Proper Tea Tasting
Sometimes the shear amount of teas can be overwhelming. However, once you discover the unique tastes of each tea, you'll find a new enjoyment in appreciating the fine distinctions between each tea type.
How to get the most from a tea tasting
Loose leaf tea is the best form of tea to use when tea tasting as you'll be able to control the precise amounts of tea while letting the tea steep to its fullest by not constricting its movement.
To get the most from a tea tasting, you'll want to use all your five senses when sampling the tea. This includes not only drinking the infused tea itself but taking in the aromas of both the dry and infused tea leaves.
Dry Tea Leaves:
While examining dry tea leaves, consider thee aroma, their appearance, and the way they feel. You can tell a lot about the tea just by how it looks and smells prior to adding any water.
Proper steeping time is important to ensure that your tea is infused to its ideal length. This way your tea will come out properly ready for your tasting.
Infused Tea Leaves (Unfurled Tea):
High quality teas will unfurl nicely into whole leaves when unfurled. Take in the scents of the brewed leaves. Each tea is different and examining the spent leaves will show you subtle differences about the teas.
When sipping tea, you'll want to ensure that not only the tea enters your mouth but also a bit of air. You'll also want to have the tea hit every part of the inside of your mouth as different teas will have slightly different aftertastes and finishes depending on where they hit. If you are tasting several teas at once, it's easiest to use a spoon.
Each tea will have a unique flavor to it. Try to find the best words for tea you are tasting. Earthy, nutty, smooth.. Sometimes it's hard to find the best adjective to describe a great tea.
It's not over yet. Once the tea is no longer in your mouth, you may continue to taste a little bit of a finish. Some will leave a strong aftertaste while others may be sweet or non existent.
Tea tasting is always more fun with others. Host a tea tasting with friends and see what differences you find in the tea and which ones you decide are your favorites.