a table topped with cups filled with different types of tea
Tea Tasting

The Art of Tea Tasting: A Beginner’s Guide

Tea, a comforting and diverse beverage, offers a world of flavours waiting to be explored. If you’re new to the enchanting world of tea, fear not! 

This beginner’s guide will walk you through the basics of tea tasting, helping you discover and appreciate the nuances of this timeless beverage.

Understanding Tea Types:

Tea comes in various types, each with its unique characteristics. Start with the basics:

Black Tea: Known for its robust flavour, black tea undergoes full oxidation, resulting in a rich, dark brew. Popular varieties include Assam and Earl Grey.

Green Tea: Lighter and more delicate, green tea is minimally processed, preserving its natural antioxidants. Sencha and Matcha are well-loved green tea options.

Oolong Tea: Falling between black and green tea, oolong is partially oxidised, offering a diverse range of flavours. Ti Kuan Yin and Da Hong Pao are notable examples.

White Tea: The least processed of all, white tea has a subtle, floral taste. Bai Hao Yinzhen and Silver Needle are prized white teas.

Brewing Basics:

Achieving the perfect cup of tea involves the right brewing technique. Here’s a simple guide:

Water Temperature: The temperature varies for different tea types. Boiling water is suitable for black tea, while green tea benefits from cooler temperatures around 80°C.

Steeping Time: Adjust the steeping time based on the tea type. Black tea typically steeps for 3-5 minutes, while green tea may only need 2-3 minutes.

Tea-to-Water Ratio: Use approximately one teaspoon of loose tea leaves per 8 ounces of water. Adjust to your preference.

The Tasting Experience:

Tea tasting is a sensory journey involving sight, smell, and taste:

Appearance: Observe the colour of the tea liquor. Black teas tend to be amber, green teas exhibit a light green hue, and white teas showcase a pale yellow.

Aroma: Inhale the fragrance deeply. Black teas often boast malty or fruity notes, while green teas offer grassy or vegetal scents.

Taste: Take small sips and let the tea coat your palate. Note the flavour profile, whether it’s bold and brisk, sweet and floral, or somewhere in between.

Mouthfeel: Consider the texture of the tea in your mouth. Is it smooth, astringent, or creamy?

Tea Pairing and Recommendations:

Enhance your tea experience by pairing it with complementary foods. For example, a robust black tea pairs well with chocolate, while a delicate green tea complements light desserts.


Embark on your tea-tasting journey with confidence, armed with the knowledge of tea types, brewing techniques, and the art of savouring each sip. 

Whether you’re drawn to the boldness of black tea or the subtlety of white tea, the world of tea tasting welcomes all who seek to explore its diverse and delightful offerings.