Tea Tasting Notes Template Guide

Your Guide to Tea Tasting Notes Templates

Tea tasting is an art that requires the ability to describe the intricate flavors and aromas found in a cup of tea. To truly appreciate and understand tea, it’s essential to develop the language to express these sensory experiences. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of tea tasting notes and provide you with a selection of templates to help you articulate the subtle nuances of different teas. Whether you are a tea enthusiast or a professional tea taster, these templates will serve as valuable tools in your tea tasting journey.

Decoding Tea-Tasting Terminology

Understanding the terminology used in tea tasting is key to accurately describing and evaluating teas. From aroma to mouthfeel, each aspect of tea has its own specific language. In this section, we will delve into the commonly encountered tea descriptors and provide explanations for terms such as aroma, acidic, astringent, body, bright, bakey, character, clean, coppery, finish, flowery, liquor, malty, muscatel, smooth, smoky, soft, thick, vegetal, and woody. By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you’ll be able to communicate your tea tasting experiences with precision.

Key Takeaways:

  • Tea tasting notes templates are valuable tools for expressing the nuances of different teas.
  • Understanding the language of tea tasting is essential for accurately describing and evaluating teas.
  • Commonly encountered tea descriptors include aroma, acidic, astringent, body, bright, bakey, character, clean, coppery, finish, flowery, liquor, malty, muscatel, smooth, smoky, soft, thick, vegetal, and woody.

Decoding Tea-Tasting Terminology

Tea tasting involves a unique language of descriptors that capture the aroma, flavor, and overall characteristics of a tea. Understanding these tea tasting terminologies will help you articulate your tea tasting experience more effectively. In this section, we will explore and explain 20 commonly encountered tea descriptors, such as:

  • Aroma
  • Acidic
  • Astringent
  • Body
  • Bright
  • Bakey
  • Character
  • Clean
  • Coppery
  • Finish
  • Flowery
  • Liquor
  • Malty
  • Muscatel
  • Smooth
  • Smoky
  • Soft
  • Thick
  • Vegetal
  • Woody

By familiarizing yourself with these tea descriptors, you will be able to better appreciate and describe the flavors, aromas, and overall qualities of various teas. Let’s dive into each of these terms and discover their significance in the tea tasting process.

Next, we’ll explore the importance of appearance, aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel in the tea tasting process. Stay tuned!

The Importance of Appearance, Aroma, Flavour, and Mouth Feel

When it comes to tea tasting, there are four essential elements to consider: appearance, aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel. Each of these factors plays a significant role in the overall tea tasting experience, contributing to our understanding and enjoyment of the tea.

Appearance: The visual presentation of tea leaves can provide valuable insights into their quality and characteristics. Take a moment to observe the shape, color, and texture of the leaves, as they can indicate the level of oxidation, processing techniques, and even the terroir of the tea.

Aroma: The scent of tea is one of its most captivating features. Before taking a sip, inhale the aroma deeply. Pay attention to the various notes and fragrances that emanate from the tea, such as floral, fruity, earthy, or vegetal. The aroma sets the stage for the flavors that await.

Flavor: The taste of tea encompasses a wide range of flavors, from sweet and floral to earthy and robust. As you take a sip, allow the flavors to unfold on your palate. Notice the balance between sweetness, bitterness, and astringency. Explore the complexity of the flavors and the nuances that emerge with each sip.

Mouth Feel: The mouthfeel refers to the physical sensations and texture of tea in the mouth. It can range from light and delicate to full-bodied and creamy. Consider the weight and viscosity of the tea, as well as the presence of tannins that contribute to astringency. The mouthfeel adds depth and dimension to the overall tasting experience.

By paying attention to these four key aspects of tea tasting, you can truly appreciate the intricacies of different teas and develop a deeper understanding of their unique qualities. So, the next time you sip a cup of tea, take a moment to savor the visual, olfactory, and sensory delights it offers.

First Impressions Count

When it comes to tea tasting, the initial inspection of the dry tea leaves is crucial. The appearance of the tea leaves can provide valuable insights into the tea’s quality and characteristics. By examining the shape, color, and texture of the leaves, we can gather important information about what lies ahead in terms of flavor and aroma.

During tea inspection, we pay attention to the following factors:


The shape of the tea leaves can vary greatly depending on the type of tea. For example, black tea leaves are typically long and twisted, while green tea leaves are often flat and needle-like. Oolong tea leaves may have a distinctive curled appearance. The shape of the tea leaves can indicate the level of oxidation and processing it has undergone, which in turn affects the flavor profile.

