tip of the tea
and allowed to remain there for at least a day, or until it becomes
strongly impregnated with their moisture, and then removed, the
duration depending in a great measure on the character of the scent
employed.

[Illustration: _a_--Gunpowder. _b_--Young Hyson. _c_--Imperial.
_d_--Hyson. _e_--Twankey.

(Green Tea Plant.)]


GREEN TEAS

Include Moyunes, Hychows, Fychows, Tienkes, Tayshings and Pingsueys,
district names, and grading in the order named.

~Moyune~--Is the most valuable intrinsically and commercially, being
far superior to all the others in make, color, draw and drink. The leaf
is firmly rolled, natural green in color and extremely uniform in
appearance, while the liquor is clear, brisk and pungent in flavor,
forming a splendid variety for blending with any tea.

~Hychows~--Are much inferior to the former in leaf and liquor, the
infusion, although darker in color, is lighter in body and devoid of
any pronounced flavor.

~Fychows~--Are generally bold and rough in leaf, dull-green in color,
dark and heavy in liquor and astringent in flavor, being in the whole
a very undesirable sort for any purpose.

~Tienkes~--While long and coarse in make are yet pleasing to the eye,
being chiefly sold in style as they will not stand the cup test, the
infusion being dark, thick, bitter and frequently smoky in flavor owing
to high firing.

~Tayshings~--Like Tienkes look well in the hand, being fairly well-made
and stylish-looking, but are of a leaden-blue color, the result of the
facing or coloring matter used to enhance their appearance, while the
liquor is dark and muddy and the flavor earthy to the taste.

~Pingsueys~--Are termed by the Chinese Bastard Tea, being principally
prepared from the leaves of some shrub remotely resembling those of
the Tea plant. While the leaf is very stylish and firmly made it is of
heavy blue color and greasy in appearance owing to the gypsum used in
their preparation and are entirely unfit for human use.

What are known as “Canton” and “Country” Green Teas are also spurious
Teas, the former being manufactured from spent or exhausted Tea leaves,
that is Tea once used, dried, refired and colored with gypsum or
Prussian blue. The latter being prepared from the leaves of wild or
uncultivated Tea plants.

[Illustration: (Picking Tea in China.)]


SUB-VARIETIES.

The Green Teas of China are again sub-divided in Gunpowders, Imperials,
Hysons, Young Hysons and Twankays, terms denoting style of make, age
or other peculiarity, and are too well known to the trade to need
description.

~Gunpowder~--Is termed by the Chinese “Choo-Cha” or Pearl tea, from
its small, round or shotty appearance. It is generally prepared from
the smallest and youngest leaves of the green tea plant, its quality
corresponding to the picking and district of growth. The product of the
first crop is sometimes known as “Pin-head” from its extremely small,
round or globular appearance.

~Imperial~--Derives its trade name from being the style or make of
Tea used in the Imperial household and by the Mandarins or wealthier
Chinese. That exported is prepared from the larger and older leaves of
the respective pickings and rolled in the same manner as the former,
from which fact it is also known as “Big Gunpowder” and also as
“Pea-leaf.” But while larger and bolder in make it possesses much the
same drawing and drinking qualities.

~Hyson~--Is known to the Chinese as “He-tsien” or “Flourishing Spring”
from being picked in the full spring-time, and is large and loosely
made, being prepared from the older leaves of each respective picking.
It bears the same relation to Young Hyson that Imperial does to
Gunpowder and produces the same characteristics, but in a minor degree.

~Young Hyson~--Is a corruption of the Chinese term, “Yu-tsien,” or
Early Spring, from being gathered in the early spring-time, and in make
the leaves are extremely small, finely but artistically twisted, almost
wirey in texture, being prepared from the youngest and tenderest leaves
of the tea plant.

~Twankay~--Or “Hyson-skin,” is composed chiefly of the largest and
oldest leaves of the foregoing varieties that cannot, owing to their
coarse or broken condition, be rolled or converted into the former
makes. It is a large, loose and flat-leaf tea, varying in color,
liquor and flavor, according to the grades from which it is separated.

Considerable mystery and confusion for a long time existed regarding
the species of plant yielding the varieties known as Green and Black
teas, many authorities claiming that the former was produced from
the Green tea plant exclusively, and the latter from the Black tea
plant solely, while again it was held by others that both varieties
were prepared at pleasure from but one and the same species, the
mere difference in color, flavor and effects being due entirely to
a disparity in the soil and process of curing. But later and more
careful investigation disprove these particular opinions, as while it
is now admitted, even by the Chinese themselves, that both kinds may
be produced at will from either or both species of the tea plant, it
is a popular error to imagine that China produces the two commercial
kinds in all districts, as the preparation of the greater proportion of
the respective varieties is carried on in widely separated districts
of the Empire from corresponding species of the tea plant, different
methods being adopted only in the process of curing the two kinds from
the first stage. Green teas are prepared and distinguished from Black
in such instances by the fact that the former are not fermented as long
or fired as high in the process of rolling as the latter. It was also
a commonly-received opinion at one time that the distinctive color of
Green teas was imparted to them by being cured and fired in copper
pans. For this belief, however, there is not the slightest foundation
in fact, as copper pans are never used for the purpose of firing tea,
repeated experiments and unerring tests having been frequently made by
competent experts, but not even in a single instance has any trace of
that metal been found in them.

[Illustration: (Japan Tea Plant.)]


JAPAN TEAS.

In color, flavor and character, Japan Teas are totally distinct
from any and all other varieties of Tea known to commerce. They are
divided into Panfired, Sundried and Basketfired Teas and Nibs, but
are frequently converted into Oolongs, Pekoes, Congous, Imperials,
Gunpowder and Young Hyson makes.

[Illustration: (Curing Tea.)]

~Panfired Japan~--Is a medium-sized green-leaf Tea, well-curled and
presenting an unbroken appearance. It yields a bright clear liquor
which remains unchanged in color until quite cold, and possesses a
flavor delicate but fragrant in odor. The medium grades, however, are
rougher in make, darker in liquor and duller in flavor, while the
commoner ones are coarse and unsightly in style, varying in color and
somewhat “brassy” or metallic in flavor.

~Sundried Japan~--Derive their trade-name from being dried in the
sun before firing, in order to fix their color more permanently. The
leaf is of an olive-green color, small and compactly curled, and the
liquor what is known as “toasty” in flavor owing to their thorough
fermentation before firing. The lower grade range from a yellowish to a
dull-green in color, indifferently made and often “fishy” in taste from
the use of fish manure in cultivating.

~Basketfired Japan~--Is so called from being cured in baskets over a
slow fire. The finer grades are long, dark and exceedingly well twisted
or curled, clear and bright in the infusion and mellow or “mealy”
in flavor, the latter quality making them a very valuable sort for
blending with Oolong in the proportions of one part to four of Oolong,
or almost any variety into which they are introduced.

[Illustration: (Firing Tea.)]

~Japan Nibs~--Are composed of the largest and oldest leaves of the
foregoing sorts, and bear the same relation to Japan Teas that Twankay
does to Green Teas. In the cheaper and lower-grade blends they make
an excellent addition by imparting strength and fullness to the
combination, particularly when separated from the higher grades of
Japan Teas.

[Illustration: (Rolling and Curling.)]

~Japan Oolongs~--Pekoes, Congous, Imperials, Gunpowder and Hysons
differ only from the regular Japan Teas in make, and from being
prepared from the same leaf they naturally possess the same general
characteristics and cup qualities, but are not produced in any
appreciable quantities.

[Illustration: (Sorting Tea.)]

[Illustration: (India and Ceylon Tea Plant.)]


INDIA TEAS.

Principally comprise Assams, Cachars, Darjeelings, Dooars, Deradoons,
Kumaons and Chittagongs, ranking in quality in the order named, and
are converted into Pekoes, Souchongs, Congous and Pekoe-Souchongs
resembling most the Congou sorts of China in make, style, color and
general appearance, but many of them being produced from a combination
of the China and India Tea plants are hybrid in character, differing
widely from their originals. In make and style they are in general
longer and narrower in leaf, better curled and more shapely in form
than the corresponding Chinese varieties, but contain a much greater
excess of tannin which accounts for their superior strength or rather
rankness in the infused state.

[Illustration: (India Tea Plantation.)]

~Assams~--Are greyish-black in color, the dried leaf of the finer
grades being pekoe-tipped and flavored. The liquor is unusually strong
and pungent in addition to being thick and heavy in the cup, but are
very useful for forming the base or foundation of all blends among
Irish, English or Scotch Tea consumers.

~Cachars~--Are blacker in color, but not as well made or handsome
in appearance. The infusion, however, is softer and mellower, being
occasionally what is known as “fruity” in flavor.

~Darjeeling~--Is a hybrid variety, produced from a cross between the
China and India Tea plants and partakes somewhat of the characteristics
of both. But, while blacker in leaf, it is not on an average as finely
made, and while round and full in body is not as pungent or flavory in
the infusion.

~Dooars~--Approximate more to Cachars in style, color and general
appearance, and are strong, rough and coarse in liquor, but pungent and
pleasing in flavor, being a serviceable Tea for blending, as it imparts
tone and character to any combination in it which it may be used.

~Deradoon~--Is a high-fired Tea, loosely made and deteriorating
rapidly, becoming sour or rancid on exposure to the atmosphere in
a very short time. The liquor is frequently “earthy” in taste and
somewhat analogous to that of Ankoi Oolong, for which reasons they are
not much sought after.

~Kumaon~--Is generally converted into Gunpowder, Imperial and Hyson
Teas, all being prepared from the same leaf, the chief and only
difference lying in their make and color, as they still retain all
their Indian characteristics of liquor and flavor.

~Chittagong~--Is thick, heavy and strong in the cup, and what is termed
“nutty” in flavor and are considered good, useful Teas for blending
purposes from their great strength and positive character.

India Teas in general possess a sharp acid taste not to be found in any
of the foregoing varieties, and a distinct but peculiar flavor, rarely
liked by American Tea consumers, except when largely tempered with the
softer and more mellow liquored Teas of China. In order to neutralize
or offset this disagreeable peculiarity, it is at all times necessary
to use only the best of the India grades in blending. Another very
disagreeable feature of India Teas is that of the formation of an oily
or gummy film which settles on top of the liquor after infusion. The
loss of flavor and rapid decay in exposure is also greater in India
Teas than in most other varieties. The grades most easily affected in
this manner being the two highly-fired, light-liquored and open-leaf
makes.

[Illustration: (Ceylon Tea Plantation.)]


CEYLON TEAS.

~Ceylon Teas~--Are comparatively new Teas to commerce, and are known to
trade as Matagalas, Mandulsumas, Rakuwanas, Kanda-loyas, Kandapole and
Soocan-duris, but as with India Teas they are chiefly converted into
silver and golden Pekoe, Congous, Souchongs and Pekoe-Souchongs. Their
leaf, liquor and flavor like their India prototypes varies greatly
in style and quality, according to the elevation at which they are
grown, their uniformity also varying from year to year as in the India
districts.

~Silver Pekoe~--Is a long, whitish, downey-leaf Tea, almost “satiny” in
texture, with silvery tips at the ends. The liquor is dark, reddish in
color, but bright and sparkling in the cup, delicate and fragrant in
flavor for this variety but very much overrated in value.

~Golden Pekoe~--Is a much smaller leaf Tea, darker in color and
somewhat silky in texture and liberally sprinkled with rich, yellow
or orange tips while the inferior grades are much darker and heavier
in body, but fresh, fragrant and greatly appreciated by consumers who
prefer this variety.

~Pekoe-Souchong~--Is chiefly composed of the Pekoe leaves that are
devoid of tips and Souchong containing some tipped leaves, but as a
general rule it is an unassorted Tea prepared from the larger and
coarser leaves that will not pass through the sieves. It is medium in
size and choppy in leaf, but ripe and rich in liquor, fairly brisk and
malty in flavor.


CEYLON CONGOUS AND SOUCHONGS.

Closely resemble the corresponding India kinds in make, color, liquor
and flavor, and make excellent Teas for combining in blending but like
the India sorts will not keep as long or as well as the China or Japan
kinds, becoming sour and rancid in a few months, defects attributed to
the rapid artificial methods of curing practiced in these countries.

[Illustration: (Ceylon Tea Factory.)]

