A Beginners Guide to Tasting Tea

tea tasting
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We drink tea everyday but do we take the time to taste the tea and discover each of the aromas and the flavours? Unraveling the incredible variety of tastes, textures and aromas of your favourite tea is a fun way to enjoy the adventure of drinking tea.

The way a cup of tea is brewed plays an enormous part in how the tea finally tastes. Fine tea leaves and a good brew make your perfect cup! Learn how to brew the perfect cup of tea.

The four main elements to focus on when tasting tea are – the appearance of the leaf and aroma both before and after steeping, the colour of the infusion or liquor and finally the flavour after brewing.

Lets look closely at these 4 elements:

Leaf: By looking at the dry leaf you can tell iF it is twisted, rolled or a natural flat leaf and if the leaf is broken or whole – it all indicates how the tea will taste.

Aroma: Smell the leaves before you steep it – it has distinctive aromas such has sweet, smoky, grassy etc. Once the leaves have been infused, smell the aroma that fills the air and from the cup directly. The aroma ranges from citrusy, floral, fruity or toasty.

Liquor: The colour of the tea liquor vary from pale yellows to malty browns. Use a white tea cup so you can identify the correct colour. The brewing time denotes the depth of colour.

Flavour: Let your tea cool a little before you take your first sip. Just like wine, swirl the tea in your mouth so that the full flavour spreads all over the tongue. First assessment is the body of the tea – full, medium, light or rounded. Does the tea leave a lasting finish or does it dissipate after swallowing? Note the flavours – malty, vegetal, fruity, citrusy, floral. How does the tea feel in your mouth – strong, smooth or astringent.

Sample teas from different regions – flavours of tea depends on origin, soil type, climate, location. The Assam and Darjeeling regions in India are next to each other geographically, but the climate conditions, the terrain, the soil, the cultivation process, etc. adds to the flavour of the tea.

The next time you drink tea, take some time out and observe the flavour and aroma. With enough practice you’ll even be able to differentiate between teas from the same region.

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