Green, white, black – all colours commonly associated with tea. What was once a pretty niche market has now expanded to an ever-growing collection of tasty aromas that are available for you to drink as you like. From liquorice to vanilla, there’s an abundance of exotic flavours, especially fruit notes – you’ll now find variety of teas including raspberry leaf tea, kiwi and mango, to name but a few.
But how do you go about making the most of this explosion of flavours in your mouth? Tea tasting is now becoming a very popular pastime as more people want to fully understand and appreciate the full flavours that tea has to offer. Read on to discover a quick and easy guide on tea tasting, allowing you to get the most out of your brew.
Visuals are important with tea. As a rule, full leaves are usually better than broken leaves. Teas with more tips and ridges lean towards having a more complex flavour and it’s useful to remember that fresh teas almost always have a glossy look to them.
There’s much speculation and competition between people as to what the brewing time should be for the ‘perfect’ cup of tea. The truth is it comes down to personal preference. The stronger you like your tea, the longer you leave it to brew. Simple!
In some cultures, notably Chinese culture, the smell of tea is seen to be just as important as the taste, so take time to push the smell under your nose to fully appreciate all the lingering aromas.
Before you go to glug it down, take a moment and sip gradually to allow the flavours to seep through slowly. On your second sip, don’t swallow but roll it over your tongue so that you can fully sample the flavours. Once you’ve swallowed wait a few moments for any sign of an extraordinary aftertaste, or ‘finish’.
This may seem like a silly question, but how does the tea feel in your mouth? Is it silky, frothy or oily? This isn’t a case of there being a right or wrong answer; it’s more about getting you to really understand the beverage you are drinking.
After you’ve finished your tea, give it twenty minutes and then write down three sensations you’re feeling – do you feel rejuvenated, alert, or dreamy and sleepy? Different teas can affect people in all manner of ways so it’s good to know what works for you so that you can tailor your tea selection for optimum results!
You can choose from a great selection of natural teas, from leading high street health food retailer, Holland & Barrett (also available from Holland & Barrett Ireland too). It’s time to tea taste!