Mighty Leaf Tea
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Tasting Tea

Introduction to Tasting Tea

Tea tasting opens the door to our senses. With hundreds of tea varieties, discovering your favorites will take you on a journey where the complexities of flavor, aroma and color seem endless. The more tea you taste, the more you will learn to appreciate the nuances between tea types.

Getting Started

  • A good way to start tea tasting is to line up your favorite teas in different categories and start comparing
     
  • As you begin your tasting adventure, note how the flavors may differ depending upon origin, soil type, style of tea and steeping time
     
  • Like wine, differences in taste can be attributed to location, climate and how the tea is processed
     
  • Try focusing first on the basic differences between blacks, oolongs, greens and white teas
     
  • As you become more familiar, challenge yourself by tasting more similar teas
  • Soon you will come to understand what key elements you desire in a tea
     
  • Remember to always have fun and that tasting remains subjective

A Tasting Guide – The Elements of Leaf, Aroma, Liquor and Flavor

Traditional tea tasting focuses on the appearance of the leaf, the aroma both before and after steeping, the color of the resulting infusion or liquor and the tea’s taste or flavor

  • Leaf: Examining the leaf is telling. Is it twisted, rolled or a natural, flat leaf? This and whether it’s broken or whole will affect the taste and body
  • Aroma: Smell the leaves before steeping. Do they smell grassy, smoky or sweet? Once infused, inhale the aroma deeply and enjoy the bouquet. Does the smell appeal to you and whet your taste buds for sipping? Is it citrusy, flowery, toasty or fruity? A tea’s nose can reveal not only quality but subtle flavors that the mouth might overlook
  • Liquor: The color of infused tea or liquor can vary in color. Look at the consistency of its color, and appearance of the liquid in a white cup. Depth of color will denote proper brewing time
  • Taste: After slightly cooling, slurp your tea to make sure the full flavor spreads out all over your tongue. Does the tea make a strong impression? Assess whether it has a full, medium or light or round body. Is it smooth? Does the flavor leave a lasting and memorable finish or dissipate after swallowing? Note elements of its flavor traits – is it malty or vegetal? How the tea feels in your mouth is important too. High quality tea exhibits briskness. Instead of flat tasting, briskness refers to the astringent or dry tasting affect tea has on tongue. This astringency is an important aspect to tea, giving it a refreshing feeling