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ADVANCED TASTING - Angela Pryce

Sensory analysis and the language of taste, is a vital skill to have in the tea industry. In Advanced Tasting you will gain valuable knowledge of the 120 most commonly used tea descriptors. We will look at the 10 categories of Tea Descriptions - colour, brightness, clarity, quality, mouthfeel, contaminations, infusion, dry leaf appearance, taste and origin specific flavour. You will leave with the tools to taste differences in region and altitude, and to confidently describe what you are tasting - join us for what will be a day of sensory delight!
• Theoretical principles
• What is sensory analysis?
• Why is sensory important in tea?
• Brew a speciality vs. mainstream tea, discuss and acknowledge differences
• How we taste
• Olfactory, taste and flavour
• Fruit pastel taste test(?)
• The 5 basic tastes
• The importance of using a consistent standardised language
• Key terminology / sensory vocabulary used
• Positive and negative key terms
• The 10 categories of tea descriptions
• For each category, the most common tea descriptors and what they mean
• Define colour, brightness and clarity in tea
• Define mouthfeel in tea (using milk vs. water to illustrate)
• Define dry leaf appearance (dry leaf batch to illustrate key terms)
• Define origin specific flavour (taste an origin batch 10-12 teas together using the descriptors as an aid)
• Define contaminations in tea
• Define quality and infusion in tea (comparing a poor vs. excellent quality tea - use all senses to assess dry leaf, liquor and infusion)
• Other terms defined as taste
• For each category, the most common tea descriptors and what they mean
• Recap on brewing technique
• Assessing the dry leaf, liquor and infusion
• Sensory equipment
• The core equipment for tea sensory analysis
• The importance of hygienic, odour-free work space for brewing
• How to set up sensory skills in your business
• Running a tea tasting session
To be included in test or used as handouts throughout the day -
1. Identify equipment that is necessary or superfluous to a tea tasting assessment from a list
2. Repeat the standard process for setting up a tea tasting batch, recalling standard measurements and protocol
3. Origin batch - blind tasting and correct recognition of 10-12 different regional black teas
4. Common descriptors & what they mean (each person given 12 descriptor single word cards, which they have to bring to front table and add to the relevant category/group (e.g. earthy, oily, high-fired would all go under "contaminations", and muscatel, low grown, Yunnan would all go under "origin specific flavour").