My First Tea Tasting

Yesterday it was beastly hot here.  I mean, oppressive.  And what did I do?  I went to a local tea house for a tea tasting!  Nothing like a few cups of hot tea on an already steamy day!

A few notes from our tasting, and a couple of fragrant flavors to try next time!

This was my first tea tasting, and it was very informal and pleasant because we each got to pick a few tea blends to sample.  After smelling several tins and choosing our two favorites, the hostess prepared small pots for us.  The tea house I visited has 100+ blends of loose tea, including: black, white, red (roobios), green, oolong, and pu-erh varieties and blends of mate (see below), so it was a bit tough to choose.

I ultimately selected a white tea and a green tea: the first was a blend called White Christmas that smelled of orange and cloves, and a fruity green tea called Caribbean Breeze Sencha.  My companion selected a white Jasmine Rose and an Almond Roobios.  Frequent visitors to the blog may know that I’m a big fan of black teas — especially Earl Grey varieties, but I attended the tea tasting to broaden my palette.

The hostess also prepared three different iced teas for us: a pungent roobios, a white Mango blend, and an iced green tea latte made with Matcha powder and vanilla soy milk.  Since our area has been experiencing record-breaking heat, the iced teas were wonderful.  As we sipped the teas, we enjoyed a chocolate flourless cake á la mode.

Finally, she prepared two lattes: a warm, milky roobios, and a frothy black Chocolate Strawberry to end our tasting.

My favorite hot teas were the White Christmas blend, the white Jasmine Rose, and the black Chocolate Strawberry.  I also liked the iced green tea latte made with Matcha powder.

During the tea tasting, I learned that I don’t care for roobios tea (the scent of the leaves or the tea itself).

Our hostess also shared these fun facts with me:

  The scent of a tea often determines whether or not you will enjoy it.  Ask to smell a loose tea before choosing it.

♦  Keep teas in sealed tins for longer shelf life (a year or so, for maximum freshness).

  Black teas have the most caffeine, then roobios (red) teas, then green, and finally white.

  Mate refers to the leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant, it does not refer to a tea.