The ability to discern what you’re tasting is a learned ability. Although some individuals may have been born “supertasters” the majority of us have to take the time to improve our taste buds.
In China, professional tea tasters are a highly paid profession. They can earn a good amount of commission just by drinking tea every day. And behind all this is their tireless study and hard work. If you think you are talented, I think you can soon be just like them.
But even if you are talented, you need to have the habit of taking notes. I’m going to share my tea tasting notes below:
Step 1 – Take a look at Dry Leaves
Before tasting something, be sure to take a good look at the appearance of your tea. What do the tea leaves look like? Are they broken or mostly intact? Do you notice that there are a lot of buds that are tender?
Step 2. The aroma of the Dry Leaves
Do you smell any scents from the dried leaves? This can be the most difficult. Make sure to pre-heat a Gaiwan (or other brewing vessels) by using hot water, and then pour the hot water out. Then add your green tea leaves, and then give the Gaiwan several gentle shakes. The heat will help release the aromatic compounds present in the tea.
Step 3. Brew the Tea.
It is vital to follow the guidelines provided by the seller, especially when you are just starting out. When you are unable to find any instructions to follow, look up equivalent teas on the internet to determine what your ideal parameters are. Make sure that you smell the leaves in the water and also smell them.
Step 4: Observe the Liquor
What does the tea that is brewed appear like? What hue is it? Does it appear clear or muddy? Do you smell any scents? Do they sound like the dry leaf, or did something else pop up? By looking closely at these parameters, you will learn if your tea is a good one or not. You will even be able to determine how much these tea leaves are worth.
Step 5 – Try the Tea
Finally, you can finally taste the tea. Make sure to sip! It may feel unprofessional, but it actually helps you become a better-tasting tea by bringing the tea into every part of your mouth. You can also swish the tea around a bit inside your mouth, too. Professional tasters will spit out their tea. This is because they’re testing hundreds of samples at the same time.
The first thing to do is pay attention to the taste. Do you feel the tea is thin, or does it feel thick, syrupy? Are you experiencing the puckering sensation due to Astringency?
The flavor of the tea is complicated. Certain aromas will strike immediately, while others will linger on the final. Breathe out your tongue following a sip will make it easier to detect those last flavors. What do you think the tea makes you feel? Are you feeling grounded or does the sheng Pu-Erh that it gave you cause you to feel like you’re drinking tea? It might sound a little hippie-dippy, but how tea affects us is an essential part of the enjoyment.
It’s important to remember that there’s no right or wrong answer to what you could experience when drinking tea. Everyone experiences things in a different way. The fresh grass clippings of one person are someone else’s timothy, Hay. Try tasting tea with your other friends. It’s fascinating to exchange notes and observe what other people have to say about identical tea.
Do you find the idea of tasting tea when you first started getting into the hobby? I’d like to know about advice or tricks you used to discover your way through the comments! Submit your comments!