So, why do we tea taste? Because it tastes so good!? That is a big plus for sure, but it’s not just what you taste, it’s also how you taste it. Just like drinking a glass of wine, taking time to properly taste a cup of tea can transform the flavours that dance over your tongue. With each taste, you can be aware of every flavour be it, fruity, sweet, fresh, oceanic, zesty even chocolatey! By mastering the art of tea tasting, It will be sure to give more enjoyment from each cup of tea you drink!
Follow our simple steps to a perfect tea tasting session:
With the tea you’ve chosen to taste, it is important to note what type of tea it is as this can affect what temperature of water to use.
Green and white teas for example, are the very delicate parts of the tea plant and need no more than 80 degree water and will respond with bitter flavours if freshly boiled water is used.
Black tea however is more robust and can handle boiled water. But don’t worry, all our blends come with instructions on the pack with temperature guidance!
In tea tasting, the most common cups to use are white and made of porcelain. White will help you to see the colour and depth of the tea better and very importantly, porcelain is non porous! Which sounds very picky, but porous material will hold onto different flavours and aromas which you will miss out on tasting and this could change your tea experience!
You will also need a timer! Like the rules on water temperature, teas have different rules on the length of brewing. For example, green and white tea will have a 3 minute brewing time, whereas black tea can be up to 4 minutes. Again, guidance will be on the pack label, so don’t you worry!
Once your tea has brewed for the correct amount of time, you are ready to get tasting!
3. How much?
Place one heaped teaspoon of tea (or one tea bag) into approx 200ml of water. You want it to be stronger than a ‘normal’ cuppa to enhance the flavour. Brew at the right temperature & for the appropriate time (see above). When your timer goes you must remove the leaves from the tea, to stop it over steeping.
4. Technique - the ‘slurp’!
This is where the spoon comes in handy and let me tell you, slurping is key to a great tea tasting! Don’t be shy now, you want to make a really big slurping sound, sucking the tea inside your mouth from the spoon.
Slurping helps bring in more oxygen to the tongue which aerates the flavours. This is why they get people to slurp and slosh wine around in their mouths in wine tasting. Yummy!
5. Taking notes
This is when you can make notes on the teas your are tasting. There are four main categories to focus on - dry leaf, liquor (the brewed liquid), aroma & taste.
What does the dry leaf look / smell like? Rolled, whole, green, fresh…?
What does the brewed tea look like? Clear, bright, what colours can you see, what does it smell like?
What flavours you have picked up on, maybe they are nutty with hints of caramel? Or fresh with a zesty aftertaste! Let your imagination go wild!
Notes for our Tea Tasting Kit:
If you have purchased one of our Tea Tasting Experience kits to complete at home you will have instructions & a tasting card inside your box. You will also have your spoon and DIY sacs to use for brewing.
Part of your kit is a ticket for our new virtual tasting session so don’t forget to join us for your complimentary virtual tasting, with our expert Tea Mixologist where they will guide you through and give you some more insight into tea tasting at home: link to register here.