Surviving multi-tea sessions


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Surviving multi-tea sessions

Postby Drax » Jan 20th, '13, 12:28

For those people that brew many teas in one session, do you have trouble getting your taste buds to survive all of the teas? Do you do anything special in-between teas (or with individual teas) in order to preserve your ability to taste?

As you might imagine the reason I ask, I recently had an experience where we had set up a series of 4 teas to try. The third one absolutely destroyed our taste buds (or, at least, definitely mine) so that the fourth one was pretty much untasteable. (And as a test, I kept that fourth tea until the next day and tried it, and it tasted quite nice).

I haven't done this type of thing much, so I'm curious what other people have tried, or if anybody even has this type of problem! :D
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Re: Surviving multi-tea sessions

Postby wyardley » Jan 20th, '13, 12:58

Drinking some hot water between teas is sometimes good.

I know bears3x likes drinking a little shot of olive oil, and I've found that's sometimes helpful. Assuming the problem is with young sheng, you could also try brewing a ripe pu'er or red (black) tea.

I do find that some teas are so astringent that it's hard to get over (especially when brewed with a heavy hand). Tasting a lot of young pu'er one after the other can be tough. Using competition tasting cups and drinking this way may be a bit easier to do a comparison of a lot of different ones.
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Re: Surviving multi-tea sessions

Postby debunix » Jan 20th, '13, 13:45

If I feel like a tea is assaulting my tastebuds, I stop drinking, dilute it, and try again. Or eat something (avoiding very strongly flavored foods), drink a bit of plain water or milk, wait a while, and give the taste buds a rest.

I also keep my multiple tea tasting sessions to quite small volumes per brew, to help avoid overdoing.
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Re: Surviving multi-tea sessions

Postby bannacha » Jan 20th, '13, 14:57

Try to taste the lighter tea first and the stronger last, from green to red for wulong, and from yellow to black for Pu-erh.

When having a Pu-erh session, you can start by flowery young sheng, then go to more powerful young sheng , then aged sheng and finally Shu. Then, eat snacks, take a break, have a walk, and go back to the tea table, starting over again.
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Re: Surviving multi-tea sessions

Postby Drax » Jan 20th, '13, 20:09

Yeah, we tried to set the order of the teas in order to avoid big problems, but the 3rd one was just more problematic than we expected (and/or it was a build-up of the previous two).

Although waiting is a great idea, when meeting with other people, you don't always have time to just sit around and wait for recovery, so I appreciate all the other ideas on how to avoid or mitigate the problem in the future. Thanks everybody! I think we'll be well armed for the next round.
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Re: Surviving multi-tea sessions

Postby Teaism » Jan 20th, '13, 22:15

bannacha wrote:Try to taste the lighter tea first and the stronger last, from green to red for wulong, and from yellow to black for Pu-erh.

When having a Pu-erh session, you can start by flowery young sheng, then go to more powerful young sheng , then aged sheng and finally Shu. Then, eat snacks, take a break, have a walk, and go back to the tea table, starting over again.


Agree with you. This generally accepted as the best rule of thumb. :D
Last edited by Teaism on Jan 21st, '13, 01:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Surviving multi-tea sessions

Postby Tead Off » Jan 20th, '13, 23:52

Try some carbonated water like Perrier, Crystal Geyser, etc. Helps to cut through left over residue in the mouth.
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Re: Surviving multi-tea sessions

Postby FlyedPiper » Jan 21st, '13, 14:57

A neutral tasting cookie like those butter cookies or lorna doones or something might help pry those flavors off of your tongue. Should help metabolize the caffeine and stuff and keep your blood sugar regulated too.

Short walks and breaks are good.
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Re: Surviving multi-tea sessions

Postby ImmortaliTEA » Jan 21st, '13, 16:43

FlyedPiper wrote:A neutral tasting cookie like those butter cookies or lorna doones or something might help pry those flavors off of your tongue. Should help metabolize the caffeine and stuff and keep your blood sugar regulated too.

Short walks and breaks are good.


+1. If I don't have any delicious and greasy food ready before I get to the stronger & darker teas, I always find that butter cookies take quite a bit of the previous teas' tastes away to effectively cleanse the palate for future enjoyment of many more teas!
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Re: Surviving multi-tea sessions

Postby gingkoseto » Jan 21st, '13, 21:32

Even when having two teas, sometimes I have difficulty critically judging each of them. This is especially hard for puerh, whose aftertaste could be appreciated in many minutes after the sip. To remove influence of taste, I feel not only rinsing the mouth is necessary, but also something that "sweep the tongue" is important - including those mentioned by others, generally something that requires chewing and rubbing the tongue. But sometimes I would just drink the tea and forget about critically judging them :mrgreen:
Besides, I think planning ahead helps. Just like that in a restaurant, usually I would read desert menu before finishing the main dish, so that I could decide how much stomach space to save for later :mrgreen:
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Re: Surviving multi-tea sessions

Postby ChengduCha » Jan 21st, '13, 22:58

Most tea shops in China serve water in between, which has always been enough for me so far, but then again I hardly ever try more than 3 teas in a session due to excess caffein.
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