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The color of the tea leaves can provide valuable clues about the tea’s quality and freshness. For example, vibrant green leaves in green tea indicate freshness, while darker leaves may suggest a more robust flavor. Additionally, certain teas, such as some oolongs, can showcase a beautiful spectrum of colors, ranging from bright greens to deep browns.


The texture of the tea leaves can also impact the overall tea tasting experience. Smooth and whole leaves often indicate higher quality teas, while broken or crushed leaves may suggest lower quality or less carefully handled teas. The texture can affect how the tea infuses, releasing its flavors and aromas into the liquor.

By carefully examining the tea leaves, we can make informed judgments about the tea’s quality and potential flavor profile. These visual cues, combined with other factors such as aroma and taste, allow us to form a comprehensive understanding of the tea’s overall character.

Factor Importance
Shape High
Color Medium
Texture Low

Inspecting the dry tea leaves is just the first step in the tea tasting process. In the next sections, we’ll explore the importance of aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel to complete the sensory experience of enjoying a cup of tea.

Making the Perfect Brew

To fully appreciate the flavors and aromas of tea, it is crucial to master the art of brewing. Tea tasters follow a standard brewing approach to ensure consistency in taste and quality. In this section, we will guide you through the steps of making the perfect brew, paying attention to the tea weight, water choices, crockery, and brew time.

Tea Weight

The amount of tea leaves used in brewing significantly impacts the strength and flavor profile of the tea. The general rule of thumb is to use approximately 2 grams (or 1 teaspoon) of tea per 8 ounces of water. However, this may vary depending on personal preference and the type of tea being brewed. Experiment with different tea weights to find the perfect balance for your taste buds.

Water Choices

The quality of water used for brewing tea is often underestimated. Ideally, use filtered or spring water to avoid any impurities that may alter the taste. Water temperature also plays a crucial role in tea extraction. Each type of tea has an optimal water temperature range, so be sure to refer to the recommended brewing instructions for the specific tea you are brewing.


The choice of crockery can enhance the tea tasting experience. Traditionally, ceramic or clay teapots and cups are used for brewing and serving tea. These materials help to retain heat and impart a subtle influence on the tea’s flavor. It is advisable to dedicate specific crockery for different types of tea to avoid any flavor contamination.

Brew Time

The duration of the brewing process directly affects the strength and flavor intensity of the tea. Follow the recommended brew time provided with the tea packaging or reference guide for optimal results. Overbrewing can lead to bitterness, while underbrewing may result in a weak and watery infusion. Experiment with different brew times to find your preferred balance of flavors.

tea brewing process

Now that you understand the importance of the tea brewing process, let’s move on to the next section, where we will explore the visual aspects of the infused tea and how they relate to the tea’s quality and characteristics.

Now What Does the Infused Tea Look Like?

After brewing the tea, it is time to examine the infused tea, also known as the liquor. The liquor’s color, physical appearance, and clarity can provide important clues about the tea’s quality and characteristics. In this section, we will explore how to evaluate the liquor and what to look for in terms of color, appearance, and clarity.

The first aspect to consider is the liquor color. Different teas will produce varying hues, ranging from light and pale to deep and dark. The color of the liquor can indicate the tea’s strength, oxidation level, and even the specific tea variety. For example, green teas are known for their light, yellowish-green liquor, while black teas typically yield a rich, amber-colored liquor.

Another factor to observe is the physical appearance of the liquor. This includes the clarity and any visible particles or sediment. A high-quality tea will exhibit clarity, indicating the absence of impurities or excessive residues. On the other hand, a cloudy or murky liquor may suggest lower quality or improper brewing techniques.

To further assess the quality of the tea, pay attention to the aroma that emanates from the liquor. Each tea variety will have its own distinct aroma profile, which can offer insights into its flavor and overall character. Take a moment to inhale the aromas and note any specific scents or notes present.

Now, let’s examine these elements more closely with a visual representation:

Liquor Color Physical Appearance Aroma
Light yellowish-green for green teas Clear and free of sediment Fresh and vegetal
Rich amber for black teas Clear with a reddish tinge Malte and robust
Golden for oolong teas Clear to slightly cloudy Floral and fruity

By evaluating the tea infusion’s color, physical appearance, and aroma, you can gain valuable insights into the tea’s quality, origin, and flavor profile. These observations will further enhance your tea tasting experience and allow you to fully appreciate the nuances of each cup.

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How Do We Taste? Here’s the Science Bit

The act of tasting tea goes beyond the interaction between the tongue and the taste buds. Surprisingly, up to 90% of our perception of flavor comes from the sense of smell. Understanding the science behind taste perception allows us to fully appreciate the intricate flavors of tea.

