15 expert tips to learn how to taste a tea

To shorten the path of learning, we asked professional tasters recognized around the world for advice, and these were their answers.

What is your best advice for anyone looking to dive deeper into the world of tea?

Nobody needs instructions to enjoy a tea: the fresh hit of an Ice Tea or the acidic sweetness of a Rooibos is what any human being experiences at the first sip of his life.

But what if other tealovers tell you that there are deeper flavors in those same teas (and all the others) that are worth investigating?

They are making their way towards becoming real tea tasters. Like wine sommeliers, very few people have this ability innately. Almost all tasters of any drink or food have learned to do so. In this article we tell you what are the first steps to become a tea Sommelier.

To shorten the path of learning, we asked professional tasters recognized around the world for advice, and these were their answers.

What is your best advice for anyone looking to dive deeper into the world of tea?

1- “Search in tea shops for free samples or buy small packages so you can try as many as possible. This way you will learn what you like and you will also know the types of tea and the origin. Read blogs and books about tea if you want to immerse yourself further in this wonderful world.” Sara Shacket , Tea Happiness

2- “Read about the soaking times of the leaves or tea bags and about the temperature of the water. My first experience making oolong tea was disastrous and I went years without trying it again: I had used very hot water and the tannins left a very bad taste on my palate.” Leslie Kay Stratton

3- “Do not drink tea exclusively for the health benefits. The only benefit you should be concerned with is how the tea makes you feel . Expecting tea to cure all your physical ailments is also expecting too much from a little leaf.” Geoffrey F. Norman , Steep Stories

4- “ Buy and try small samples from different vendors and tea companies. This is an inexpensive way to try many different teas. When you find one you really enjoy, and it surely will, you will be able to buy large quantities” Georgia , Notes of Tea

5- “Don’t be afraid to experiment! Even if you don’t have extensive knowledge about tea, you have nothing to lose by trying things like baking, cooking, flavor combinations, etc. In fact, you have everything to gain. Be your own tea guinea pig 🙂” – Nazanin Yousefnejad , Tea Thoughts

6-“Do not drink tea out of inherited habit or because you have imposed yourself that you should do so. May every day be a tea discovery. Even if you choose the tea you had yesterday, approach it with a blank mind and heart. Discover something new about tea, about life, about yourself. -James Allen , Far West Tea

7-“Learning about tea is a process and you may find it intimidating. Keep in mind that it’s all part of the trip and drink as much as you can get your hands on . Whether a tea is good or bad, everyone teaches you something .” -Nicole Martin , Tea For Me Please

8- “Comparing teas, their differences and similarities makes you fix them in your memory. Also, don’t be afraid to try something out of your comfort zone. And finally, find a friend who enjoys tea, a tea mentor or a group of tealovers to drink and talk about tea, you will have more fun! -Anna Mariani , The Tea Squirrel 

9- “Start with a tea with notes and flavors that you already know you love and branch flavors from there. If you love vanilla, chocolate, or lemon, look for a tea that describes itself as such. ” – Chelsea , Taste The Tea

10- “ Fruit flavored teas or darker and more robust flavored teas are an excellent way to relieve your taste buds in the world of tea . Do you want to love black tea but don’t like the classics? Try a mint and chocolate flavor with a hint of sweetness and then you will love masala chai . Ice cream, sweet, milk, mix and have fun. Miss Mary Lou

11- “In my opinion , experimenting is the best way to learn . Brew tea with different types of water (a local spring water, hard and soft water). Or even try the tea at different temperatures instead of what is recommended. Add something extra like a lemon or brew two teas in the same mug. There are many ways to enjoy a cup of tea. Maybe you will find the perfect one. ” – Sophia Mulvany , Shennong

12- “ Aroma, color, flavor ! Have tea with friends which is much more fun. And read all about tea, it’s a fascinating world. ” – Francesco Guerrieri , Taste for Tea

13-” Just try everything . When I started, I had only tried Earl Grey . I decided to try everything; When I go to a new place I ask what unique blends they have or if they recommend any particular teas. I’ve tried teas I’ve never heard of and blends I wouldn’t normally like. Just jump in! ” – Christina Orlando , Muse Monthly

14-” Always be prepared to try something different. That strange-sounding tea may not be your thing, but you just might discover something great! I think my most serious advice is to always try the best tea you can afford. There is nothing more beautiful than high-quality tea. ” – Laura Burley, Laura’s Tea Room

15-“Don’t be afraid to try new things and never stop. Do with tea what you would do on a trip: experiment and learn as much as you can. Tea is an amazing and versatile drink that can be easily adapted for cooking and creating cocktails. Immerse yourself and “lose control” trying teas. It has endless possibilities. ” – Rachel Rachana Carter , iHeartTeas

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