~Broken Leaf~--India and Ceylon Broken-leaf Teas are composed of the
old, broken and mutilated leaves of the other sorts which are separated
in sifting, and bear the same relation to these varieties that Twankay
does to China Green Teas and Nibs to the Japan sorts. They vary in
color from brown to black, their strength being seldom great, though
the flavor of the finer grades is in general good, drawing and drinking
in proportion to the grades from which they are separated, while that
of the commoner kinds is poor, thin and coarse in liquor and flavor.

[Illustration: _a_--Pekoe. _b_--Souchong. _c_--Congou.
_d_--Souchong-Congou.

(Java Tea Plant.)]


JAVA TEAS.

Are known to commerce as Preangers, Krawangs, Cheribons, Bagelens and
Banjœmas Teas, and are classified as Pekoes, Congous, Oolongs and
Souchongs, after the manner of India and Ceylon Teas. The leaves of the
different kinds are sorted during the picking, and graded according
to size, the smallest being converted into Pekoe, the medium into
Souchong, and the largest into Oolongs and Congous.

Java Teas in general are particularly small in leaf, dull-black in
color, but rather handsome in general appearance, and approximating
more to the India variety in style, color and character, but do not
keep as well, becoming rank and sour when allowed to lay too long. The
liquor of Java Teas is also deficient in strength, body and flavor,
being almost totally devoid of any distinctive aroma or pronounced
fragrance, defects attributable mainly to their faulty and imperfect
methods of curing and preparing, as well as to the fact that the leaves
are picked from the plants all the year round, and allowed no time for
rest or recuperation, and making very indifferent Teas for blending or
using alone.

The last three varieties are generally converted in Congous and
Souchongs, ranking with and approximating to Java Teas in style, color
and character.

~African Teas~--Are large, black and coarse in leaf and liquor, being
very bitter and astringent in flavor. They make poor Teas for blending
purposes.

~Fiji Teas~--Like African are coarse in leaf, blackish in liquor and
almost rank in flavor.

~Singapore Tea~--Is also a very inferior grade for blending, being too
pronounced in character for the purpose.



PART III.

ART OF TESTING AND SELECTING TEAS.


The Teas of commerce possess two values--an intrinsic or real value,
and a commercial or market value--the former constituting its quality,
strength and flavor, the latter being more often based on its style
or appearance, supply and fluctuations in price, so that in their
selection for commercial purposes four leading features are to be
considered before purchasing by the dealer, viz.: Leaf, Liquor,
Character and Flavor, the drawing and drinking qualities of a Tea in
the cup being paramount to its style or appearance in the hand, as many
Teas though coarse or rough-looking in “make” or appearance draw and
drink exceedingly well in the infusion.

There are five principal methods of testing and selecting Teas for
commercial use, and which may be summed up in the following sequence.
First by


STYLE OR APPEARANCE.

A good Tea may be readily recognized by its style or appearance in the
hand, which though not invariably an indication of its merit in the cup
has considerable to do with its quality and value, choice Teas of all
kinds being handsomely made and pleasing to the eye. They are compactly
if not artistically curled or rolled according to their make, whether
Green or Black, and all Teas are fine in proportion to their youth and
tenderness, the ripest and juiciest curling up tightest and retaining
their form longest, that is the younger and fresher the leaves the
richer and more succulent the Tea. While old and inferior Teas on the
other hand are large, rough and loosely made in proportion to their
age, quality and period of picking, as being partially or totally
devoid of sap they are correspondingly coarse, astringent or entirely
flavorless in the infused state. By


FEELING OR PRESSING.

Judging a sample of Tea by feeling or pressing in the hand is more
applicable to the curled, twisted or Black Tea sorts than to the rolled
or Green Tea kinds. For instance, if the leaves of the former make so
tested be really choice, they will be found smooth, crisp and elastic
in the hand and capable of resisting a gentle but firm pressure without
breaking. But if the leaves be old and sapless they will be found tough
and chaffy to the touch, very brittle, breaking easily and crumbling
under the same conditions.


SMELLING OR INHALING.

By blowing or breathing heavily upon a sample of Tea and then quickly
smelling or inhaling the odor emitted from it, a very fair estimate of
its general character may be formed by the dealer. To judge correctly
by this method, however, an acquaintance with the distinctive flavors
and peculiarities will be necessary, this knowledge being best acquired
by the dealer adopting a type or standard sample of the Teas he is
using or wants to match. By


MASTICATING OR CHEWING.

An approximate estimate of a Tea may also be formed by chewing or
masticating the leaves, a good tea being easily recognized by the
rapid manner in which the leaves are dissolved on slight mastication.
If the Tea be young and the leaves tender, they become quickly reduced
to a pasty consistency and very juicy, but if old and inferior they
will be found difficult to chew, tough, and yielding little or no sap,
according to its age and inferiority.


INFUSING OR DRAWING

Is, after all is said, the most satisfactory and reliable a method of
testing or appraising a Tea at its true value, this being the manner
adopted by all expert dealers and brokers in Tea. For this method a
number of small cups, scales and a half-dime weight are necessary,
together with a clean kettle of freshly distilled or filtered water,
briskly boiling, and poured on the leaves, after which they are allowed
to infuse from three to five minutes before smelling and tasting. The
water used must in all cases be as soft and pure as can be obtained,
boiled briskly and used only at the boiling point, that is, it must
boil, but not overboil, as if allowed to do so for even a few minutes,
it will not extract in its entirety the full strength or flavor of the
Tea.

As the value of a Tea commercially depends principally upon the weight
and flavor of the infusion as well as in the aroma imparted to it by
the volatile oil which it contains, so the intrinsic value of a Tea is
based principally on the amount of extract which it yields on infusion
in addition to the quantity of the theine and tannin contained therein.
Again, the taste for a particular variety of Tea being an acquired and
not a natural one, it follows that persons accustomed to a certain
variety or flavor in Tea want that particular kind and will not be
satisfied with any other even if better or higher-priced. This fact
being admitted it becomes essential to the success of the Tea dealer
to study and learn the tastes and preferences of his patrons in order
to cater satisfactorily to them. To illustrate he may be selling his
trade a heavy-bodied Amoy Oolong or dark-leaved Foochow and suddenly
change off to a fine Formosa or Congou. In such a case his customers
will be very apt to find fault with the latter, no matter how fine they
may be. It therefore becomes essential to the success of the dealer to
pay particular attention to the quality and standard of the Teas he is
purchasing, as there is no article which he handles that will attract
trade or retain it longer than a good Tea at a legitimate price, such a
Tea creating more comment in a district than any other article used at
table and to such an extent that if the customers once lose confidence
in either the ability or honesty of the dealer in supplying them they
will be repelled rather than attracted, it being next to impossible to
draw them back again once they leave through any mistake of the dealer
in his selection. Poor or badly selected Teas will drive more customers
away from a store in a week than can be made in a year, so that it will
not pay the dealer to make any serious error in the selection of his
Teas, such mistake proving fatal to the holding or increasing of his
Tea trade as well as for other articles. It is therefore much better
and more profitable in the end to handle only good Teas on fair and
legitimate margin than to sell poor inferior and unsatisfactory Teas at
a larger margin of profit.

A dealer with any ambition to increase or even retain his Tea trade
should no more attempt to handle poor, inferior, dusty, musty or
damaged Teas than a butcher has to sell tainted meats or a baker to
give his customers sour bread. The offense may not at first seem as
objectionable, but the final verdict of his customers will be the same
in each case, and the positive manner in which they will eventually
manifest their opinion will be to quit dealing with him altogether.
Good, clean, pure and sweet-drawing Teas can always be purchased at a
few cents per pound above the price of the dusty, musty, mousey, woody,
herby, grassy, smoky, or sour and trashy Teas now flooding the market.
So that by the mistaken policy of trying to save a few cents per pound
extra the seed is sown for the final ruin of the dealer himself in
addition to casting discredit on the use of Tea as an article of diet.
While on the other hand, if the dealer makes a small but necessary
sacrifice for the sake of future gain and reputation by selling only
Tea that is Tea, and content himself with a fair but legitimate profit,
satisfaction will be given to his customers, his Tea trade fostered and
extended, and the consumption of this most important food auxiliary
increased throughout the country.


GRADING OF TEAS.

Black Teas, such as Oolongs and Congous, are graded as “Firsts,”
“Seconds,” “Thirds,” “Fourths” and some times “Fifths,” denoting the
respective pickings and grading in the order named. They are usually
divided into “chops”--quantities bearing the brand or “chop-mark” of
the grower or packer--and which are again sub-divided into “Lines,”
“Marks” and “Numbers,” the latter rarely exceeding fifty packages.
The term “chop” meaning in Chinese “contract,” which in the Tea trade
is applied to a quantity of Tea frequently composed of the product of
different gardens or districts and afterwards mixed together and made
uniform before packing and forwarding to the shipping ports.

Green Teas are graded as Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4, the former being applied
to the choicest kinds, No. 2 to choice, No. 3 to medium, and 4 to the
common grades.

Japan Teas are usually graded as “Common,” “Choice,” “Extra Choice” and
“Choicest.”

India and Ceylon Teas are divided into “Breaks,” each separate picking
being known in trade as a “flush” and graded accordingly. Nearly all
the India and Ceylon Teas are first “bulked;” that is, the whole is run
together in one heap and thoroughly mixed before being put up in the
chests, this process having the advantage of insuring the regularity of
the break or chop. The selection of India and Ceylon Teas for blending
purposes is much more difficult than that of China and Japan Teas,
greater care being required to avoid Teas that will not keep well as
well as those which may possess any other objectionable peculiarity.
The loss of strength and flavor is also much greater in some grades
than in others, the kinds most affected being the too highly-fired
Teas, the light-flavored Teas and those that possess a loose, rough or
open leaf.


WHEN TO BUY TEAS.

The Tea market fluctuating considerably, sometimes it will be necessary
for the dealer to learn to understand something of the law of supply
and demand, which, to a great extent, affects the fluctuations of the
Tea market, before he can be sure of making desirable purchases. The
dealer in Tea who not only understands the article he is dealing in,
but whose knowledge and judgment enable him, in addition, to make his
purchases about the proper time, possesses many advantages over his
competitors, the value of which cannot be overestimated. For instance,
each season, on the arrival of the first steamers from China and
Japan, high prices rule for the earliest pickings, and if the market
be bare of chance lots, these full prices are continued for some time
thereafter. Then follows a dull, drooping market, from which the
dealer derives no satisfaction, but should the demand at first be high
and the stocks large, through dealers declining to purchase at full
figures, prices rapidly decline to a more reasonable level, after
which they then continue comparatively steady for the balance of the
year, unless some outside causes should arise to create an advance.
For these reasons dealers would do well to take advantage of the fine
selections of Teas that arrive during July, August and September from
China and Japan. In the purchase of India and Ceylon Teas it will also
be found necessary to watch the new arrivals closely, as, after the
heavy receipts during October and November, the market is nearly always
easier, but when the arrivals are light the market is much higher.
These facts are worth the special attention of dealers, as India and
Ceylon Teas, although until quite recently comparatively unknown, now
form some of the principal kinds for blending purposes.

With the great reduction in the importation prices and the keener
competition among dealers, the retail prices of Tea have been brought
down to a very low figure, and as dealers generally have educated the
public to the purchase of poor and trashy Teas at low prices, it is
not probable that the retail prices will ever again reach any higher
figures, unless war or other similar cause should lead to a duty being
placed upon the commodity. Yet notwithstanding these unprecedented low
prices, the per capita consumption of Tea is comparatively very small
in this country at the present time. One of the chief causes of this
small consumption is directly traceable to the custom now prevalent
among retail dealers of charging exorbitant profits on inferior Teas in
order to make up for losses sustained on other goods, together with the
forcing of poor Teas on their customers. These unwise and impolitic
practices might be overlooked were it not for the greater mistake
made of sacrificing quality to profit, which in an article of daily
and almost universal use like Tea, is an important consideration, so
that by rectifying this error and giving more attention to the careful
selection of his Teas by the dealer, there is no valid reason why the
consumption of the article could not be at least doubled in a short
time in this country.



PART IV.

ADULTERATION AND DETECTION.


The Teas of commerce are subject to three principal forms of
adulteration, viz.: Facing or coloring with deleterious compounds in
order to enhance their appearance, mixing with spurious and spent or
once used leaves, with the object of increasing their bulk, and sanding
or adulterating with mineral matter to add to their weight. But it is
against the two first most commonly dangerous forms of adulteration
that the principal efforts of dealers and Tea inspectors should more
particularly be directed, the latter having received some attention
from analysts and chemists, but not to that extent which the importance
of the subject merits.

