The Real Meaning of “Blind Tea Tasting”

Capture the true flavor of tea by going blind! (Photo source: composite including stock image)
Capture the true flavor of tea by going blind! (Photo source: composite including stock image)

You’ve heard of blind taste tests, I’m sure. It works for colas, peanut butter, orange juice, and a whole host of other things. When it comes to tea tastings, blind may not be blind enough. Thus, I present the real meaning of “blind tea tasting.”

Normally, in a blind taste test, the product label is covered over. That way you can’t know which cola, peanut butter, or orange juice you’re trying. The idea, of course, is for you to be totally objective and not have any preset ideas about what to expect. One of the best known blind taste challenges have been between Coca Cola and Pepsi. Untold numbers of people swear that one is better than the other, but in the blind taste test, they often couldn’t really tell. That’s the way it goes most of the time. Our brain gets in the way of our senses. What we see is what we expect, so not seeing can eliminate those expectations.

Speaking of that interfering brain, it can get so busy processing information from one of the senses (usually sight which dominates) that the input from the other senses gets dulled (only partially processed by the brain). Thus the old adage about how when some one loses the use of the sense of sight the other senses take over is in truth the brain just paying more attention to those senses.

For this reason, I find that a different form of “blind tea tasting” is needed, and hubby and I have been using it to get the most out of our experiences. To many people the idea of a blind tea tasting means you don’t know which teas you’re trying, just like with those colas, peanut butter, and orange juice. To hubby and me, it means closing our eyes, and thus shutting out visual stimuli, before sipping. Subtle hints of oak, nuttiness, florals, and some of those seemingly odd and elusive flavors and aromas described by tea experts will be more pronounced, not in a loud way, but more like someone speaking aloud versus whispering. It comes through clearer and more pronounced.

Try going blind sometime — for your tea tasting, that is. You will assuredly have an enhanced taste experience. Just close your eyes and sip.

See also:
Tea Kettle Philosophy — Personal Taste
Tea Tasting without Professional Equipment
On Tasting Tea
The Importance of Tea Tasting Techniques
The Project Manager’s Approach to Tea Tasting
Why Your White Tea Tastes Lousy
Why Your Black Tea Tastes So Lousy
Tea Taste-Killers
5 Top Rules of Tea Tasting
Tasting Tea With an Electronic Tongue
6 Reasons Your Tea Tastes Different from the Vendor’s Description
“Ghostly” Tea Taste and Aroma
Organizing a Tea Tasting

© 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.

One thought on “The Real Meaning of “Blind Tea Tasting”

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

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