How Important Is Tea Tasting In The Tea Industry

Tea tasting 1You have definitely gone across videos where people are taking in sips of tea, making weird noises with it in their mouth before discarding it and noting down some stuff in their notebook. It is a pretty common sight for people who are associated with the tea industry somehow or for tea enthusiasts who are keen to know how the entire industry works.

What exactly are the people doing there? How relevant is the process for the entire tea industry? And what exactly is a tea taster after all?

Well, to begin with, tea tasters are some hired professionals who taste samples of tea leaves and note the flavor, texture and overall strength of the respective tea sample. Certain trained professionals are assigned to do this task to ensure the overall quality of the samples of tea leaves can be determined.

Now, how important is that task? Well, for starters, professional tea tasting is one of the highest-paying jobs. Yes, it is perhaps the most crucial task in order to run a tea industry successfully. Companies pay a hefty sum of money to the tea tasters to ensure their quality of tea leaves remain intact. 

How important is tea tasting in the tea industry? Tea tasting is the most vital part which forms the backbone of the tea industry. Tea tasters taste various samples of tea leaves and ensure a company keeps providing the best and a constant quality of tea leaves throughout the year. 

Tea tasting professionally is an essential part of the tea industry. Every big tea industry has a set of experts guiding them with the exact balance of flavor and tenderness that the company desires to present to its customer. Without a proper taster behind the scenes, it would practically be impossible to reach and maintain the highest optimum level of tea leaves throughout the year. 

Every company has some parameter to decide the type of tea leaves they desire to present in the market. That would mean a proper tea blend or quality that would create some value to its customer. This is exactly where the job of the tea taster kicks in. Tea tasters will taste a variety of tea leaves and bring out the best possible combination to ensure that the company can provide the exact tea leaves they want to roll out.

Tea tasting 2Not just the combination, tea tasters are also required to maintain the tea leaves throughout the year. This is a very challenging task as because tea leaves are not constant throughout the year. Tea leaves are extremely dependent upon seasons. A single tea plant cannot produce the same quality of tea leaf throughout the year. This raises some concern for the industry.

For example, tea leaves in the first flush are considered the highest quality tea leaves in the market. That would mean when a company packs and delivers tea leaves made during the first flush, and it is bound to be of the highest quality. But what about the same variety in winters? The same tea plant cannot produce the same leaves during that period. That would mean the quality gets compromised in the winter?

Well, there are reasons companies are willing to pay a hefty amount to the tasters. Tea tasters, in such cases, need to maintain the quality of tea leaves throughout the year. They usually do this with the help of blending tea leaves of different seasons and subsequently grades together. 

Blending tea leaves open the gates of relatively similar quality tea leaves being available throughout the year. But this is a very tricky job. Tasting numerous tea leaves one after the other and recording the quality of the infusion it creates is the only method known. And that requires immense practice and precision, which the tasters attain throughout their journey.

How Do The Tea-Tasters Taste Tea?

Tea tasting 3Enthusiasts already have a rough idea of how that happens. For the starters, tea tasters are first equipped with a specific tea tasting apparatus that generally includes cups with lids and a bowl for each cup and a spoon. Usually made with clean white porcelain, proper tea tasting apparatus is a must-have for the tasting session. 

What follows the apparatus’s assembling is using clean filtered water, milk if needed to check for milk tea and numerous different samples of tea leaves. 

Now, the tasters first use a spoon to pour an equal amount of tea leaves from each of the samples into individual cups and close the lids after pouring an equal amount of water into each cup, keeping it closed for some time, usually 2-3 minutes.

Within the time frame, the tea leaves release their infusion into the warm water. Tea tasters then strain out the infusion into the individual bowls and take one sip from each bowl one by one. 

This is when they make those weird noises. Which is basically them allowing oxygen to pass through their mouth when they take in the tea infusions. The higher oxygen level allows the infusion to release its flavor in their mouth itself, which allows the taster to “taste” the tea better. Think of it as a professional tool used by them.

The tea tasters also note down the tea’s flavor profile, texture, and liquor and mark them according to their own preferable scale. Once each of the samples is tested and noted down, the tea taster then selects out the best possible tea samples or the tea samples’ combination according to the company’s requirement. Indeed, quite a tedious and intricate task.

How Relevant Is Tea Tasting In The Tea Industry?

Tea tasting 4Tea tasting is the basis on which tea industries stand. It is proper to say that tasting tea appropriately decides the fate of a tea company. It is up to the tea tasters to ensure that the quality of the tea remains of the highest order and remains relatively constant throughout the year. 

People buy brands and not just the product that is contained within them. To ensure that a brand remains intact and the quality of the tea remains constant throughout, there is always a tea taster behind the curtain working hard to make sure that the tea provided by the brand remains as it is. 

Needless to say, it is the most crucial job within the tea industry that will further decide how successful a brand gets in the market. Tea tasters are essentially the people who bring out the best of your everyday cup. That’s a huge responsibility in itself! No wonder some of the professionals get their tongue insured! Much like wine tasting, tea tasting is the backbone of the tea industry. Getting a picture of the entire scene, right? 

It is indeed one of the highest paying jobs in the world. But it does come with lots of sacrifices on their part. You are meant to keep your tongue in the healthiest condition in order to deliver the best possible accuracy. Keeping yourself away from either very hot or very cold stuff, keeping yourself away from smoking and drinking are some of the sacrifices they are willing to make.

Tea tasters are trained to become the best in their field with various courses and obviously with experience gained over time. Differentiating every little note within the tea leaves is a very challenging task. If you are willing to become one of the connoisseurs yourself, you can take up courses from master tasters and train yourself. But with great sacrifices and experience, can only you become a master tea taster.

Till then, just know that tea tasting is perhaps the most critical job in the tea industry upon which the structure of the industry lies. It is very much relevant to the market as this is what makes a brand a “brand”.


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