Of the various forms of adulteration practiced in China and Japan, the
facing or artificial coloring of low-grade Green Teas is perhaps the
most prevalent and glaring, the material used for the purpose being
usually composed of Prussian blue, China clay, gypsum, turmeric and
indigo.

The process of coloring Green Teas is performed by placing a portion of
the Prussian blue in a large bowl and crushing it into a fine powder, a
small quantity of gypsum is then added, and the two substances ground
and mixed together in the proportions of one part blue to four parts
of the gypsum, both making in combination a light blue preparation,
in which state it is applied to the leaves during the last process
of firing. One ounce of this coloring matter will face or color from
fifteen to twenty pounds of Tea leaves, imparting to them a dull
leaden-blue color and a greasy appearance readily detected in the hand.

When Green or Japan Teas are heavily coated in this manner it may be
readily recognized by their heavy leaden-blue color and oily or greasy
appearance in the hand; or, better still, by placing a small sample
of the leaves on a piece of glass and allowing them to rest there for
some minutes, then on removing them the coloring matter, if any, will
be found adhering to the glass, and its nature, whether Prussian blue,
indigo or soapstone, detected by the aid of a small microscope. But
when only lightly colored the best method is to put the leaves in a
cup or glass and pour boiling water on them, stirring them up well
meantime and then straining the infusion through a thin muslin cloth,
and the coloring matter will be found deposited in the cloth or forming
a sediment at the bottom or sides of the vessel into which they are
strained.

What are known to trade as “Made Teas,” that is, Teas artificially
manufactured from leaves once used, or tea dust, and a preparation
of gum or glue to hold them together, and then colored and glazed
to give them a pleasing appearance to the eye, are best detected by
crushing the so-called leaves between the fingers or hands upon which
they leave a yellowish stain, greasy in nature if spurious leaves.
Or again, by pulverizing a small quantity of the alleged Tea leaves,
and putting them in a cup or glass and pouring on boiling water, they
will immediately begin to disintegrate and form a thick, gluey deposit
at the bottom of the vessel, pasty in nature, the coloring matter
adhering to the bottom or sides of the cup or glass.

Another form of adulteration practiced principally in China is the
admixture of spurious or foreign leaves obtained from other plants,
such as the willow, plum, ash, and what is known in trade as Ankoi
Tea. Millions of pounds of such spurious Tea leaves are annually
picked, cured and colored in the same manner as Tea in some of the
Chinese Tea districts, and used for the purpose of increasing the bulk
and decreasing the cost of genuine Teas, this form of adulteration,
however, being only trivial when compared with the former one. Such
spurious or foreign leaves in a Tea are best detected by their
botanical character, that is, by the absence of the special structural
marks, which distinguish the genuine Tea leaf from that of the leaves
from all other plants in the vegetable kingdom, for while it is
admitted that the Tea leaf bears a strong resemblance to those of the
willow, plum and ash, it varies materially, however, in size, form
and structure from them, the border of the true Tea leaf being more
regularly serrated, the serrations stopping just short of the stalk,
and the venations are very characteristic in the genuine Tea leaf, the
veins running out from the mid-rib almost parallel with each other,
but altering their course before the border of the leaf is reached and
turning so as to leave a bare space just under it. So that in making
an examination of a sample of Tea for the purpose of ascertaining
whether these distinctive characteristics are present in the leaves,
it will be found best to pour boiling water on to soften and uncurl
them, and spread them out more easily on the glass as per the following
diagrams:--

[Illustration:

(True Chinese Tea-Leaf.)

(True Japanese Tea-Leaf.)

(True Ceylon Tea-Leaf.)

(True India Tea-Leaf.) ]

But in order to better detect the presence of spurious leaves in Tea, a
better knowledge of the botanical formation of the true Tea leaf will
be requisite, as Tea leaves in general bear a very strong resemblance
to those of the willow, plum and ash, but vary widely in size and
texture, being much smaller and more deeply serrated.

When infused and unfolded, the true or genuine Tea leaf is of a
lighter-green color, the looping of the principal veinings being
also very characteristic, while the spurious leaves are of a dark
greenish-yellow color and very irregular in form when examined under
the same conditions.

Sand and other mineral substances, such as iron and steel filings,
are also frequently introduced into Tea with the object of adding to
its weight, and are easiest detected by powdering a small quantity of
the leaves and spreading the powder out on a piece of glass and then
applying an ordinary magnet to the dust, so that if a quantity of the
particles gravitate and adhere to the magnet the Tea is undoubtedly
adulterated in this form.

All adulterations and fabrications in general, however, may be best
detected by the following simple but effectual method: By putting a
small sample of the Tea leaves in a wine-glass or thin goblet and
pouring in clear cold water on them, and then stirring up or shaking
well for a few minutes so that the Tea, if pure, will only slightly
color the water, but if adulterated in any form a dark, muddy-looking
liquor is quickly yielded, which, if next boiled and allowed to stand
until cold, will, if spurious leaves are contained, become very bitter
to the taste and almost transparent as it cools, while if the sample
is composed of pure Tea only, it will be dark in color and pleasing in
flavor under the same conditions.



PART V.

ART OF BLENDING TEAS.


The primary object and fundamental principle of successful and
profitable Tea blending should be to obtain in a consolidated form what
is known as harmony of combination, that is, strength, pungency, flavor
and piquancy in the infusion, and at the same time to accomplish this
result with the smallest possible outlay. In order to secure this end
three important rules must be carefully followed: (1.) To learn the
taste of the consumer. (2.) To ascertain what Teas will combine best
to suit this taste, and (3.) To find out to what extent the component
parts of a once-adopted and satisfactory blend may be varied in case
of any difficulty to secure the same kind or grade of Teas for future
use. These essential objects can be best attained only by the proper
selecting, weighing and arranging of the proportionate qualities
and quantities of the different varieties and grades of Tea in such
a manner as to secure the best results with as little variation as
possible, so that before proceeding to produce a specific blend or
combination the dealer must consider well the descriptions of Tea that
will amalgamate most satisfactorily as well as those that will not
unite harmoniously, as _Teas that are not improved by combination are
certain to be deteriorated in blending_.

The whole art in successful Tea blending being to combine body and
pungency with some particular and distinct flavor in one in order to
please a majority of that portion of the public for whom the Tea is
specially prepared, and at the same time to arrange its constituent
parts in such a manner that this most desirable result may be
accomplished at a moderate cost to the dealer than that of any single
higher-priced variety, and again to learn how far the component parts
may be varied without seriously affecting its regularity, so that
advantage may be taken of the cheapness of any necessary variety or
grade in market during the season. But it must be understood at the
outset that all combinations of Tea, as a rule, must depend upon the
general character, grade and flavor of the Tea most in demand in the
particular section or district for which they are intended, that special
variety or grade forming the base or foundation of the blends prepared
for it; that is, it must dominate the combinations. As, for instance,
where Oolongs are most in demand the blend must consist of from
one-half to two-thirds of that variety, and so on with Congous, Japans,
India and Ceylon Teas, as the case may be.

       *       *       *       *       *

Uniformity of quality and flavor in Tea can only be secured by
intelligent and skillful blending, so that the advantages to be gained
by the mixing of several varieties and grades of Tea together is so
apparent that it needs no arguments to sustain them. But as only the
most expensive Teas possess in any marked degree the best all-round
qualities which go to make a thoroughly satisfactory beverage when used
alone, it is only by intelligent blending that this most desirable
result can be obtained at a moderate cost to the dealer. Again it is
the dealer who understands the art of blending his Teas successfully
who will invariably lead his competitors in the Tea-trade.

       *       *       *       *       *

The taste for any particular-flavored Tea being an acquired and not
a natural one, it necessarily follows that those consumers who have
been accustomed to a certain flavor invariably want that particular
flavor again, and so will be displeased with any other Tea that does
not possess it, although it may be much higher priced and better in
every way. Users of wine and other beverages have their likes and
dislikes, one preferring a light or mild and another a strong or
bitter taste, and so it is with most Tea drinkers when once they have
acquired a preference for some particular-flavored Tea. This being a
well-established fact among the Tea trade, it becomes essential for
the successful Tea blender to study and learn what particular variety,
grade or flavor of Tea his patrons have been accustomed to before
attempting to cater to it, as not only is there a more divergence
in the taste for Teas in the different parts of the country, but in
cities, towns and even in localities the specific flavors in demand
are so numerous and various that most of the leading Tea dealers have
been enabled to mark out a distinct trade for themselves. In large
cities this is a very wise and desirable policy to pursue, providing
the blend or blends adopted and found satisfactory are kept uniform and
regular thereafter, as it secures the return again and again of the
same customer to the dealer, and thus keeps his Tea business not only
steady but progressive. Even away from the large cities it is well to
bear the importance of this policy in mind, but while at the beginning
it may be found more advisable to keep fairly close to the established
taste of the town or locality, a gradual change by the introduction of
some special combination may be found the best course to pursue.

       *       *       *       *       *

With regard to the best Teas for blending purposes, before proceeding
to the study or preparation of any specific formulas, it will be
well for the dealer to consider the varieties and grades of Tea that
will not blend satisfactorily as well as those that will assimilate
successfully with each other. In this case it is much easier to
describe the negative side first, as Teas that will not be improved
are certain to be injured by blending. One of the best rules to act
upon as a guide to successful Tea blending is not to allow unclean or
damaged Teas--even in the smallest quantities--to be introduced into
any blend. This rule should be as rigidly adhered to in the common or
low-priced blends as in the choice or high-grade ones, because never
for a moment should it be forgotten by the dealer that if not improved
Teas are certain to be deteriorated by blending, particularly by the
introduction of inferior Teas. For this reason it may be well for him
to consider the grade of Tea that will combine satisfactorily as well
as that will not assimilate successfully with each other, as even
though all the other Teas composing a blend be well selected and well
arranged, the presence of a single damaged or inferior Tea will be
found to taste through it.

       *       *       *       *       *

All Ankois and Amoy Oolongs described by the trade as “herby” or
“weedy,” and sometimes as “woody” Teas, should be rejected altogether,
as should ever so small a quantity of these weedy Ankois be introduced
into a blend the entire combination will be irretrievably spoiled. All
“dusty,” “musty,” “stemmy,” tainted or otherwise damaged Foochow and
Formosa Oolongs should also be avoided by the successful Tea-blender,
as they will be certain to permeate and destroy any combination into
which they are introduced, no matter how small the quantity. And all
“musty,” “mousey,” “minty,” and “stemmy” Congou and Souchong Teas, as
well as all artificially-made and spurious Scented Teas, must also be
shunned.

       *       *       *       *       *

All Pingsuey, Canton, artificially-colored, and what are known in trade
as Country Green Teas, should be tabooed altogether, as they invariably
detract from any blend in which they may be used. If cheap Green Teas
must be had for blending, the surest policy is to select a true Moyune
Hyson or Twankay of low grade for the purpose, as the commonest kinds
of the latter will give better satisfaction in any combination of Teas
than the finest of the former sorts. And all artificially-colored Japan
Teas, as well as all those of a “fishy,” “brassy” or metallic flavor
must be avoided in blending, as they, too, destroy the good qualities
of the finer Teas forming the blend. And all old, sour or otherwise
tainted India, Ceylon and Java Teas in particular, should not, under
any circumstances, be handled by the would-be successful Tea blender,
as there is neither profit in them for the dealer nor satisfaction to
the consumer. In brief, select only good, clean sweet-drawing Teas for
all blending purposes, as it pays best in the end.

       *       *       *       *       *

The chief characteristics which distinguish fine Teas may be summed up
in the following sequence, viz.: choice Amoy Oolongs are “full-bodied
and toasty” in flavor. Foochows are “rich and mellow.” Formosas are
“fragrant and aromatic.” Fine Green Teas are “sparkling and pungent
in liquor,” while Congous are “fruity” in flavor and Souchongs are
slightly “tarry.” Choice Japans of all makes are light in draw and
what is known as “mealy” in flavor, while Indias are what is known as
“malty” and Ceylons “toasty.” Scented Teas are “piquant” and possess
what is technically termed a “bouquet,” but all Java Teas usually turn
sour or rancid in a very brief time after being once opened and exposed
to the atmosphere.


BLACK TEA BLENDS.


Formula No. 1.

For a low-priced Tea suitable for restaurant and general trade
where a cheap, heavy-bodied and strong-flavored liquor is the main
consideration:--

  Parts.       Varieties.         Price.

