woodshadows wrote:You stated that you drink younger leaves because you enjoy the taste more. I made an argument pertaining to the phenomen of taste and the relative subjective nature of it. I won't invalidate what you say you experience from drinking a young flush tea. I will say that it being a conditioned experience, far more so than one hard-wired into you, it too can undergo modification. This sort of modification can even be a very desirable thing. In days past whole wheat bread was considered to have an unpleasant flavour, people clamoured for white sugary bread. These days, with the health argument in it's favour, people have forced themselves to eat whole wheat bread, which after a set period of hesitant eating, have grown an actual liking and preference for it. What if I told you that you could have a green tea that was far healthier, with higher catechin, lower caffeine, and for far less money than what you're currently paying and that the only thing you'd need to do is to bring an open mind with you and introduce your tastebuds to a new flavour sensation, would you say no? Does that no only become a yes after the majority have blazed the trail in that direction for you? Here's another scenario, a thought-experiment for you. You are born. You grow and are introduced to tea. In the hypothetical world in which you inhabit older leaves are those most highly prized. These leaves are given romantic names like "swan of the dew", a story is told of how an elder swan wandered towards a green tea bush and lapped at the dew and gained invigorating strength. Websites and the full force of media and health organizations came out with numerous studies telling you this was a beneficial thing to consume. Conversely, you were told that young leaves were immature, had not yet reached their full value. They were given ugly names, like 'common tea', 'peasants brew', no romantic story to describe their origin, only a cheap price tag to scare you off. In this hypothetical world you buy the mature leaved swan of the dew tea. You find it a bit bitter, but bitter in the grean tea world of this world is what makes for a good green tea (as with a good espresso). You aren't overly eager on it (as you likely weren't with your first sip of green tea). You persist in drinking it, it's good for you, or so everyone says, right? Your taste buds adapt, you develop an appreciation for the subtle notes. You grow to love the fullbodied brisk taste. Out of curiosity one day you try the cheap young leaves of a 'common tea'. You find the taste bland, empty, lacking in quality. You sign up to teachat.com and you circle jerk about how much money you spent on your expensive tea and deride anyone who goes against the prevailing orthodoxy. You go to sleep smug and happy. The end.
In response to this I will say that our tastebuds are a product of what we are exposed to on a regular basis, not just tea, but also the food we eat, and the seasonings we use. There is a member on this forum who is incredibly fond of young Sheng puerh, which I personally find exceedingly bitter, especially when I brew it in a similar method to him. Sometimes it was more passable than others, but because I do not enjoy it as much I rarely drink it now. But he himself suggests he might be extra fond of young sheng because he grew up eating food and drinks from cultures that is known to be exceedingly bitter to those that are not accustomed to it. While in theory one could grow used to bitterness by exposing themselves to it regularly, but in the end it could be similar to saying if you repeatedly stick needles in your hand you will lose feeling in your hand. You yourself need to judge if that is something you are willing to do for the "benefits."
Honestly, you come across as rather crass, joining the forum to insist we have a wrong set of values. In truth I think most of us believe you have it backwards, as we drink tea because we love it, and we love the flavors, and its history, very few of us on the forum actually care to drink tea for its health benefits. While in some other universe people may love the older leaves instead of the young ones, in our universe the people on this planet as a whole tend to enjoy the mellow, but wider variety of flavors that are found in tea made from the younger leaves.
*edited to fix a spelling error ( I am sure there are more).