5 Top Rules of Tea Tasting

Tea tastings are all the rage at tea shops and tea rooms. You’ve booked your space and paid out the fee, so you want to get the most out of your tea tasting experience. The rules are simple yet amazingly overlooked by some to the chagrin of their fellow attendees.

How can you hope to tell the taste and fragrance of one versus the other if you are wearing a strong scent or aren’t focusing? (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)
How can you hope to tell the taste and fragrance of one versus the other if you are wearing a strong scent or aren’t focusing? (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

For your sake and for the sake of those around you at that tasting, I present what to me would be the top five rules to assure that you and they enjoy the event to the fullest.

  1. Don’t eat a big meal too soon beforehand — This will help you avoid burping, belching, and…uh, other emissions that could not only be distracting but downright unpleasant for all. It will also keep you from feeling overly full, which can dull your senses of taste and smell.
  2. Don’t wear strong perfumes, aftershave, colognes, or shampoos and soaps with strong scents before going to a tasting — It will throw off not only your own sense of smell but that of the people around you. And the sense of smell is closely aligned with the sense of taste.
  3. Wear comfortable clothing — You may be at the tasting an hour or longer. If it’s a special tasting such as a Japanese tea ceremony (ok, so it’s not exactly a tasting but a special tea event), you will want to dress appropriately, such as in loose pants where you can be kneeling for awhile.
  4. Clear your mind of distractions — Sure you have errands, an appointment at the doctor’s office, a deadline on that report you’re doing for the boss, or are wondering if that funny sound the car was making was something serious or not. But you need a focused mind so you can fully appreciate the teas you will be experiencing. Sight, touch, taste, and smell are enhanced when you are paying close attention to them. You will also want to pay close attention to the presenter. His or her expertise is a lot of what you’re paying for.
  5. Be prepared to have a good time — This isn’t a chore like taking out the trash or doing the laundry. It’s not a party either. But it should be enjoyable. While too much chatting with other attendees would be a distraction, a generally jovial atmosphere where everyone is relaxed will keep things pleasant.

Get the most from your tea tasting experience and you could find yourself falling in love with one or more of the teas you try. And you might make a new friend or two. Enjoy!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

3 thoughts on “5 Top Rules of Tea Tasting

  1. Pingback: The Best of the English Tea Store Tea Blog in 2012 « Tea Blog

  2. Pingback: The Real Meaning of “Blind Tea Tasting” « Tea Blog

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