   2        Ning-chow Congou      @ .14
  10        Amoy Oolong           @ .12
                                   ----
        Average cost                .13

In the Oolong, which forms the base of this blend, a little coarseness
may be tolerated, but “herby” and “weedy” Teas must be avoided, as
what pungency is required is supplied by the Congou, which must,
however, be free from any suspicion of oldness or staleness, and if not
sufficiently heavy, the addition of one part of Broken-leaf Assam will
supply this defect.


No. 2.

Another low-priced blend is composed as follows:--

  Parts.        Varieties.        Price.

  2            Oonfa Congou       @ .20
  8            Mohea Oolong       @ .16
                                   ----
        Average cost              .16-1/2


No. 3.

For a low-priced to a fair grade Tea-blend the following combination
has been found satisfactory in a mining or manufacturing district,
where a full, heavy, substantial Tea is required:--

  Parts.          Varieties.        Price.

  1             Moning Congou       @ .20
  2             Amoy Oolong         @ .20
  7             Foochow Oolong      @ .20
                                     ----
        Average cost                  .20

This combination yields a dark-colored, heavy-bodied, “grippy”
beverage, one that will stand a second drawing and still be strong and
flavory.


No. 4.

Intended for same class of trade if former should not adequately
please:--

  Parts.        Varieties.        Price.

   1          Foochow Oolong      @ .18
   2          Kaisow Congou       @ .20
  10          Ning-yong Oolong    @ .16
                                   ----
        Average cost                .19

The Ning-yong in this combination should be clean and as sweet-drawing
as can be had for the price, and the Congou as high-toasted as
possible. If not sufficiently heavy or pungent, the addition of one
pound Broken-leaf Assam will improve it in this respect wonderfully.


No. 5.

For a fair to medium blend, a combination like the following will be
found to give almost universal satisfaction in any locality where a
full-ripe round liquor and high flavor is in demand:--

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

  1        Ning-chow Congou         @ .30
  2        Foochow Oolong           @ .24
  2        Formosa Oolong           @ .24
                                     ----
        Average cost                .24-1/4

The Foochow Oolong in this combination while possessing a full body is
not sufficiently flavory to tone-up the combination, the Formosa Oolong
is added for this purpose, the Congou giving character to the whole.


No. 6.

To obtain a grippy Tea, one that will stand a second drawing and
still possess sufficient body and flavor to please, the following is
suggested:--

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

  2        Foochow Oolong           @ .15
  3        Formosa Oolong           @ .20
  5        Kaisow Congou            @ .24
                                     ----
        Average cost                  .21


No. 7.

A blend similar to the following will be found to give very general
satisfaction at all times and in all sections, being full rich, and
strong, yet withal smooth and pleasing to the average taste and
entirely dissimilar to any single variety in common use:--

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

  1        Moning Congou            @ .30
  1        Basket-fired Japan       @ .30
  8        Formosa Oolong           @ .30
                                     ----
        Average cost                  .30

A fair Nankin Moyune Tea may be substituted for the Japan when Green
Tea is required in the combination, or, better still, added to it in
such cases.


No. 8.

A very serviceable Tea that will yield a rich, heavy-bodied pungent
liquor, much admired by Irish or English tea consumers, is composed as
follows:--

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

  3        Formosa Oolong           @ .30
  3        Pekoe-tipped Assam       @ .30
                                     ----
        Average cost                  .30

In this combination the Assam is introduced to add strength to the
piquancy of the Formosa, both forming a full-bodied, fragrant Tea in
conjunction.


No. 9.

The appended blend yields a clear, strong, bright infusion, rich and
fragrant in flavor and pleasing in aroma, for those who desire an
all-black Tea.

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

   1       Assam Pekoe              @ .30
   3       Basket-fired Japan       @ .24
   5       Formosa Oolong           @ .30
  10       Foochow Oolong           @ .26
                                     ----
        Average cost                  .27

The Oolongs in this combination lack body and pungency, which the
addition of the Assam imparts, the Japan giving the necessary fragrance.


No. 10.

The following blend has been found to give almost universal
satisfaction in a neighborhood composed chiefly of a working class and
to Tea drinkers generally, costing much less than any single variety
possessing the same cup qualities:--

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

  5        Foochow Oolong           @ .20
  5        Sun-dried Japan          @ .20
  5        Assam Souchong           @ .20
                                     ----
        Average cost                  .20


No. 11.

If the trade be a professional one, a blend like the following will be
found to suit the most fastidious taste:--

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

  1        Moyune Young Hyson       @ .40
  4        Choice Foochow Oolong    @ .40
  5        Choice Formosa Oolong    @ .40
                                     ----
        Average cost                  .40


No. 12.

When a particularly rich, full-bodied aromatic-flavored Tea is required
to please a taste otherwise difficult to suit, the appended formula is
recommended.

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

  2        Choicest Foochow Oolong  @
  3        Choicest Ceylon Pekoe    @
  5        Choicest Formosa Oolong  @
                                     ----
        Average cost


No. 13.

Another combination like the following that is unique in itself, the
flavor being unlike that of any single variety grown.

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

   5       Basket-fired Japan       @
  10       Foochow Oolong           @
  10       Moyune Young Hyson       @
                                     ----
        Average cost

But if still not of sufficient strength, add one part of fine Moning or
Kaisow Congou to tone it up.


No. 14.

The three most satisfactory and attractive blends in Black Teas,
however, are composed as follows, which may be divided into Choice,
Extra Choice and Choicest, and are warranted to suit any taste or
section of the country, in addition to the fact that the dealer need
not carry too many kinds for their preparation.


No. 15.

CHOICE.

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

  2        Kaisow Congou            @ .30
  8        Foochow Oolong           @ .30
                                     ----
        Average cost                  .30


No. 16.

EXTRA CHOICE.

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

  2        Moning Congou            @ .35
  2        Basket-fired Japan       @ .35
  6        Foochow Oolong           @ .35
                                     ----
        Average cost,                 .35


No. 17.

CHOICEST.

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

  2        Fine Ning-chow Congou    @ .40
  2        Fine Basket-fired Japan  @ .40
  6        Fine Formosa Oolong      @ .40
                                     ----
        Average cost,                 .40

       *       *       *       *       *

Ning-chow is one of the best of the Moning Congou Teas for blending
purposes; the finer grades being Pekoe-tipped and flavored. The dried
leaf is small, evenly curled and grayish-black in color, while the
infused leaf is of a bright-brown color with a tendency to red in the
cup. The liquor is rich, ripe and full in body, and the flavor is
more delicate and aromatic than that of any of the other varieties
of Congou Tea. The medium and lower grades will also be found very
useful to the dealer, as they are heavy and strong in liquor, combining
advantageously with most of the other Teas and keeping as a general
rule much better.

       *       *       *       *       *

To these may be added the following combinations.


No. 18.

FINE.

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

  1        Choice Assam Pekoe       @
  5        Choice Foochow Oolong    @
                                     ----
        Average cost


No. 19.

EXTRA FINE.

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

  1        Ceylon Golden Pekoe      @
  5        Choice Formosa Oolong    @
                                     ----
        Average cost


No. 20.

FINEST.

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

  5        Choicest Foochow Oolong  @
  5        Choicest Formosa Oolong  @
                                     ----
        Average cost

In the general run of trade these grades are unmatchable at any price,
and may be termed the perfection of Tea at their respective prices,
suiting any and all tastes.


GREEN TEA BLENDS.

In Green Tea blends the combinations are limited, being chiefly
confined to.


No. 1.

  Parts.     Varieties.             Price.

  3        Sun-dried Japan          @ .20
  3        Moyune Young Hyson       @ .24
                                     ----
        Average cost,                 .22


No. 2.

  Parts.        Varieties.        Price.

  3          Pan-fired Japan     @ .20
  7          Moyune Imperial     @ .30
                                   ----
        Average cost,               .27


No. 3.

And for a very low-priced Tea of this order the best results are
obtainable from a combination composed of:--

  Parts.        Varieties.        Price.

  5            Japan Nibs        @ .15
  5            Moyune Hyson      @ .15
                                   ----
        Average cost,               .15

In this latter blend, if the Hyson is scarce and difficult to secure,
a good, clean, sweet-drawing Twankay or Hyson-skin will answer the
purpose.


No. 4.

Two other good combinations are formed as follows when an all Imperial
and all Young Hyson is required:--

  Parts.        Varieties.        Price.

  2          Moyune Imperial     @
  2          Tienke Imperial     @
  6          Taiping Imperial    @
                                   ----
          Average cost


No. 5.

  Parts.        Varieties.        Price.

  2        Nankin Young Hyson    @
  2        Tienke Young Hyson    @
  6        Fy-chow Young Hyson   @
                                   ----
          Average cost


GREEN AND BLACK TEA BLENDS.

Green and Black Tea blends are mostly composed of parts Oolongs and
Imperials, the other varieties, such as Congous, Souchongs, India and
Ceylons, being considered as entirely too strong in combination with
the already pungent Green Teas.


No. 1.

  Parts.          Varieties.          Price.

  1           Moyune Imperial        @ .18
  4           Amoy Oolong            @ .15
                                       ----
        Average cost                    .15-1/2


No. 2.

  Parts.          Varieties.          Price.

  2        Choice Moyune Imperial    @ .30
  8        Choice Foochow Oolong     @ .28
                                       ----
        Average cost                    .28-1/2


No. 3.

  Parts.          Varieties.          Price.

  2          Moyune Young Hyson      @ .30
  4          Choice Formosa Oolong   @ .30
                                       ----
        Average cost                    .30


No. 4.

  Parts.          Varieties.          Price.

  2         Moyune Young Hyson       @ .40
  4         Choicest Foochow Oolong  @ .40
  4         Choicest Formosa Oolong  @ .40
                                       ----
        Average cost                    .40


No. 5.

Is a combination that is considered quite unique in itself by many
Tea-drinkers.

  Parts.          Varieties.          Price.

   5           Sun-dried Japan        @
  10           Moyune Young Hyson     @
  10           Choice Foochow Oolong  @
                                       ----
        Average cost

In China Green Teas Moyunes will be found the most valuable and
satisfactory for all blending purposes, the finer grades particularly
yielding a rich straw-colored liquor, very delicate and aromatic in
flavor, and at the same time possessing a pungency somewhat resembling
that of a choice Formosa Oolong in character.


CHINA AND JAPAN TEA BLENDS.

The following blends cannot be surpassed or even matched in strength
and flavor by any tea of either kind when used alone:--


No. 1.

  Parts.               Varieties.                Price.

  1            Ning-chow Congou                @
  2            Basket-fired Japan              @
  5            Foochow Oolong                  @
  5            Formosa Oolong                  @
                                                ----
        Average cost


No. 2.

The appended formula makes a splendid cup of Tea for such consumers as
may desire an all black blend:--

  Parts.              Varieties.               Price.

  1            Moning Congou                  @
  1            Basket-fired Japan             @
  8            Formosa Oolong                 @
                                               ----
        Average cost


No. 3.

A blend like the following will be found to give very general
satisfaction, being rich, full and strong, yet piquant and pleasing and
entirely foreign to any other Tea in general use:--

  Parts.                Varieties.              Price.

  1                  Pan-fired Japan           @
  1                  Moyune Imperial           @
  6                  Formosa Oolong            @
                                                ----
              Average cost


No. 4.

  Parts.           Varieties.                    Price.

  2            Sun-dried Japan                  @
  2            Basket-fired Japan               @
  6            Foochow Oolong                   @
                                                 ----
        Average cost


No. 5.

  Parts.           Varieties.                 Price.

  1            Moning Congou                 @
  1            Basket-fired Japan            @
  1            Moyune Imperial               @
  3            Foochow Oolong                @
  4            Formosa Oolong                @
                                              ----
        Average cost

In addition to these a blend composed of equal parts of a medium grade
Pan-fired Japan and a plain dark-drawing Foochow Oolong forms an
excellent combination at a moderate price. And a fair Pakeong Young
Hyson and a choice Sun-dried Japan yields an excellent liquor for those
desiring an all Green Tea blend.


INDIA AND CHINA TEA BLENDS.

In the appended combinations only from three to four component parts
are given for each blend, as the dealer should not attempt to mix more
of these sorts until he has become thoroughly acquainted with their
peculiarities or educated his trade up to their use:--


No. 1.

Intended for a very low-priced tea.

