I want to congratulate you on your journey to become a tea master.
It might seem very complicated and difficult. Don’t worry. It’s a skill you can develop with practice.
The very first step is to describe the flavors you are tasting and smelling.
Our Flavor Guide below serves as a good place to start.
So get yourself a cup of tea. Let’s begin.
Take a sip and ask yourself… Is it earthy? Is it sweet? Floral? Vegetal? Fruity? Nutty? Spicy?
Start with the big flavors you are tasting. There is no wrong answer. A tea can have many dominant flavors.
The tasting is subjective and is dependent upon the flavors and tastes you’ve experienced in your life. If you’ve never smelled an orchid, then you probably won’t associate this smell with your tea.
Draw from your past experiences. Does this remind you of a certain day or time in your life?
Maybe you smell “bookcases” or “a summer’s day”. Any description you can give to the tea is useful.
Just start naming smells or tastes that remind you of this tea without any judgment.
Say you're drinking a roasted Dong Ding oolong tea. You may identify vegetal, nutty, and floral notes.
Now refer to the guide. What type of nutty notes? Is it a roasted nut or not? Is it peanutty? Or like an almond? Personally I taste some nutty cocoa flavors.
Continue to delve deeper and try to further analyze the nutty flavor.
If you’re stuck there, you can try a palate cleanser. This is a neutral food or smell that allows you to more accurately assess a new flavor. Smelling coffee beans can help you if you need.
I hope you can have fun with this and learn to be more descriptive in what you’re tasting and smelling.
This is an important first step when drinking any tea. And it’s a skill that can transfer into cooking or eating a new meal.
If you need new teas to taste, see our selection of teas here.