Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Savoring a soothing cup of tea is undoubtedly one of life’s great luxuries; whether curled up in our favorite chair, or enjoyed on-the-go as we dance our way through the frantic pace of the modern world, here at Teavana, we believe in the importance of a life well lived. In addition to the balance and everyday indulgence that tea brings to our lives, another crucial element to a life well lived is the sharing of meaningful experiences.
Taking part in the sharing of tea culture is a tradition not only dating back thousands of years to early China, but is also still practiced today all over the world. Exploring the complexities and distinctive flavor notes of tea is a fun and unique way to enjoy time with a group of friends and loved ones.
Hosting The Tasting
Hosting a tea tasting is a wonderful way to compare several teas of the same variety or season. There are endless possibilities to the theme of your tasting; think first about the season and group that will be joining you and let your imagination run wild! Try presenting an all green tea tasting party, or fall tea tasting party, or even recreate a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party where everyone gets to enjoy a sampling of our more exotic varietals. This way, you and your guests can learn to detect and discuss the subtleties that make tea varieties distinctive, or simply gain a greater appreciation for tea while enjoying the company of the important people in your life.
Tea Tasting Preparation
It is incredibly easy to plan your first tea tasting. You will need 3-5 varieties of tea along with one of our exquisitely crafted tea sets and saucers to display the tea.
Make sure that beforehand you have noted and prepared to brew each tea at the perfect temperature for the correct amount of time: these steps are crucial to unfurling the tea’s own unique tasting qualities without bitterness or too much strength. It’s also a good idea to label each tea by name and tea type, so that your guests know what they’re sampling. Also, give your guests note cards so that they can create their own tea tasting notes.
Tasting The Tea
Some things for you and your guests to consider during the tea tasting event are appearance of the dry leaves. Are they whole? Crushed? Do the tea leaves twist or lay flat? Are there fruits or other botanicals?
Next, examine the color of the tea liquor, the scent that wafts from the tea; engage all your senses to get the most complete appreciation of each tea type.
Finally, slurp the tea to fully envelop your mouth with the tea liquor – what flavor notes can you each detect? Is there a nice finish to the tea after it has been swallowed? What flavors linger on the palate even after the tea is gone?
Get into the season with a fall inspired tea tasting. The anticipated combination of sweet and spicy is fitting for the occasion. Include teas like Spiced Apple Cider Rooibos Tea, Pumpkin Spice Brûlée Oolong Tea, Maharaja Chai Oolong Tea and Samurai Chai Mate Tea in your sampling.
Host a black tea tasting party that compares Chinese black teas such as Yunnan Golden Pu-erh Tea, Capital of Heaven Keemun Black Tea and Golden Monkey Black Tea.
A green tea tasting party may include tastings of Sencha Jade Reserve Green Tea, Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea and Dragonwell Green Tea.
What other tea tasting themes can you think of? Share with us in the comments!