Types of tea
- The tea plantation
- Tea growing countries
- History of tea
- Tea grades
- Tea ceremonies
- Our tea classes in NYC
- How to prepare tea
- Tea tasting
- Care of your teapot
- Books and Guides
- Our founder's blog
The act of tasting is far more complex than you might imagine, calling on all five of our senses to various degrees. When we taste tea, a series of micro-events unfolds, each associated with a different sense
When tasting, sensations are perceived in three phases:
- The next phase takes place in the mouth when we take a sip and involves two senses, taste and touch.
Tea can have three possible tastes—bitter, sour, and sweet—each of which is sensed by a relatively specific area in the mouth. Touch is involved when the tea comes into contact with our teeth and mucous membranes, allowing us to assess the temperature and texture of the brew. This is also our opportunity to evaluate the tea’s astringency, body, and smoothness. In terms of taste, this second phase still provides very limited information, and we have not yet perceived the tea’s flavors.
- Finally, when we swallow, we experience retro-olfaction.
As we exhale through our nose, air is drawn into the mouth, sweeping across the entire region of olfactory receptors and allowing us to perceive 100% of the odor molecules. To experience the importance of this phase for yourself, try pinching your nose as you swallow: this blocks retro-olfaction and limits your perceptions to just the three taste sensations mentioned above.
How to prepare teaCare of your teapot
Ultimately, our sense of smell is what allows us to perceive most of what we "taste" and experience the aromatic complexity of a beverage like tea.