  Parts.            Varieties.               Price.

  2            Common Moning Congou         @ .15
  2            Common Kaisow Congou         @ .15
  2            Broken-leaf Assam            @ .15
                                             ----
        Average cost                          .15

This is a good combination where the water is hard, as it is in many
sections of the country, the sweetness of the Moning and briskness of
the Kaisow being unequalled for all low-priced blends.


No. 2

Is another excellent combination, answering the same purpose:--

  Parts.         Varieties.                    Price.

  1            Saryune Congou                 @
  1            Paklin Congou                  @
  3            Assam Congou                   @
                                               ----
        Average cost

Strength not appearance should be the test of the Teas forming this
blend, and if Assam Souchong is cheaper it may be used to better
advantage.


No. 3

Is composed of

  Parts.          Varieties.                    Price.

  1            Suey-kut Congou                 @
  1            Lapsing Souchong                @
  3            Rough Pungent Assam             @
                                                ----
        Average cost

A fine Kintuck or Kiukiang Congou may be used with equal advantage in
this blend if the Suey-kut is difficult to obtain.


No. 4.

  Parts.         Varieties.                    Price.

  1            Paklin Congou                  @
  2            Ning-chow Congou               @
  2            Darjeeling Souchong            @
                                               ----
        Average cost

The chief feature of this combination is its delicacy of flavor,
the Paklin imparting a deep rich color to the liquor, the Ning-chow
enriching the flavor, and the Darjeeling adding weight and strength to
the entire blend.


No. 5

Makes a very good medium-priced Tea, one nearly always sure of
appreciation among a foreign population:--

  Parts.            Varieties.                  Price.

  1            Fruity Moning Congou            @
  1            Souchong-flavored Kaisow        @
  3            Pungent Cachar Souchong         @
                                                ----
        Average cost

The latter must be strong and grippy in order to give strength and
fullness to the other component parts of this combination.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the blending of India Teas alone the best results are obtained
from a combination of equal parts of the Assam, Cachar and Darjeeling
sorts, a good plan being to mix three to five of these Teas together. A
leading and popular blend is composed of a strong, thick Assam, a brisk
and pungent Cachar, with a ripe, juicy Deradoon and a fine flavored
Darjeeling or soft character Kangra to impart a distinctive feature to
the combination.


INDIA, CHINA AND JAPAN BLENDS.

In the blending of India, China and Japan Teas the dealer must use
extreme caution, as the combining of these varieties is comparatively
a new departure among American Tea consumers.


No. 1.

  Parts.          Varieties.                   Price.

   1            Assam Pekoe                    @
   1            Formosa Oolong                 @
   3            Basket-fired Japan             @
  10           Foochow Oolong                  @
                                                ----
        Average cost


No. 2.

  Parts.         Varieties.                    Price.

  5            Assam Souchong                 @
  5            Foochow Oolong                 @
  5            Sun-dried Japan                @
                                               ----
        Average cost


No. 3.

  Parts.         Varieties.                    Price.

  1            Moning Congou                  @
  2            Assam Souchong                 @
  7            Foochow Oolong                 @
                                               ----
        Average cost


No. 4.

The annexed combination has proven to be a very popular Tea in many
sections of Philadelphia and vicinity:--

  Parts.          Varieties.                    Price.

  1            Pan-fired Japan                 @
  1            Moyune Imperial                 @
  1            Choice Assam                    @
  6            Formosa Oolong                  @
                                                ----
        Average cost


No. 5.

  Parts.           Varieties.                  Price.

   1            Broken-leaf Assam              @
   2            Kaisow Congou                  @
  10           Ning-yong Oolong                @
                                                ----
        Average cost

In this latter combination both the Ning-yong and Kaisow Congou must
be clean; that is, as free from dust as possible at the price, and
fairly heavy in body. The Assam being added to impart tone, character
and flavor to the whole, it should be fresh and strong, and while a
little coarseness may be tolerated in it, an earthy-flavored one must
be avoided.


INDIA AND CEYLON BLENDS.

The blending of India and Ceylon Teas is chiefly confined to equal
parts of each. The lower grades being generally composed of Broken-leaf
and Fannings.


No. 1.

  Parts.            Varieties.             Price.

  2            Ceylon Pekoe               @
  8            Assam Pekoe-Souchong       @
                                           ----
        Average cost


No. 2.

An excellent blend of these varieties is composed of

  Parts.            Varieties.                 Price.

  5            Assam Pekoe-Souchong           @
  5            Ceylon Pekoe-Souchong          @
                                               ----
        Average cost

This combination will please the most fastidious drinkers of these
Teas.


No. 3.

Makes a very pleasing Tea for consumers who prefer these growths to any
other.

  Parts.            Varieties.                  Price.

  2            Ceylon Silver-Pekoe             @
  2            Ceylon Golden-Pekoe             @
  6            India Pekoe-Souchong            @
                                                ----
        Average cost

Broken-leaf India and Ceylon Teas are especially useful for all
blending purposes, and a judicious use of these grades--of say two
parts to ten of the other kinds--will often give the dealer an
advantage of from four to six cents per pound in addition to greatly
improving the blend, more particularly when the other Teas are leafy
and free from dust. But all low-grade India and Ceylon Teas that
possess a burnt, baked, sour or raw flavor, must be avoided.


INDIA, CHINA AND CEYLON BLENDS.

In all combinations of India, Ceylon and China Teas the average
quantity of the former kinds used should be from one-fifth to one-sixth.


No. 1.

  Parts.          Varieties.                    Price.

  1            Ceylon Souchong                 @
  1            Assam Souchong                  @
  5            China Souchong                  @
                                                ----
        Average cost


No. 2.

A blend like the following will be found to yield a strong, rich and
fragrant infusion for customers desiring Ceylon and India Teas:--

  Parts.          Varieties.                       Price.

  1              Assam Pekoe                      @
  1              Choice Ceylon Souchong           @
  5              Choice Formosa Oolong            @
                                                   ----
          Average cost


No. 3.

But if a rich, heavy-bodied and aromatic Tea is required to please a
taste difficult to suit, the appended formula is recommended:--

  Parts.           Varieties.                      Price.

  2              Ceylon Pekoe                     @
  2              Assam Souchong                   @
  6              Foochow Oolong                   @
                                                   ----
          Average cost

The Oolong used in this formula must possess pungency and high-flavor,
the addition of the Ceylon imparting a “toastiness,” the Assam
furnishing “maltiness” and strength to the entire combination.

       *       *       *       *       *

For a very cheap Tea a low-priced Mohea Oolong and Broken-leaf Assam,
both costing about 15 cents, and blended in equal proportions, cannot
be excelled by any single Tea at 30 cents when used alone. This
combination gives better satisfaction to Tea-drinkers of this grade and
costs much less.


SCENTED TEA BLENDS.

Among English and Scotch Tea consumers Scented Teas are used very
largely in nearly all combinations, and more especially in those of the
lower-priced blends; but where this is done it is always best to use
only Moning Congous for the foundation Tea of the blend, as Scented
Teas combine far better with Monings than with Kaisows. One of the
most common errors in Tea blending, however, is that a certain large
portion of Scented Teas, when combined with any other variety--no
matter how flat, rough or astringent the latter may be--will make a
blend not only palatable but pleasing. This is an illusion, as Scented
Teas of themselves cannot master or overpower commonness or supply
lack of strength to any Tea or Teas which does not already possess
it. But while it is admitted that a small quantity may improve any
blend, if too freely or injudiciously used it will make the combination
thin, and, in addition, unless the Scented Tea has been well selected,
the blend will probably taste heavy in the cup. When Scented Caper
is used too freely in a blend special care must be taken to obtain
a very heavy-bodied Tea for the foundation, it being best to add
thick-liquoring Indias, as otherwise a too plentiful use of Caper will
make the infusion thin and bitter.


No. 1.

For use only in Scented Tea districts or among Irish, English and
Scotch Tea consumers.

  Parts.           Varieties.                     Price.

  1              Moning Congou                   @
  1              Assam Souchong                  @
  1              Scented Caper                   @
                                                  ----
          Average cost

Should this combination be too light in draw, two pounds or parts of
the Congou may be used or the Assam increased half a pound or part.


No. 2.

  Parts.               Varieties.                   Price.

  1/4            Scented Flowery Pekoe             @
  1              Assam Pekoe-Souchong              @
  4              Saryune Congou                    @
                                                    ----
          Average cost

In this combination the Assam must be strong and pungent and the Congou
selected for its sweetness and briskness, and both free from coarseness
and should be neither thin or sour.


No. 3.

  Parts.                Varieties.                    Price.

  1/4              Scented Orange Pekoe              @
  1                Padrae Souchong                   @
  2                Assam Souchong                    @
  2                Moning Souchong                   @
                                                      ----
            Average cost

This combination is of great strength and intended only for those who
prefer a heavy dark-liquored Tea, as it is much too strong to please
the average taste.


No. 4.

The following combinations are very popular among English Tea consumers
in this country, and will be found to suit the average taste for
scented Tea-blends.

  Parts.           Varieties.                       Price.

  1              Formosa Oolong                    @
  1              Orange Pekoe                      @
  2              Assam Pekoe                       @
  2              China Souchong                    @
  4              Kaisow Congou                     @
  6              Moning Congou                     @
                                                    ----
          Average cost

The base or foundation of this blend, as will be noticed, is composed
of Moning Congou, the Souchong enriching it, and the Kaisow being added
to give it the requisite flavor, the Pekoe imparting aroma, and the
Oolong smoothness, while the Assam adds body, sharpness and pungency to
the whole.


No. 5.

Another very similar scented Tea-blend that may be prepared cheaper,
but which will not prove quite as satisfactory, is composed as
follows:--

  Parts.           Varieties.                     Price.

  1              Foochow Oolong                  @
  1              Orange Pekoe                    @
  1              Scented Caper                   @
  2              Assam Congou                    @
  2              China Souchong                  @
  6              Kaisow Congou                   @
  6              Moning Congou                   @
                                                  ----
          Average cost

The Moning Congou forming the base of this combination not possessing
the strength and flavor of these used in the first, an extra quantity
of Assam is required to tone them up. The equal proportion of Kaisow
imparting a richer flavor as well as toning down the high toast of the
Assam used in it, the Pekoe giving an aroma or “bouquet” to the entire
blend.


ENGLISH TEA BLENDS.

Blended Teas are the rule in England, where the skillful mixing of
Teas has become a science; very little, if any, Tea being sold to
consumers in its original state, every dealer, both wholesale and
retail, being noted for or identified with some unique or particularly
flavored blend of Tea. The majority of these combinations, although
markedly distinct and differing widely in flavor and almost opposite
in character, are skillfully combined, the greatest care being taken
that no Tea is introduced into a blend that may act detrimentally upon
the others forming the combination, which proves that no matter how
great the divergence in the Teas whenever knowledge and judgment is
brought to bear on the subject success is sure to follow. And, again,
that, although most of the combinations are exceedingly popular, there
is still ample room for the introduction of new ones as well as for
improvement on those in use at present. But the knowledge and skill
displayed by English Tea dealers in this particular branch of their
business is only attained by frequent tests and experiments, that
is, by generally mixing together from three to five samples of Tea
differing in variety, grade and character, and alternately changing
and substituting the qualities and quantities until they eventually
succeed in producing a Tea at a more moderate price, identified with
themselves, and more satisfactory to their customers, in addition to
differing in every respect from the Teas offered by their competitors.


No. 1.

  Parts.              Varieties.                    Price.

  1              Fruity Moning Congou              @
  1              Fine Ceylon Congou                @
  1              Fine Assam Congou                 @
  1              Fine Scented Caper                @
                                                    ----
          Average cost

The Moning should be thick and heavy in liquor and also the Ceylon,
while the Caper must be highly scented.


No. 2.

  Parts.           Varieties.                     Price.

  1              Oopack Congou                   @
  1              Ceylon Congou                   @
  1              Assam Pekoe-Souchong            @
  1              China Scented Caper             @
                                                  ----
          Average cost

In this blend the Oopack must not be thin, “woody” or old, while the
Caper should be selected more for its high scent and strength rather
than its style. The Ceylon Congou heavy in draw and the Pekoe-Souchong
strong and pungent.


No. 3.

  Parts.             Varieties.                       Price.

  1              Ceylon Congou                       @
  1              Ning-chow Congou                    @
  1              Broken-leaf Assam                   @
  1              Darjeeling Souchong                 @
                                                      ----
          Average cost

The Ceylon Congou should be heavy and strong, the Ning-chow round and
full, the Assam pungent and the Darjeeling possess as much character as
possible at the price.


