The tea experience does not end after brewing. Take these additional steps to elevate the tea experience, or explore the use of tea as a versatile ingredient in other preparations.
Conduct a focused tea tasting, as modeled after wine or whiskey tastings. A worthy experience both alone and with friends; meant to develop the palate, explore new flavors, and offer a platform for meaningful debate and conversation.
Step 1: Prepare teas for brewing, a neutral brewing vessel, and multiples of identical cups for a consistent tasting experience.
Step 2: Examine the dry leaves. Note the aroma, appearance, and overall impression of the leaves. Optional: Discuss details about origin and processing.
Step 3: Brew the tea leaves in a pre-heated vessel.
Step 4: Decant into cups. Note the aroma, appearance, and overall impression of the liquor.
Step 5: Taste slowly. Note the flavor, texture, and aftertaste of the liquor. Discuss objective qualities.
Optional: As in wine, aerate the liquor on the palate for increased perception of volatiles.
Step 6: Make a judgement. Evaluate the tea on a more personal, subjective level. Determine the tea’s strengths and weaknesses, overall likeability, and potential for other preparations such as cold brew, tea cocktails, and other tea-infused recipes.
Optional: Start a comparative tasting by brewing another tea with similar parameters.
Tea as an Ingredient
Utilize tea as a component in cooking, baking, and as part of other beverages. Pure tea is a delicate but richly aromatic ingredient that, when incorporated correctly, can add a unique and compelling layers to a dish.
Additional Resources (coming soon!):
Pairing Tea with Food
Cooking with Tea
Baking with Tea