A 10 Point Guide To Tea Tasting And Tea Cupping
Tea tasting can be a simple yet rewarding activity that takes only minutes to master, yet requires training your senses to notice it all. A cup of Samaara's delicious tea combined with some time and an open notebook will all help make you a more discriminate tea drinker!
Consistency is of the utmost importance; professional tea tasters employ a standard ratio of two grams of leaves to eight ounces of water for every type of tea they are testing.
1. Visual Inspection
Prior to tasting tea leaves, it is crucial that we conduct a comprehensive inspection of their appearance in order to set expectations regarding what the finished product might taste like based on its appearance. This allows us to accurately anticipate how each batch should taste based on what its looks suggest about what should come next.
Examining rolled or other shaped teas closely is especially essential, as their shapes make them harder to inspect. Closely examine each leaf - are its buds small and tightly packed or large and loose? What color is its hue?
Also pay careful attention to the water. Water is often the key ingredient when it comes to tea. Use high quality, clear and oxygenated water in order to achieve an accurate representation of its flavor profile. Tea tasting sets are available to assist in this endeavor and offer great investment for furthering your tea education; these sets feature porcelain cups and tasting bowls.
Tea delights all five senses - but one we often neglect is smell. Smelling tea is an integral component of tasting it and can provide insight into differences among varieties.
Sniffing wet leaves is an effective way to start tasting tea; professional tasters even sometimes go as far as pressing their nose directly into the brew! This process, known as Retronasal Olfaction, can be immensely satisfying.
Sip it again - but this time try to leave it in your mouth longer (slurping helps!) to record any changes to the flavours that occur - does it linger or get stronger or milder or floral over time? Are there any aftertastes present? These indicators of quality tea are an engaging way to discover its subtleties!
When tasting tea it's essential not to add any flavourings like milk, sugar or lemon as this allows a true understanding of all its complexities.
Narrower cups help focus aromas, and experienced tea tasters will use pressured leaves against their noses to extract even more flavors from each brew. Furthermore, they'll note its clarity and any sediments in its content.
An essential piece of equipment when tasting is having a small plate of neutral foods nearby to cleanse your palate of any additional tastes that could influence your judgment. A timer allows a taster to accurately monitor how long their brew has been steeping; the longer it steeps, the stronger it becomes.
No matter if you are just enjoying a cup of tea for everyday purposes or seeking to explore its taste on an advanced level, it's essential that you can unplug from any distractions and fully immerse yourself in the experience. Only then will you fully appreciate all its subtle aromas, flavours and mouthfeel characteristics.
Swishing the brew around in your mouth allows all of the taste buds to fully experience it while helping aerate it as well as bring out all the head, body, and tail notes of tea.
Finishes are an integral component of great tea experiences. From an intense sweet bite back into the palate to soft aftertaste notes and softened edges, great tea should leave an enjoyable aftertaste in its wake.
Tea tasting events should engage all five senses, especially smell. As part of their experience, customers should inhale the scent of each tea multiple times while closing their eyes for maximum immersion into what draws them to it.
Professional tea tasters take note of things such as how the tea feels in their mouth and whether or not it is gritty.
Taste can vary based on temperature and brewing method used. Also, different crockery may affect its flavor - so try different kinds to see which you prefer best!
People often mistake slurping tea as an impolite act; however, it actually heightens its flavors. To properly taste tea, forcefully and noisily siphoning should occur so that liquid can spread across all parts of your tongue.
This method also aerates the liquid, providing taste buds with enough oxygen for them to pick up on all five varieties of flavor.
Last but not least is to note the mouthfeel of each tea you sample; how it leaves your mouth after swallowing - whether creamy, oily or dry depending on its type and can often reflect how enjoyable drinking it will be. Although difficult to assess initially, mouthfeel plays an important role in tea tasting and cupping; teas with exceptional mouthfeel make drinking tea very pleasurable!
Professional tea tasters rely on specialized cupping sets to achieve consistent and accurate results, but the ratios created by these standards can be difficult for amateur tasters who do not use commercial cups or scales to weigh out 2 grams of loose leaf tea!
Once your tea has steeped, use direct olfaction (breathing in through your nose) to smell it once more. Do you detect any particular fragrances reminiscent of fruit or flowers?
Now it is time to sip! Don't be embarrassed if slurping may feel strange at first; it really helps cover your entire palate and bring out all of the subtleties in tea. Make sure you record your observations - ideally in a notebook dedicated to tea evaluation - so that you can track your growth over time; you may be amazed how much knowledge is picked up!
As you continue to drink tea regularly, your palate will develop and it will become easier for you to appreciate its different flavors. However, consistency is key; use the same method every time so that you can compare teas accurately and create notes of their performance.
Nathan stresses the importance of prioritizing mouthfeel and texture before considering flavor. This involves considering how the tea feels on your tongue - does it leave a coating, feel oily or dry, have syrupy notes or light and refreshing notes - before tasting the tea in order to assess its quality and note any signs of liveliness or lack thereof. Finally, write your tasting notes down in an ideal tasting notebook to keep all this information centralized.
Conducting a tea tasting is an engaging and educational way to engage customers and educate them on the subtler qualities of your teas. While cupping still remains the go-to method for evaluating them, conducting tastings can provide another important perspective on your product line.
Encourage customers to slurp their first sip of tea slowly in order to activate all of their taste buds simultaneously and notice differences among flavor notes of different teas. Also encourage them to record their thoughts about each tea they sample using some sort of note taking device or device.
Teawala's Tea Tasting Journal is an ideal tool for recording tea tasting sessions. Each type of tea features its own dedicated page with helpful terminology at the start, as well as two boxes for drawing dry and wet leaves and an infusion colour chart to record any infusion changes.
When tasting tea it's essential to consider both its flavor and mouthfeel. Take note of any characteristic like fruity, floral, sweet, nutty or earthy tastes as well as more specific notes such as peach honey or rose in order to properly evaluate each variety.
Make sure that you're mindful of both the body and briskness of tea when selecting it for purchase. Briskness indicates a lively, fresh tea experience while lack thereof could indicate old or stale leaves.
Maintain a personal tea journal to record observations. This can help you easily compare different teas later. Tea tasting can be loads of fun - so take part in this activity with friends! There are numerous methods of tasting tea; find what best works for you at Munnar Tea Shop.