No. 4.

  Parts.                 Varieties.                   Price.

  1              Chingwo Congou                      @
  1              Ceylon Souchong                     @
  1              Darjeeling Pekoe-Souchong           @
  1              Assam Orange Pekoe                  @
                                                      ----
          Average cost

The Chingwo must be first crop if obtainable, and the Ceylon thin,
while the Indias should be rich, ripe and free from all coarseness.


No. 5

  Parts.              Varieties.                Price.

  1              Oonfa Congou                  @
  1              Kaisow Congou                 @
  1              Darjeeling Pekoe              @
  1              Assam Souchong                @
  1              Ceylon Golden-Pekoe           @
                                                ----
          Average cost

In this combination the Congous must be full and rich, and if a little
“tarry” in flavor the better, but must not be old or sour.


No. 6.

  Parts.                Varieties.                  Price.

  1              Kintuck Congou                    @
  1              Ceylon Congou                     @
  1              China Flowery Pekoe               @
  1              Assam Orange Pekoe                @
  1              Darjeeling Pekoe-Souchong         @
                                                    ----
          Average cost

Both the Congous must be first crop or of good grade, the China Pekoe
highly scented and the India Pekoes thick in liquor and pungent in
flavor.


No. 7.

  Parts.              Varieties.               Price.

  1              Oonfa Congou                 @
  1              Chingwo Congou               @
  1              Foochow Oolong               @
  1              Assam Pekoe-Souchong         @
  1              China Scented Caper          @
                                               ----
          Average cost

All tarriness and sourness must be avoided in the Congous, the Foochow
heavy-bodied and the Caper full-scented, while the India must be of
high grade and strength.


No. 8.

  Parts.               Varieties.                  Price.

  1              Kaisow Congou                    @
  1              Moning Congou                    @
  1              China Orange Pekoe               @
  1              Assam Orange Pekoe               @
  1              Darjeeling Orange Pekoe          @
                                                   ----
          Average cost

The Moning must be light and fragrant, the Kaisow, Souchong-flavored,
the Assam full and rich, the Darjeeling fairly pungent and of good
quality, while the China Pekoe should be very high scented.


No. 9.

  Parts.              Varieties.                Price.

  1              Kaisow Congou                 @
  1              Ning-chow Congou              @
  1              Lapsing Souchong              @
  1              Ceylon Orange Pekoe           @
  1              Assam Orange Pekoe            @
                                                ----
          Average cost

In this combination the Congous should be fairly thick and fruity, the
Souchong heavy and a little “tarry,” the Ceylon smooth and the India
pungent in liquor.


No. 10.

  Parts.            Varieties.                 Price.

  1              Ning-chow Congou             @
  1              Chingwo Congou               @
  2              Darjeeling Pekoe             @
  6              Broken-leaf Assam            @
                        or
  6              Broken-leaf Ceylon           @
                                               ----
          Average cost

       *       *       *       *       *

Many of the Tea-blends in use in England, although differing widely
in liquor and flavor, are most skillfully combined, the greatest
caution being taken that no Tea is introduced in them that may in any
way act detrimentally upon any of the other Teas forming the blend.
As stated above, the majority of these English blends are markedly
distinct in cup-qualities, in fact, almost diametrically opposite, the
chief feature of one being a rich, ripe Tea, that of another being
an even-leafed, delicate-flavored Tea, while the foundation of the
third is composed of a plain grade, to which is added a rough, coarse
or broken Tea, in order to increase its body or give point to the
combination, a small quantity of some good, sweet, low-priced kind
being frequently introduced to reduce the cost. Again, after the
English Tea dealer has once succeeded in producing a popular flavored
Tea, he is most careful to keep the component parts of the blend as
uniform as possible, and never permits even his employees to know of
what Teas his combination is formed. He thus becomes celebrated for
keeping a flavor and character of Tea that cannot be procured elsewhere
at any price, and when once his customers becomes educated to that
especial flavor they are sure to return again and again for it.


RUSSIAN TEA BLENDS.

The Russians, who are a nation of Tea drinkers and use as much tea per
head as the Chinese themselves, consume principally China Souchongs
and the better grades of Congous, their blends and combinations being
chiefly composed of these varieties, so that in sections populated with
Russians, Russian Jews and Poles the appended specimens will suffice
for their use:--


No. 1.

Intended for a cheap, strong, full-bodied Tea is composed of

  Parts.                Varieties.                Price.

  1              Common Moning Congou            @
  1              Common Kaisow Congou            @
  3              Common Lapsing Souchong         @
                                                  ----
          Average cost


No. 2.

A good, heavy-bodied medium Tea is formed as follows:--

  Parts.              Varieties.                Price.

  1              Padrae Congou                 @
  1              Assam Pekoe-Souchong          @
  3              Lapsing Souchong              @
                                                ----
          Average cost


No. 3.

  Parts.             Varieties.                 Price.

  1              Kaisow Congou                 @
  1              Ning-chow Congou              @
  1              China Orange Pekoe            @
  3              Lapsing Souchong              @
                                                ----
          Average cost


No. 4.

Latterly, however, India and Ceylons are coming more into use in this
country with this class of trade, so that combinations of China, India
and Ceylons, such as the following, are very popular among them.

  Parts.            Varieties.               Price.

  2              India Congou               @
  4              Lapsing Souchong           @
  4              Ceylon Souchong            @
                                             ----
          Average cost


No. 5.

  Parts.            Varieties.                Price.

  1              India Souchong              @
  1              Ceylon Souchong             @
  6              Lapsing Souchong            @
                                              ----
          Average cost

In Russia the Samovar, or tea pot, is always steaming, and the natives
never cease drinking tea while there is water left to prepare it.
It is served at all hours of the day, in palace as well as hovel;
shops abound for its sale in all the principal cities, all business
transactions being made and sealed over steaming goblets of Tea.
But however great the number or wide the divergence in the liquors
and flavors of the combinations here given, wherever knowledge and
judgment is brought to bear on the subject, success is sure to follow
the efforts of the dealer; and although the majority of the foregoing
blends have been found exceedingly good by actual experience, there is
still ample room for other combinations by the progressive Tea-blender
as well as for great improvements upon those that are presented here.


RULES FOR SUCCESSFUL TEA BLENDING.

The great art of successful Tea blending consists in the combining of
quality, strength, pungency with some particular liquor and distinct
flavor so as to please the greatest number of consumers for whom the
blend is intended, and at the same time to arrange the component parts
in such a manner that this result may be attained at the smallest
possible cost to the dealer. In order to accomplish this object
three important points are necessary: (1.) The dealer must study to
understand the tastes and preferences of his customers for whom the
blend is to be prepared. (2.) He must learn to know which varieties and
grades of Tea that will combine best to please this taste, and (3.) He
must learn to know how far the component parts of each blend can be
varied when required without seriously affecting its uniformity, so
that he may be the better enabled to take advantage of the cheapness of
any special grade of Tea in the market.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the blending of China Congous it will be found most desirable to
avoid the mixing of Teas of a heavy, strong or coarse description, such
as “Red-Leaf” Teas of the Padrae and Saryune sorts with those of a
highly flavored and delicate character, such as Monings and Chingwos,
as to blend Teas of such markedly different characters will be found
beneficial to neither. This rule also applies to Formosa Oolongs and
the Congou sorts, as the briskness of the lower and livelier Tea
is marred by the softness of the more delicate and flavory Tea in
the combination, while the body of the former will be spoiled by the
delicacy of the latter.

       *       *       *       *       *

The importance of retaining all blends regular and uniform--when
once they have been adopted and proven satisfactory--cannot be
overestimated, as what Tea dealer can expect continued success if
his blends consist one week or month of fine, flavory Teas, the next
of heavy, dull-liquored Teas, and the third of a sharp, pungent or
astringent character? Each new combination may possess good qualities
of its own, all its component parts be skillfully and judiciously
arranged and the mixing performed with the greatest care, but unless
one or more good blends is decided on and then closely adhered to
complaints will be made by the customers if they do not go elsewhere.
To obtain this necessary uniformity is sometimes very difficult for
the dealer, as no two invoices of Tea will be found exactly alike in
all respects; and although Teas may be selected of about the same
grade and quality, even chosen from those grown in the same district
and blended in exactly the same proportions as in the combination they
are intended to replace, the divergence may still be so great as to
cause dissatisfaction among the customers. This variation may best be
avoided by not changing more than one of the Teas composing the blend
at the same time, so that when a number of Teas are used in a blend
the alteration of any one of them--providing that particular one is
fairly matched--will make but a comparatively small difference in the
combination. If the changes in the various Teas forming the blend are
thus made gradually, few, if any, of the customers will detect the
slight alteration in the blend.

Scoops or other measures must not be relied on in the proper blending
of Teas; _scales and weights must be invariably used_ if the dealer
wants to be precise and successful in the business. For if it is worth
his time and trouble to test a number and variety of Teas in order
that he may select the most suitable for the purpose, and then study
how to arrange them in the best and most advantageous proportions, it
certainly is worth the little extra time and trouble of not marring
the qualities of his combinations by an injudicious and hap-hazard
muddling of the quantities of the various parts composing the blends.
This advantage of _weighing_ the Teas for blending is not excelled even
by the advantages gained by the careful and judicious selection of the
Teas for blending purposes.

       *       *       *       *       *

All Teas after being blended should be allowed to stand in the caddie
or bin, tightly closed, for from a week to ten days before dispensing,
in order that the different Teas composing the blends may have
sufficient time to assimilate and to exchange or impart their opposite
flavors to each other. For should they not be allowed to thus stand,
and the Tea be used just as soon as the blend is prepared, first one
and then another of its component parts will predominate in too great
a proportion, by which the time and trouble that has been taken in
arranging the blend will have been to a large extent wasted and thrown
away; while if the mixture be allowed to remain in the bin or caddie as
directed, it will eventually become as one Tea and be always regular
and uniform in quality and flavor.

       *       *       *       *       *

Good, clean and sweet low-grade Teas being nearly always to be had
for a few cents per pound above the price of the cheap, trashy Teas
now offered on the American market, it is only folly for the dealer
to purchase the latter, as they are not cheap at any price, as by the
supposed saving of these few cents in the pound, the seed is not only
sown for the future ruin of the individual dealer, but it also disgusts
the public with Tea as an article of food, while on the other hand if
the Tea dealer will make a comparatively small but requisite sacrifice
for the sake of future gain, complete satisfaction will be given to his
customers, the trade in Tea will be fostered and increased, and a great
impetus given to its consumption by a discriminating public.

       *       *       *       *       *

A blend of Tea should never have its cost reduced by the introduction
of a grade coarser in nature than that of a majority of the Teas
forming the combination, so that low-grade Teas when used for reducing
the cost of the blend should be as full, plain and sweet as possible.
This is advisable for the reason that a Tea of such a pronounced
character will more or less stamp its own impression upon any blend
into which it may be introduced. Again, should the lowest-priced Tea in
a blend be a Tea of a marked or inferior character, instead of its being
absorbed by the other Teas in the blend, its disagreeable features will
stand out prominently among them, while the superior qualities of the
finer grades will be--if not entirely obliterated--yet so injured as to
be scarcely recognizable. While if the component parts of the blend be
so well arranged that the most powerful Tea constituting it be also the
highest grade Tea, the effect produced is that the other Teas in it are
raised to its level, but if the powerful Tea is one of the low-priced
Teas the others naturally reduce to its standard.

