Tea tastings are a fun way to gather with friends, get to know more about how to make the perfect cup, and of course enjoy a bunch of new teas – from fresh traditional loose leafs to fun and innovative blends. They’re a delicious way to sip and mingle, and are super easy to set up once you master the prep.
Ready to host your own? We’ve put together an easy-to-follow guide full of tea tasting tips and tricks, from the 101 of tastings, to key steeping temperatures and times, and making a DIY tea tasting card.
Welcome to tea Prep School.
Master the Prep
In an ideal world, we’d have all of our teas lined up in row and access to an endless number of teapots and kettles. But let’s be real – who owns more than one teapot? To keep things simple, preparing one tea at a time, so you can enjoy it freshly steeped before moving on to the next. Just make sure you have these tea tasting essentials before getting started.
Tea tasting tips
1) When it comes to tea tastings, always go from light to dark teas so as to not overwhelm your palate. Tasting our new traditional teas collection? We suggest you start with our subtle Jasmine Peony and Green Spiral, and end with our bold Sun Moon Black.
2) When tasting teas, it’s not uncommon to slurp them up (that’s what the tasting spoon’s for). Try this technique: Fill your spoon with tea and slurp it up quickly, letting the liquor roll across your palate and around your tongue. You’ll notice some nuanced flavours that you may have otherwise missed.
3) Between each tea tasting, cleanse your palate with some soda crackers or water.
4) Not used to drinking high amounts of caffeine or tea? Make sure you have some light snacks beforehand like tea sandwiches, a simple salad of a plate of charcuterie. No funky cheese or garlicky spreads!
Steeping Temperatures and Times
Tea tasting 101
Now here’s where the real fun starts! We’ve put together 3 basic steps so you get the most out of your tea tasting. Remember – taste is personal, so there are no right or wrong answers. Just write down what the flavour reminds you of and then at the end of your tasting, rank the teas to see which one you liked best. Download your tasting sheet here.
Look (eye icon)
Notice the colour, intensity, and shape of the dry leaves, steeped tea leaves and steeped tea
Ask yourself: What colour are the leaves? Are they twisted or flat? What colour is the steeped tea?
Smell (nose icon)
Take a big whiff or short sniffs of the dry leaves, steeped tea leaves and steeped tea.
Ask yourself: What do you smell?
Taste & Flavour (mouth icon)
If you wanna do it like the pro’s take a loud slurp of tea, swirl it in your mouth then swallow.
Ask yourself: What does the taste and flavour remind you of? Is it sweet, salty, sour, bitter or umami? Does it feel light, heavy or drying? Is the flavour intense or delicate? If you need a little help, make sure to check out our flavour chart.