This week I thought I would share a little tea tip I have for all budding and seasoned tea enthusiasts. You know I am talking to you if you have a 'tea cupboard' that is exploding with tins, packets and other tea treasures that you try to bring some order to every once and a while!
The more we taste and evaluate teas the more our tea knowledge expands. You will notice that recalling some of those gems becomes more difficult as the months go by.
That is why I recommend you start recording your tea experiences and impressions in a tea tasting journal. It is the best way to know exactly what you have tasted in the world of tea.
I know for some this may seem a little over the top but for those 'tea nerds' this is probably something you already do to a degree and believe me it will help you start to catalogue those wonderful teas that you have discovered.
I have a very simple system of using notebooks to record details of the teas I have tasted. The little tea tasting journals in the picture above I share with some of my workshop attendees to give them a place to start.
I will often go back to my tasting note pages and update them when I re-evaluate a tea. I start by recording the basic details of the tea. These may include the name of the tea, botanical information including cultivar, growing region including specific location and altitude, details of the tea maker, time of harvest and details of the processing method. I also ensure I record situational factors such as the brewing parameters, time and date you are evaluating the tea and even the mood I am in whilst tasting. Finally, I will record the impressions I have from tasting the tea, the look and feel of the tea leaf, the aroma, the flavour, the mouth and the body feel when drinking the tea.
How detailed and elaborate you journal your tea tasting experiences is entirely up to you. I found my tea tasting notes have given me a valuable resource and a path to navigate my own tea journey by identifying preferences, categorising teas in a way that resonates with me and a tool to better compare and contrast the teas that I taste.
Happy tea journalling!
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