Early picked or “first-crop” Teas should always be chosen when possible
to obtain for blending purposes, as first-crop Teas are always superior
to the later pickings in flavor and aroma, in the greater amount of
_Theine_ (the active principle of Tea) which they contain as well as in
their keeping qualities and blending properties, in fact, in everything
except body for which Tea is deemed valuable; but in addition to
selecting first-crop Teas for high-grade blends, it will be found
advisable each season to ascertain the district yielding the best
product, thus making quality as well as quantity the test of success,
for as with wheat and other crops the Tea crop varies considerably
according to the season, some years it is very good in one province or
district while in others it may prove a comparative failure; thus one
year a certain crop of Tea may be heavy and strong in liquor and flavor
and next thin, weak and flavorless, while other “chops” that have been
lacking in these qualities last year may possess the most desirable
qualities this year. All varieties of Tea are equally subject to
these variations, so that the advantages to be derived from a careful
utilization of the best district crops of the year with but slight
consideration will be very manifest to the dealer himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

The tastes in Tea of different communities varying widely, the dealer
should study and learn the particular kind and flavor best adapted
to the district or locality in which he is doing business, as a Tea
that may suit one class of consumers will not sell at all in another,
so that the dealer himself should ascertain by repeated trials what
variety or grade of Tea best suits his own particular trade. This
object can best be accomplished by a series of experiments with the
numerous kinds of Tea, and then noting and adopting the character
and flavor of the Tea or Teas that gives the best satisfaction in
price and quality to a majority of his patrons. Before proceeding to
give formulas for any specific combinations it will be well for the
dealer to consider the varieties and grades of Tea that will not blend
satisfactorily as well as those which will assimilate best with each
other, for it must not be forgotten for a moment by the dealer that
_Tea if not improved is certain to be injured by blending_. But it
is much easier for him to learn what Teas to avoid than what Teas to
select, and what are best adapted to his particular trade.

       *       *       *       *       *

Generally in a thickly-populated manufacturing and mining district, or
among all working classes in this country, heavy-bodied, sweet-drawing
Amoy and dark-leaved, strong Foochow Oolongs will prove the most
popular Teas for the base or foundation of all blends, while in a
district composed chiefly of Irish, English or Scotch Tea consumers,
Congous, Souchongs and the better grades of India and Ceylon Teas
will be found to give the best satisfaction. In neighborhoods made up
of Polish and Russian Jews, low-grade, dark-drawing, thick-liquored
Congous and Souchongs, or combinations of these two varieties alone,
will be found the most satisfactory, being known to them as Russian
Teas, from the fact that these are the only sorts used among Russian
Tea drinkers.

       *       *       *       *       *

For the base of the best blends or for flavoring purposes among purely
American Tea consumers a really choice Formosa Oolong will be found an
exceedingly valuable Tea, as a small quantity of fine or even tolerably
good Formosa Tea will permeate and taste through any combination,
and most Tea drinkers, when once they become accustomed to its unique
flavor, will rarely be pleased with any other Tea afterwards. The
dried leaf of the choicer grades is small and artistically made,
yellowish-black in color, while the infused leaf is bright green and
uniform. The liquor is of a rich straw color, its value consisting in
a combination of piquancy, pungency and delicate aroma.

       *       *       *       *       *

To successfully accomplish the building up of a profitable and
permanent Tea business three things are requisite: (1.) The dealer must
keep the best Teas obtainable at the most popular prices. (2.) He must
let the public know by advertising or other means that he keeps them.
(3.) It is also most important that all standard blends should possess
some distinct or characteristic flavor by which it may be readily
recognized by those who use it. But at the same time there is very
little use in advertising or making known a Tea that does not possess
intrinsic merit, as merit without some publicity makes but slow headway
in these progressive times.

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the principal objects to keep in view in forming a Tea-blend
is that it will come out well in the water in which it is to be
infused; that it shall possess a flavor that will please the taste of a
majority of the customers and at the same time be of such a distinctive
character as to make the combination your own particular specialty. But
it must be borne in mind that Teas draw quite differently in hard and
soft water, and the dealer’s object should be to offer only the best
possible Tea for the money expended. He should also avoid those kinds
which are unsuitable to the water of his locality.

Soft water has a great advantage over hard in the testing and
preparation of Tea for use, so that many parts of the country possess
an advantage over others in the use of Tea, as wherever the water is
soft and pure far better results are obtained from an infusion of a
given quantity of leaves than can be produced from the hard water of
other sections. This difference arises from the now well-established
fact that soft water dissolves a greater percentage of the theine--the
active principle of Tea--than hard water, thus causing its properties
to become more apparent, the coarseness as well as fineness being
brought out to a greater extent by the action of the soft water in all
cases, and consequently the too highly-fired and brisk-burnt Teas so
much in favor in some sections of the country for low-priced blends are
not liked at all in the sections where soft water alone is to be had.
For this reason, also, Teas of the Congou and Souchong order are most
appreciated where the water is soft, as the natural delicacy of their
flavor is best extracted by soft water and in even greater proportions
than is the flavor of the other varieties known to trade.

       *       *       *       *       *

In testing Teas by infusion or drawing for blending, four important
facts must be borne in mind by the dealer: (_1._) _The water used for
drawing them should be as soft and pure as can be obtained or filtered
before using._ (_2._) _It must be boiled as rapidly as possible and
used only at the boiling point, and_ (_3._) _It must be boiling, but
must not overboil_, for should it be allowed to overboil for even a
few minutes it will not extract the full strength and aroma from the
leaves. All Tea experts are most particular on these points, so much so
that they have the kettle watched in order that the water may be poured
on the Tea the moment it boils, and if any water remains in the kettle
it is immediately poured away, as the effect of using water that has
been boiled a second time is the same as that of water that has been
permitted to overboil. Should the buyer, from neglect or indifference,
use water that has not been boiled, the leaves in the cup will float
on top and not sink to the bottom as in the case of boiling water,
and should the water be overboiled or boiled a second time it will
be readily detected by its appearance in the cup, the infusion being
thin and insipid and of a peculiar, sickly color. (4.) The infusion
should be allowed to draw from four to six minutes, according to the
variety of Tea under treatment, that is, China and Japan Teas, five to
six minutes, while India, Ceylon and Java Teas require only three to
four minutes, owing to the great excess of tannin which they contain.
But all the properties of the Tea that can be dissolved in the cup is
fully extracted in from three to four minutes, five to six minutes
being generally sufficient for all Teas, as the infusion is then at
its best, but from that time on the Tea gradually loses its aroma and
flavor until, if allowed to stand for half an hour, it becomes dull and
insipid. Another important point must here be noted by the dealer, it
is that a good Tea becomes better as it cools, while a poor Tea becomes
poorer under the same conditions.

       *       *       *       *       *

The leaves of a choice, pure Tea will be found, after infusion, to be
of a medium and uniform size, perfectly formed and unbroken and of a
bright-green or dark-brown, according to the kind of Tea tested, that
is, Oolongs, Green and Japan Teas will be greenish, while Congous,
Souchongs, India, Ceylon and Java Teas will be dark-brown in color. All
Teas of the Oolong varieties are subject to the same rules in judging
them, and the same rules that govern in testing Green Teas will also
apply to Japans. While the selection of Indias, Ceylons and Teas of the
China-Congou sorts are also governed by similar rules in testing and
selecting.

       *       *       *       *       *

Still another important point for the dealer to keep in mind is the
necessity of securing Teas that will draw well in the water of his
district. To aid in this selection the following kinds are suggested:--

~For Very Hard Water~--Padrae, Saryune and strong, “tarry” Oonfa
Congous are best, also Indias of the Assam variety and heavy-drawing
Ceylons, including broken-leaf Pekoes are best adapted.

~For Medium Hard Water~--Flavory India Teas, including Cachars,
Darjeeling and Ceylons of all kinds, first crop Panyongs and rich,
thick, round Keemun Congous, Oolongs, Japans and Green Teas of all
grades.

~For Soft Water~--All varieties and grades of Oolong, Green, Scented
and Japan Teas, Ningchow, Paklin and Chingwo Congous, light-drawing
Indias and Ceylons of nearly all kinds as well as all descriptions of
high-flavored Teas.



PART VI.

ART OF KEEPING, SELLING AND PREPARING TEA.


The utmost care is necessary in the keeping and handling of Tea in
order to prevent from deteriorating in strength and flavor or otherwise
decaying until disposed of. It should therefore whenever possible be
kept by itself in a moderately warm temperature and always covered
over until required, and when any of the packages have been opened and
the contents not all removed, care must be taken to replace the lead
lining, lid and matting, so as to exclude the dust and damp as well as
all foreign odors that may surround it. For this reason also Tea should
never be exposed in windows or at store-doors where the air, damp and
dust surely and rapidly destroy all semblance to its original condition.

       *       *       *       *       *

All Teas when once they have ripened and become seasoned commence to
decay, but there is a vast difference in the time that some varieties
will last before the deterioration becomes objectionable in comparison
with others. Some kinds, such as Foochow and Formosa Oolongs, keeping
for a year or more. China Congous and Souchongs and Japan Teas from
six to eight months, while Scented Teas, India and Ceylon Teas, after
a much briefer period become dull and brackish, and it frequently
happens that when the latter are a year old they are worth only half
their original cost.

       *       *       *       *       *

All Teas possessing a natural aptitude to become impregnated with
foreign flavor of any product placed near it, and to absorb the foul
odors by which they may be surrounded, should be kept as far apart as
possible from any high-smelling articles in the dealer’s stock--such as
soap, fish, spices and oils of all kinds--as they very rapidly absorb
any pungent odors that may be in their immediate vicinity. And Teas
have even been known to completely alter their flavor and character by
being placed too close to molasses, oranges and lemons, therefore it
becomes important for the dealer not to keep Teas too near any product
emitting a foul or strong aroma. For this reason also they should not
be dispensed out of freshly-painted bins or caddies, it being much more
preferable at all times to deal them out of the original lead-lined
chests, replacing the lid until required. Again, Teas should never be
mixed in rainy, damp or humid weather, as they are bound to absorb and
be injured by the oxydizing influences of the atmosphere, nor must they
be kept too near a fire or stove, a dry, cool atmosphere of moderate
temperature being always best for them.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of the numerous commodities dealt in by the grocer there is none so
important as that of Tea, this importance being due to its value
as a trade-making, trade-retaining and profit-producing article,
particularly when furnished of such quality as to give permanent
satisfaction to the general public as well as to the regular customer.
But notwithstanding its importance in these respects there is no
article handled by the grocer the quality and value of which is so
little understood by the average dealer. Again assailed as the retail
grocery business now is by keen competition from so many queer Teas,
the necessity for a better knowledge of and more careful attention to
the article is at once apparent if the grocer--to whom its sale of
right belongs--is not to find the almost entire withdrawal of this
article from his line of business.

       *       *       *       *       *

To properly understand the selecting and blending of Teas is therefore
to be possessed of a valuable and profitable knowledge; but while such
proficiency is not within the scope of every dealer, the study of these
points to any extent will prove not only lucrative but entertaining and
instructive. And while it may be claimed that such a study will occupy
too much valuable time, or that it is much more economical to purchase
from the wholesale Tea blender, still the great importance of a better
acquaintance with such knowledge and experience must be evident to the
dealer. For the proper blending of Tea the dealer should be provided
with a small kettle and other apparatus for filtering and boiling
the water as conveniently and rapidly as possible. Small scales for
weighing the samples of Tea to be tested, pots for drawing and cups for
tasting, and so start from the beginning.

       *       *       *       *       *

Samples of the Teas desired having been procured from different houses
should then be drawn and tested and a careful examination made of the
leaves of each, their size, color, condition and smell being closely
noted. In such drawings all Teas of an objectionable character should
be set aside, and those remaining on the boards carefully arranged
in the order of their value; but should any doubt exist in giving a
decision between the several samples as to their superiority, then
the drawing should be repeated and the poorer ones rejected, thus
narrowing down the contest to the best Teas. Again, where it proves
difficult to decide between the cup qualities of those remaining,
then the size, style, condition and weight of the dry leaf should
be taken into consideration, which will be found helpful in making
the required decision. The decision having been arrived at, however,
the Tea considered best may also be higher in price than some others
approximating to it in style and drawing qualities, and if it be found
that it cannot be purchased except at a price considerably higher than
others on the table approaching it closely, it will be better under
such circumstances to select another Tea, grading second, or even
third in quality, at a much lower figure. An excellent plan for the
careful Tea blender is to have a “type” or standard sample of the Tea
he desires to duplicate and which he has found to be satisfactory, and
samples of Tea of the various kinds of known value should always be
kept convenient for reference, and in air-tight tins, with their grade,
price, character, chop mark and year of production marked thereon.


ART OF SELLING TEA.

The dealer having succeeded in selecting and blending Teas that will
please his customers, the next most important consideration for him
is how best to bring them before the notice of his trade and the
public generally. In this case he must not treat his Tea as a “staple”
article, but as an entirely new commodity requiring a special effort
for its introduction. Nothing gives such a bad impression to Tea
customers as careless and slovenly packing of Tea. All Tea bags should
be of fine quality and neatly, if not artistically, printed, and great
care should be taken to obtain neatness of appearance in tying them
up. The dealer should also have some special and appropriate name for
his blends, this brand appearing prominently on the package, together
with specific instructions for drawing the Tea. Small hand-bills,
brief, pointed and attractive, describing the merits of the blend may
also be placed in every purchase of other goods and sugar, and other
bags or wrappers should contain special notices so that they may reach
others who do not buy Tea, and the clerks or salesmen should also be
instructed to talk up the Tea frequently but judiciously as possible.

