Like fine wines, high quality chocolate, whiskey and cheeses, high quality teas deserve the same respect and thoughtful consumption. As you deepens your education and appreciation for tea, you may want to record or journal your thoughts on various teas. Here are the details you should think about and document.
Buy a journal or notebook just for your tea tastings. For each tea you taste, write down your observations on the following topics. Read our list of tea tasting terms and definitions to refine your descriptions.
Also, keep in mind that you should do this only with loose leaf teas.
Date of Tasting – When you tasted it.
Name of Tea – What is the name of the tea you are tasting?
Type of Tea – What type of tea is it? Black tea? Oolong? Pu-erh?
Country – What country was it grown and processed in?
Dry Leaf Appearance – What do the dry tea leaves look like?
Water Temperature – What water temperature are you using to steep your tea? Different water temperatures produce different results and flavors.
Brew Time – How long did you brew or steep the tea leaves in the water before removing them?
Wet Leaf Appearance – What do the wet tea leaves look like?
Description of Liquor – What is the color? What does it smell like? What is its consistency?
First Infusion Notes – Notes on taste when you steep the tea the first time in water.
Second Infusion Notes – Did you know you can steep tea leaves again and again in hot water? Some oolongs can be steeped up to 5 times! So, don’t throw those tea leaves away after the first infusion. Infuse them again and then observe the taste and appearance and document your thoughts.
Third Infusion Notes – If you choose to infuse your tea a third time, note your observations. You might be surprised how different each infusion tastes!
General Notes – Any other general observations should be recorded here.
Foods That Would Pair Well – What foods would pair well with this tea?
Is This Tea Good Iced? – Does this tea taste good chilled or iced?
Purchased At – Where did you purchase this tea?
Price – How much was it?
Would you buy this tea again? – Self-explanatory, but important to record!
This process is educational, fun and rewarding. You’re well on your way to being a tea connoisseur!
This content has been adapted from the book Your Path of Tea for Health of Body, Mind and Spirit by the late Thia McKann, Tea Master and Owner of The Path of Tea.