Taste testing!

Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

Sep 28th, '11, 00:29
Posts: 23
Joined: Apr 11th, '10, 04:27

Taste testing!

by Owlie » Sep 28th, '11, 00:29

I've got a couple of "mystery teas" that I got from a friend--turns out she still prefers green tea! They're not well-labeled, but they're good...well,I think so. ;) One is an Assam, the other is some kind of Chinese black tea. It's a bit peppery and cocoa-y, so my guess is that it's a Yunnan. Some of Adagio's teas look like they might fit the bill as replacements--I've got a cart full of likely candidates (and one or two other things just because! ;)).

What I want to know is: What's the best way to go about conducting the taste-test? One after the other? On separate occasions? Very small amounts of each or a cupful?

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Sep 28th, '11, 16:57
Posts: 1335
Joined: May 27th, '09, 16:55

Re: Taste testing!

by teaisme » Sep 28th, '11, 16:57

jing tea shop has a nice black tea sampler for 5 teas 15g each, 16 bucks.
Shipping is only 6 bucks. If I wanted a sampler of black teas that would be one I would pick up.

What are your tests testing for?
Some people like to use the competition brewing sets, line up a bunch of teas, brew same way, drink same time. That seems excessive for me, just too much going on at one time. Now you could try one tea at a time brewed in two different ways, one brewed in competition set for 3-6 mins, and another using a small pot packed heavy using short infusions to see whether the tea suites short infusions better or a couple extended long infusions.

Personally I just brew one at a time and focus on that. I play with parameters for a while. Brew it light, then heavy. Short steeps, then long steeps, different waters, pots etc. Things eventually fall into place for me this way, though it may require more then 15g of tea for me to find my personal sweet spot. But after 15g you should have a general idea of what the tea can offer if you are mindful. Btw, don't underestimate the effect that brewing vessel, kettle, and water have on your tea.

PS: enjoy while you do :) :)

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