Tea Tasting Note Template

by Arina on October 8, 2010

in Tea Basics,Tea Language

Tasting 2010 Liu An Gua Pian

At a turtle’s pace, I’m approaching the moment when I actually start publishing on this blog the tasting notes for my Tea Marathon project. But wasn’t the turtle the race winner at the end? Anyway, after I’ve put some order in my head about the language for color, aroma, taste and texture, time has come to put together a puzzle of the tasting note template. According to my beloved wine tasting authors, there is no perfect tasting note template. Good news. But a good tasting note template should still  meet several important criteria:

  • it should be appropriate for the occasion. Some tastings are held to rate different teas separately, some focus on comparison, some aim just to discover some important characteristics… whatever the occasion, the tea tasting template should be geared towards it.
  • it should take into account the experience of a taster. Give a blank sheet of paper to a seasoned taster, and she will do just fine. But for beginners, like me, it should be structured in a way to guide you through the tasting process, and serve a sort of check-list for the observations to make.
  • Some structure is helpful for novices, but it shouldn’t limit your expression. A template should always have room for free, unstructured comment.
  • It should be kept simple and understandable, easy to read and interpret by a third person, not too long and complicated.

Black tea tasting

For my tasting notes, I’m going to use the following structure:

1. GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Tea Name: Chinese (characters and  pinyin) and English translation
  • Tea Type
  • Production Year
  • Production Place
  • Grade
  • Where purchased

2. TEAWARE AND WATER

  • Water used
  • Water temperature
  • Kind of teapot used (gaiwan, teapot, glass etc.)
  • Number of infusions

Bai Hao Yin Zhen hairy dry leaves

3. DRY LEAF

  • General appearance
  • Color
  • Shape
  • Size & Uniformity
  • Aroma

Infusion of Tai Ping Hou Kui

4. INFUSION (INFUSED LEAVES)

  • Color
  • Aroma

A cup of Da Hong Pao

5. LIQUOR

  • Color
  • Texture
  • Taste
  • Aroma

6. OTHER COMMENTS

I’m going to hold tea tasting events for family and friends. Then, the template will need to be put on paper. I’m thinking of how to make the events interesting, entertaining and fun. Here is one idea. It comes from one of my absolute favorite blogs that I follow daily and often go for inspiration, Design * Sponge. It is actually for coffee cupping, but I think some of its elements can be creatively adopted for tea tastings as well.

Coffee Cupping Brunch Idea. Image Source: www.designspongeonline.com

I would love to know if you use a template for your tasting notes and if you have ever organised tasting events and how you used your creativity to make them fun. Please do not hesitate to share! Links, musings, ideas, images, everyting is welcome, I’m thirsty for inspiration ! Thanks!

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