After researching coffee tasting I also decided to look at tea tasting and see if I could improve my writing on this subject as well.
Again thanks to the Moleskine, I found their tea journal that has a great, basic explanation of what to look for when drinking tea.
The professionals evaluate four key aspects:
- the appearance and feel of the dry leaves
- the colour and body of the liquor (the liquid produced by steeping the leaves)
- the aromas
- the flavours
This is quite similar to coffee in some ways, but I think there will be more variation in the flavours and aromas due to the types of tea I like to try.
There was also a section on tasting method:
- After draining the leaves, give the liquor a minute to cool off.
- Put your nose close to the tea and inhale deeply to take in the aromas. Breathe out.
- Take a sip, flushing the tea all over your palate.
- Assess the weight or body of the tea in your mouth.
- Continue to hold the tea in your mouth and breathe in through your nose to catch the flavours.
- Swallow the tea. Breathe out.
- Discern the aromas at the back of your nasal passages
- How long do the flavours last after you’ve swallowed (the “finish”)?
I’m going to try to use this going forward with my tea subscription!
Cherry Bakewell – white tea cherry and almond flavour
I really liked this tea. I’m hit and miss with almond flavour things. For example I love marzipan, but I don’t like almonds! This was a light and fresh tea, but also had a depth to the flavour. I think of bakewell tarts as quite heavy, so the combination of flavours reminded me of that even though the actual tea was light. An intriguing one to try.
Mango Tulsi – Indian Ayurveda herb, holy basil and mango
This was an interesting tea. It was super fruity and to be honest I wasn’t sure when to drink it. So I took to Wikipedia to find out about Holy basil:
“Tulasi is cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes, and for its essential oil. It is widely known across the Indian Subcontinent as a medicinal plant and an herbal tea, commonly used in Ayurveda, and has an important role within the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism, in which devotees perform worship involving holy basil plants or leaves.”
“Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen,] balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress. Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste, it is regarded in Ayurveda as a kind of “elixir of life” and believed to promote longevity.”
Once I had learnt a little about it I found I was more interested in the tea and would a look to try others in the Ayurveda range.
Pear Drops – pear, lapacho and liquorice
I wanted to like this so much, but I am just not a fan of liquorice or aniseed flavour. I love pear drops as boiled sweets, but this did not transfer into the tea. Worth a try, but not one I will be getting again.
I am so behind on my tea posts! My life has been overtaken by two furry fluff balls and I love it. Also it’s been super warm for the UK and that’s meant I haven’t wanted tea in the evenings so have a bit of a stash of these left but I have tried them all now!
This is fantastic tea! I love the sourness but also sweetness of the cherries and the dryness that comes from the green tea. This would be perfect iced and is something I must try while it’s too warm to drink hot. Perhaps I’ll make some now – and some ice
This is a lovely after dinner tea. It would be perfect in winter, so I might keep hold of this until the weather cools off and I want to snuggle up with a hot mug of tea on the sofa.
This is very similar to the chai from last month, but this time it has caffeine, so it great during the day. Again this is another drink for cooler weather and I’ll be keeping hold of it for after the summer.
I’ve already received month three and I wouldn’t be surprised if month 4 was on the way soon! I need it to cool off so I can get back to my tea drinking!
I was feeling low last month so ordered 6 month random tea subscription from Bluebird Tea in Brighton. They reminded on David’s Tea in Canada who I fell in love with back in 2012, so it is great to find another company who create random teas.
In my first delivery I got three teas:
This has been a great evening tea as it rooibos, rather than black tea. I’ve been brewing it in my glass teapot and originally went with the direction of the spoon per cup, but found I like it slightly stronger so ended up doing 3 spoons for 2 cups in my teapot. I then leave it for at least 3 minutes, but usually longer as I like it on the stronger side. This had a definite heat to it. I would describe this as a proper ginger heat, rather than gingerbread warmth you get in the lattes available at Christmas time. Two cups of this was enough for me each time. It was a nice change from peppermint or camomile in the evening though.
Vicky’s Sponge Cake
This is a black tea base so has made a lovely afternoon tea when I wanted something sweet. I enjoyed it a lot during my week off this month. It’s a fruity sweetness and with milk did taste a bit like cake.
This was a green tea base and was quite refreshing. I kept meaning to make a batch of iced tea with this as I think it would be quite refreshing, but didn’t get chance to before posting this. I still have some left so will try if the weather improves enjoy to fancy iced tea.
Overall I loved having a selection of three different teas to choose from. I liked having 20 grams of each, rather than having to get 100 grams or 20 teabags of something I haven’t tried. So this was a great way to try them out and I know I’ll order more of my favourites after the 6 month subscription. Also the tea gave me the option of drinking these at different times to my coffee. I find I can drink tea in the evening without any issues, but I strict with my coffee intake unless it decaf (and I don’t really see the point in decaf anymore). Excellent service after my order, although I tried to do the pay monthly option, but didn’t manage that so paid in full – might be something to watch if you sign up!
I’m looking forward to the next delivery already!
I’ve decided to turn my Tuesday evening in to Green Tea Tuesdays. I have a lot of green tea, but don’t make the time to drink it. I’m not a fan during the day as I love normal tea or coffee for a caffeine boost. So on Tuesday evenings I have time before I go to swimming club to make a proper pot of green tea and sit down and enjoy it. So last week I used the flowering green tea I got for Christmas from Asiatica from Canada.
I was give the Transcending Beauty which is described as careful, romantic, just and fair. It is made with Jasmine Green tea and lily flowers.
It always makes me laugh that they come in mushroom shapes and don’t loo very appealing, but as soon as you pop it into boiling water it comes to life.
The green peals away and exposes the beautiful red flower inside.
It created a lovely jasmine green tea, with a floral edge to it. It was lovely green tea colour, but again with a pink tinge from the flower, which made it different from plain jasmine teas. I enjoyed this tea and now need to find somewhere in the UK that sells these types of teas.