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The art of tea tasting according to Dammann Frères
Tea may be visually appreciated even before brewed. But during the actual tea tasting, all senses must be alert...
Here are some of our key steps in evaluating the quality of tea: the appearance of the leaves and the brew and their flavours and aromas.
1) Dry leaves are visually evaluated according to their colour, size, shape, regularity and overall aesthetic appearance. Next to be evaluated is the fragrance of the tea leaves themselves.
2) The leaves are brewed. Once again, the eye judges the tea according to its colour and brightness, as well as its cloudiness.
3) Lastly, the senses of smell and taste evaluate the tea's roundness, softness, strength, astringency and aromas. The aroma of the wet tea leaves is a useful indicator of the tea’s bouquet of flavour.
We also use the technique of retro-olfaction. This consists of keeping the brewed tea in your mouth and then evaluating its aromas through the nasal passages. You will then be trained to distinguish between the five flavours: bitter, sour, tasty, sweet and ‘unami’ (a Japanese word commonly used when tasting tea, usually translated as ‘tasty’).
Learning how to recognise and express the sensations and impressions experienced while tea-tasting is be the next step. The universe of aroma has no limits!
Our experts advise you to use a ‘set à déguster’, which is the equipment par excellence of tea tasters throughout the world.