       *       *       *       *       *

The dealer should ascertain where customers for other goods get their
Tea, what variety or grade it is, what price they pay for it, and, if
possible, obtain a sample of it. Then test it carefully and be prepared
to show that he can not only match it, but furnish a better one in both
price and quality, giving them samples at the same time to prove it.
And again, if a tea customer should quit dealing suddenly he should
immediately find out the cause and endeavor to remedy it. He should
also send out samples occasionally throughout the neighborhood of a
line of Teas that he may deem suitable to the locality. But above and
beyond all other efforts to increase his Tea trade, he should handle
only high-grade Teas, endeavoring at all times to prove that the finer
Teas are the most economical and satisfactory to purchase in the end,
as the finer grades yield a larger margin of profit to the dealer and
better satisfaction to the consumer, while it has a tendency to create
favorable comment and win an increasing Tea trade.

Latterly, a new development in the Tea trade has, to the surprise and
loss of the older generation of retail grocers and Tea dealers, assumed
quite a prominence, for, if the glowing advertisements and startling
placards in stores and on fences form any criterion, the public are
taking a liking to the cheap and trashy-blended Teas put up in tins,
lead, paper and other Tea-deteriorating packages under fancy names
which have no relation whatever to the variety, district or country
where they are grown, it being an acknowledged principle that Teas
blended in bulk and put back again in their original lead-lined chests
undoubtedly keep better, preserving its strength and flavor longer
than when exposed to the oxydizing influences of the atmosphere during
its transference to the tin, lead or paper packets ornamented with a
cheap and showy label, which the more gorgeous they are the more apt to
communicate the taste of the ink, paste, glue or other foul-smelling
material in which it is packed to the Tea they are intended to adorn.

       *       *       *       *       *

And still another reason why the Grocer and Tea dealer should avoid
these blended packet Teas is that the cost of the packages, labels and
labor, adds from eight to ten cents per pound to the original price
of the Tea, in addition to the cost of advertising and flaunting them
before the eyes of the public, an expense which is simply enormous in
itself, and which the dealer and consumer must eventually pay for,
either by a higher price or inferior quality of the Tea. Again, engaged
as most dealers are at the present time in trying to stop the plague
of all sorts of proprietary goods put up in cheap and oftentimes
ill-smelling packages, which yields them so little profit and makes
them only the servants of the packers, it is astonishing, to say the
least, that any dealer can be found to adopt the same system with Tea
when they can put up some favorite blend, and pack it themselves in
cleaner, cheaper and more stylish packages, if their customers should
desire it in that form, and sell them under their own brand and name,
and not work to make money and a reputation for others who dictate to
him as to what he shall or shall not do with regard to selling Teas.
For instance, you are paying 43 cents for Package Tea with premiums, if
you handle it. You sell this Tea at 60 cents, making 17 cents per pound
profit. Now by putting up your own blend and giving your own premiums
you can buy just as good Tea, or better, for 20 cents per pound. You
can buy just as good premiums to stand you 12 cents per pound, making
32 cents instead of 43, or a saving of 11 cents or 33-1/3 per cent.
Besides, you control your own Tea trade and have the advertising free.

       *       *       *       *       *

The art of selling Tea is even a much more difficult one than that
of buying, owing to the numerous different and varying tastes to be
catered to. For this reason alone the dealer should learn all he
possibly can about the article, in order that he may be enabled to
suit each particular liking and at the same time answer any and all
questions about it intelligently. Find out what grade and variety as
well as the desired strength and flavor of the Tea your customers
prefer, and occasionally give them small samples of the different
blends to try until you have caught their taste. Make a note of same,
and always afterwards endeavor to give them as near the same kind and
quality. Talk up your Teas in a clear and practical manner, and be
sure your scales, weights and scoops are always clean and shining, and
keep a small memorandum book in which to mark the kind and retail
prices of your Teas, the date in which the caddie has been filled
and the quantity it holds, as this method gives an accurate idea
of the quantity of Tea sold in a certain time, which will be found
particularly useful when Blended Teas are largely sold.

       *       *       *       *       *

In brief, advertise your Teas freely but judiciously and modestly,
never claiming too much for them, that is, let your advertisements be
brief but novel, and change the same at least once per week, and always
push your high-grade Teas first, last and all the time. Now and then
give a Tea-testing exhibit in your store by fixing up a space near
the door or window as a Tea-room surrounded by Tea-boxes with fancy
faces, hanging some Chinese or Japanese lanterns around with which to
light up at night to attract attention. Inside of which place a small
Tea-table, a small gas stove, with kettle and cups for drawing the Tea.
By this means the dealer will be enabled to prepare fresh-made Tea at
all times, with fresh-boiled water, of any kind the customer may desire
to taste or to push the sale of any particular blend he may desire to
introduce among his trade. But it is advisable at these exhibits to
use only fine Teas, using the common grades only by way of comparison.
By this means the dealer can conveniently and readily point out to the
customer the great advantages to be gained and economy of purchasing
only high-grade Teas. Instruct your patrons meantime how to properly
prepare Tea for use, emphasizing the fact that Tea must be _brewed_ and
not stewed, as is too often the case among consumers.


ART OF PREPARING TEA FOR USE.

It is singular, to say the least, that nothing is ever done by Tea
dealers in this country to educate or enlighten their customers in the
proper manner of preparing their Tea for use, to study the character of
the water or to preserve its aromatic properties after purchasing. Good
Tea, like good wine, can be kept intact for years with considerable
advantage to the dealer and consumer alike, and there is no valid
reason why consumers of Tea should not be as particular and fastidious
as drinkers of wine. But to obtain a good cup of Tea, in the first
place the consumer should purchase only the best Tea, it requiring much
less of the finer grades to make good Tea than of the common kinds, and
will prove the most economical in the end.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the proper preparation of Tea for use, the quality of the infusion
is much affected also by the character of the water as well as by the
method of making or drawing it. Tea being an _infusion_ and not a
_decoction_ like coffee, it should be _brewed_ not _stewed_, the chief
object being to extract as much of the _theine_ or refreshing principle
as possible and as little of the _tannin_ or astringent property as
can be, at the same time without either boiling or overdrawing it.
Many Tea drinkers who imagine erroneously that a very dark-colored
liquor indicates strength boil the leaves, while others again spoil
the infusion by first putting the leaves in boiling water. Some again
place the leaves in cold water, and then put it, the vessel on the
fire to boil, prolonged infusion being another serious mistake. All
of these improper methods produce the same evil results, viz., that
of extracting an increased amount of the tannin, thereby destroying
the true color and flavor of the Tea by imparting a blackish color and
giving a bitter or astringent taste to the liquor. When Tea has been
once boiled or overdrawn, the increased quantity of tannin extracted
can be readily detected by the extreme dark color of the liquor as
well as by its bitterly astringent flavor. Another reprehensible
practice of some Tea makers is that of adding fresh leaves into the tea
pot with those that have been already once drawn, as it cannot add to
either the strength or flavor of the Tea by putting more leaves in the
tea pot after the first drawing, for the simple reason that the Tea
water will not extract the _theine_ from the dry leaves of the fresh
Tea. _Only fresh boiling water will do this effectually_, the water
once used only increases the _amount_ of _tannin_ extracted, thereby
darkening the color and destroying the flavor and merely adds to the
quantity of leaves already in the vessel without at all affecting the
active principle, theine. So that if it be required to increase the
quantity or strength of the infusion already in the pot, some fresh Tea
leaves must be drawn in a separate vessel and the liquor poured in that
already made.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the proper preparation of Tea for use, therefore, the object should
be to extract as little of the tannin as possible and as much of the
theine and volatile oil as can be extracted without permitting the
infusion to boil or overdraw. To best obtain these most desirable
results, put the requisite quantity of Tea leaves in a covered china
or earthenware pot--all tin and metal vessels should be avoided--and
pour in freshly boiling water that has been boiling for at least
three minutes, and then allow the vessel to stand where it will keep
hot, WITHOUT _boiling_, for from eight to ten minutes before serving,
according to the variety of Tea used. There will be a sparkle and
aroma about Tea made from fresh boiling water in this manner that it
will not receive from the flat, hot water that has been boiled too
long or repeatedly. In the stated time while the Tea is drawing only
the refreshing and exhilarating properties--the theine and volatile
oil--are extracted from the leaves, a longer infusion only dissolving
and extracting the astringent and deleterious principle--tannic
acid--which impairs digestion and injures the nervous system, for which
causes alone all boiled or overdrawn Tea should be avoided.

       *       *       *       *       *

An earthern tea pot made of Minton, Doulton, or Satsuma ware, is the
best kind of vessel to prepare Tea in, but it must first be scalded out
with boiling water before putting the Tea leaves in and then set on the
range or stove to dry and keep hot for a few minutes. The Tea leaves
are then put in, after which they are also allowed to heat for a short
time before the boiling water is poured on them, from eight to ten
minutes before the Tea is required for use. The character of the water
also greatly influences the quality of the Tea, it being almost next to
impossible to make good Tea with hard water, so that soft water should
always be used when available, and any excess of lime in the water also
deteriorates the infusion. But this latter difficulty may be easily
remedied by the judicious addition of a little carbonate of soda, as
much as will cover the face of a dime being sufficient for an ordinary
drawing of Tea.

       *       *       *       *       *

In moderate strength it requires about one teaspoonful of good tea to
a half pint of boiling water and an ordinary half teacupful of leaves
to every quart of boiling water, the latter making a fairly strong
infusion for five persons. China and Japan Teas require from eight to
ten minutes to draw thoroughly, the former requiring but little milk
and sugar, while Japan Teas are more palatable without the addition
of either. India Ceylon and Java Teas generally should not be allowed
to draw more than from five to seven minutes at the outside after the
boiling water has been poured on, as prolonged infusion makes the
flavor of these varieties particularly mawkish and bitter, while the
addition of an extra quantity of both milk and sugar greatly improves
their drinking qualities.



JOSEPH M. WALSH

[Illustration]

(America’s Greatest Tea Expert.--_Journal of Commerce_)

IMPORTER OF

[Illustration: Teas

ALL VARIETIES AND GRADES]

PHILADELPHIA, U. S. A.



      *      *      *      *      *      *



Transcriber's note:


Prices are missing in many of the recipes in the book; this is as
printed.


The following apparent errors have been corrected:

p. 11 "eggregious" changed to "egregious"

p. 11 "kaleidescopic" changed to "kaleidoscopic"

p. 20 "make color" changed to "make, color"

p. 25 "course" changed to "coarse"

p. 37 "course" changed to "coarse"

p. 38 "juciest" changed to "juiciest"

p. 38 "omitted" changed to "emitted"

p. 39 "thiene" changed to "theine"

p. 39 "value this" changed to "value, this"

p. 39 "not accustomed" changed to "accustomed"

p. 40 "loose" changed to "lose"

p. 43 "to the the" changed to "to the"

p. 46 "onced" changed to "once"

p. 52 "intended that" changed to "intended, that"

p. 54 "ridgidly" changed to "rigidly"

p. 58 "similiar" changed to "similar"

p. 60 "No 13." changed to "No. 13."

p. 60 "Chociest" changed to "Choicest"

p. 63 "of." changed to "of:--"

p. 64 "Imperal" changed to "Imperial"

p. 68 "together" changed to "together."

p. 70 "varities" changed to "varieties"

p. 71 "No 2." changed to "No. 2."

p. 75 "science very" changed to "science; very"

p. 77 "Pekoe-Sonchong" changed to "Pekoe-Souchong"

p. 82 "(3)" changed to "(3.)"

p. 83 "Teas, composing" changed to "Teas composing"

p. 85 "character instead" changed to "character, instead"

p. 89 "(_3_)" changed to "(_3._)"


The following possible errors have not been changed:

p. 9 fuller-liquied

p. 52 at a moderate cost

p. 57 .19


Inconsistent punctuation has otherwise been left as printed.

The following are inconsistently used in the text:

Basketfired and Basket-fired

Ningchow and Ning-chow

Ningyong and Ning-yong

Panfired and Pan-fired

Sundried and Sun-dried





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