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Senior tea lovers are obsessed with sweet aftertaste, but what does sweet aftertaste mean exactly?

When drinking tea, you can often hear tea lovers say somethings like, "this tea is very nice, with obvious sweet aftertaste.”

And at this time, some tea novice or tea friends not very sensitive to taste can not help but ask: sweet aftertaste is sweetness? How come I don't feel the sweetness?

Because "sweet aftertaste" and "sweetness" have similarities, many people are easy to confuse the two, but in fact, sweet aftertaste is not only equal to sweetness. 

Take a look at the differences first:

The sweetness in tea is a kind of taste which is easily and directly to be felt. Because tea contains many saccharides, such as tea polysaccharides, monosaccharides, polysaccharides, fructose, etc., this free monosaccharides and disaccharides can be dissolved in water, so we taste the obvious sweetness very easily. For example, some aged white tea, yellow tea, ripe Pu’er.

Now let’s come back to sweet aftertaste. Sweet aftertaste is a combination taste formed by the bitterness at the entrance and the sweetness returned by the throat. The reason for its formation is that the tea contains glycosides, which are attached to the mouth by the entrance of the tea. These substances are decomposed and hydrolyzed to produce glucose and gallic acid, then we can get the sweet aftertaste. 

To put it bluntly, "sweet aftertaste" refers to the chemical reaction between the substances contained in tea and the oral cavity. Compared with the "sweetness" directly felt in the tea soup, "sweet aftertaste" is more complex, it is a special "sweet feeling" only can be achieved after some bitterness and astringency.

Basically, all teas have the characteristic of sweet aftertaste. However, different kinds of tea, different levels of tea substances, sweet aftertaste is also different in strength and endurance, which is naturally also an important standard for judging a good tea. 

Good tea always has the characteristic of sweet aftertaste, but it is most often mentioned in raw Pu 'er tea. We can see that in addition to the sweet and mellow raw Pu 'er from Bingdao and Yiwu, some bitter raw Pu 'er tea from Bulang is also favored by some senior tea lovers. When tea enters your mouth, bitterness and astringency at the entrance first, followed with the sweetness and fragrance returned by the throat, the more you drink, the more fresh sweet aftertaste you can get, lingering and lasting. First slightly bitter and then sweet, such lingering charm makes tea lovers deeply infatuated with and can’t help but want to enjoy another sip again.

In contrast to the direct sweetness of tea, the perception of sweet aftertaste is something that needs to be cultivated

In fact, not everyone can feel this kind of sweet aftertaste, for the tea novice who doesn’t know Pu 'er tea before, often frown and complain for the bitterness at first sip, and also cannot pay attention to following aftertaste. If you pay attention, you can see a funny phenomenon, one same tea, some people get intoxicated with it, some people  feels nothing, some people even only feel the bitterness and say it is not good tea.

Since everyone has different sensitivity to taste and different perception, and sweetness can be felt more directly than sweet aftertaste, in order to experience the sweet aftertaste, it is necessary to deliberately and consciously mobilize the senses in the early stage, taste it with perception carefully, so that the body and mind can participate in the appreciation process.

"delicate fragrance and best taste is its nature, the more you sip the more pleasure of sweet aftertaste you will get" Emperor Qianlong was supposed to be a master of tea tasting, and his poem "Making tea on a winter night" mentioned mobilizing the senses to feel the lingering charm of sweet aftertaste. You might as well smack your lips, suck a breath and use other ways to better feel the tea soup when taste tea. 

If you do not have a good understanding of "sweet aftertaste", then you might as well consciously mobilize the senses, pay attention to the sensory experience and participate in the tea tasting.


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