All you need to know
Tea tasting terminology
Tea tips on tasting
Aroma: The odor of the tea liquor, also called the nose or fragrance or bouquet.
Astringency: A lively, sharp and mouth-drying effect on the tongue. Not bitter, but a clean and refreshing quality. The sensation of astringency is caused by a reaction between polyphenols (tannins) and the protein in saliva.
Body: The tactile aspect of tea’s weight and substance in the mouth, variously subcategorized as light, medium, or full; also known as fullness.
Bright: A lively, clean style that refreshes the palate.
Character: A tea’s signature attributes depending upon origin, whether of its country, region or type.
Clean: Indicates purity of flavor and an absence of any off-tastes.
Finish: The lasting taste on your tongue after swallowing the tea.
Smooth: Round-bodied, fine-drinking teas.
Soft: Smooth, lush, and subsequently often (but not necessarily) timid in flavor
Thick: Describes the tea liquor having substance, but not necessarily strength.
How to brew
|Type of Tea||Water Temperature||Tea Bag||Loose Leaf|
|Black||boiling||3-5 minutes||3-5 minutes|
|Green||short of boiling||1-3 minutes||2-4 minutes|
|Herbal||boiling||5-7 minutes||5-7 minutes|
|White||short of boiling||30-60 seconds||2-3 minutes|
|Oolong||boiling||3-5 minutes||5-7 minutes|
Tea and Health
All tea from the Camellia plant is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that detoxify cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Tea has about eight to ten times the polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables, according to long-time tea researcher John Weisburger, Ph.D., senior researcher at the Institute for Cancer Prevention in Valhalla, N.Y.
Studies of humans, animals, and petri-dish experiments show that tea is highly beneficial to our health. Research suggests that regular tea drinkers — people who drink two cups or more a day — have less heart disease and stroke, lower total and LDL cholesterol, and recover from heart attacks faster.
Tea also helps soothe stress. A British study found that people who drank black tea were able to de-stress more quickly than those who drank a fake tea substitute. The tea drinkers had lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
- Use fresh cold water and bring it to the boil. (Note: Certain teas need boiling water, and others need to be just short of boiling)
- Depending on the temperature you need for the specific tea, heat your water.
- Add the correct amount of tea necessary for the cup or pot. Do not over add.
|Type of Tea||Amount per cup|
|Green||Japanese (Steamed)||1-2 tsp|
|Chinese (Pan Fired)||2 tsp|
This is based on making 200ml of tea.
Temperature of the water
Lu Yu said”When at the edges it chatters like a bubbling spring and looks like pearls innumerable strung together, it has reached the second stage. When it leaps like breakers majestic and resounds like a swelling wave, it is at its peak. Any more and the water will be boiled out and should not be used”
The temperature of the water is crucial. Certain teas require certain temperatures.
|Type of Tea||Water Temperature|
|Green||short of boiling 70-80°c|
|Herbal||Boiling – 100°c|
|White||short of boiling 70-80°c|
|Oolong||Boiling – 100°c|
The period that the tea is steeped is critical. Each type of tea has a particular brewing time.
|Type of Tea||Tea Bag||Loose Leaf|
|Black||3-5 minutes||3-5 minutes|
|Green||1-3 minutes||2-4 minutes|
|Herbal||5-7 minutes||5-7 minutes|
|White||30-60 seconds||2-3 minutes|
|Oolong||3-5 minutes||5-7 minutes|