Tasting Tips


 Oct 24, 2016 |  Written by Anupa Mueller

A while ago, a group of professional tasters asked to taste Teas at our Tea Room. We were intrigued. Apparently, all large food companies have professional tasters and multiple tastings are conducted before any item is approved, let alone put on a shelf.  We selected 4 teas for tasting:

Loose Leaf Tea Samples

Their taste criteria were similar to ours in many respects - for instance, they evaluated aroma and flavor. Their process was very detailed, however, and sequential:
1) Appearance
2) Aroma
3) Taste
4) Mouthfeel
5) Aftertaste

Taste Testers hard at work

We were astonished at their grasp of nuance and the detailed language used to describe each.  We thought you would enjoy the remarkable way they tasted the Darjeeling and Silk Road - both black teas but wildly different.

MAKAIBARI 1ST FLUSH:  As fans know, this is an early season Darjeeling known for its sharp, clear taste, slight astringency with a floral note. Here is the professional description:

Aroma:  Earthy, fresh tobacco, floral, eucalyptus, jasmine, citrus, orange rind, dried grass, hay, lemon, mild.
Taste:  Hay, dry grass, woody, earthy, balanced, clean, little bitter, astringent, floral, citrus.
Mouthfeel:  Mild to medium, astringent, drying, light body, throat-catching.
Aftertaste:  Bitter, tobacco, slight citrus.

SILK ROAD:  This is our house blend of Assam & Yunnan, robust with malty notes with an earthy undertone and pungency. Compare the professional tasters' evaluation below.

Aroma:  Oak barrel, aged note, bitter, earthy, honey notes, wet dog, wood cabinets, cedar, woody
Taste:  Cigar, ashy, earthy, complex, tobacco, smoky, sweetness, liquorice, sour.
Mouthfeel;  Dry, heavy.
Aftertaste:  Sharpness, tannic, tobacco.

Silver Tips Tea Room Exterior: Group Photo

Needless to say, we each learned a great amount that day! We've often heard that tea tasting is similar to tasting wine but we discovered that morning that tasting is an art form and the more you do it, the more advanced you become.  We were enthralled to hear descriptions such as 'dried corn', 'cardboard' and even 'tutti fruity' and 'bubble gum'.  So the next time you pick up a cup, delve deep -  you may be describing it in ways you never considered before.  Review one of our teas online - you never know, you may be on your way to becoming a Professional Taster!

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