Our taste buds, located on the surface of the tongue, detect basic tastes such as sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. However, it is our olfactory gland that plays a crucial role in identifying the complex flavors of tea. The olfactory gland, also known as the nose, houses the olfactory receptors responsible for detecting aromas.

When we taste tea, the volatile compounds present in the tea leaves are released and travel through the back of our mouth to the olfactory gland. These compounds stimulate the olfactory receptors, sending signals to our brain to interpret the flavors. This intricate communication between our taste buds and olfactory gland allows us to recognize and differentiate the unique characteristics of different teas.

Furthermore, the neural messages from our taste buds and olfactory gland converge in the brain, forming a comprehensive perception of flavor. This integration of sensory information helps us to discern the subtle nuances and complexities of tea.

The Tea Tasting Process: From Taste Buds to Olfactory Gland

  1. Placing a sip of tea in our mouth activates our taste buds, allowing us to detect the basic tastes.
  2. The volatile compounds in the tea release aromas that travel to our olfactory gland, stimulating the olfactory receptors.
  3. The olfactory receptors send signals to the brain, combining the taste sensations with the aromatic perceptions.
  4. Our brain processes these signals, allowing us to recognize and appreciate the flavors of the tea.

By understanding the interplay between our taste buds, olfactory gland, and neural messages, we can fully engage our senses and elevate the tea tasting experience.

Process Taste Perception Olfactory Gland Neural Messages
Step 1: Placing tea in mouth Activates taste buds to detect basic tastes
Step 2: Aromas released Stimulates olfactory receptors
Step 3: Signals sent to brain Combines taste sensations and aromatic perceptions
Step 4: Brain processes signals Recognizes and appreciates tea flavors

Aroma – Let’s Take a Little Sniff

The aroma of tea is an essential element that greatly contributes to the overall tasting experience. When we deeply inhale the captivating scent of a freshly brewed cup of tea, we engage our senses in a sensory journey that enriches our appreciation of its flavors. The evaluation and description of tea aromas require a keen sense of smell and specific sniffing techniques. Let’s explore how to engage in aroma evaluation and experience the true essence of tea.

Deep Inhalations for Delightful Discoveries

To fully experience the tea’s aroma, take deep inhalations by bringing the teacup close to your nose and inhaling slowly. This allows the volatile compounds in the tea to fully stimulate your olfactory senses. With each breath, savor the rich and intricate scents that can range from floral and fruity to earthy and spicy. Pay attention to the different layers of aroma that unfold with each inhalation, revealing the tea’s complexity and depth.

The Dog Action Technique

The Dog Action Technique is a sniffing technique commonly used in tea tasting to intensify the aroma evaluation process. It involves taking short, quick sniffs reminiscent of a dog sniffing the air. The rapid, short inhalations allow for a more concentrated experience of the tea’s aroma. This technique helps bring out the subtle notes and nuances, allowing you to fully appreciate the tea’s character.

Remember, aroma evaluation is a subjective experience influenced by personal preferences and individual sensory perception. By engaging in deep inhalations and utilizing the Dog Action Technique, you can unlock the hidden fragrance of each tea, enhancing your understanding and enjoyment of its flavors.

How to Taste and Slurp

The act of tasting tea involves more than just sipping. In fact, slurping plays a crucial role in mixing oxygen with the tea and bringing out its flavors. Proper techniques for tasting and slurping tea can greatly enhance your tea tasting experience. Additionally, the concept of retro-olfaction perception adds another layer to the sensory evaluation of tea.

Tea Tasting Techniques

When tasting tea, it is essential to use specific techniques that allow you to fully appreciate the flavors and aromas. Here are some key tea tasting techniques to keep in mind:

  • Take a small sip: Start by taking a small sip to wet your palate and get a preliminary taste of the tea.
  • Slurp: After the initial sip, slurping the tea allows you to mix it with air, enhancing its flavors and aromas. Slurping also helps distribute the tea across your taste buds, ensuring an even sensory experience.
  • Hold the tea in your mouth: After slurping, hold the tea in your mouth for a few seconds to fully experience its taste and mouthfeel.
  • Observe the finish: Note the lingering flavors and sensations that remain in your mouth after swallowing the tea. This is known as the finish and provides valuable insights into the tea’s overall profile.

Retro-Olfaction Perception

Retro-olfaction perception is the process by which aromas travel from the mouth to the olfactory receptors in the nose. By exhaling through your nose after swallowing the tea, you can perceive aroma retroactively and gain a more comprehensive understanding of the tea’s flavor profile. This technique allows you to fully appreciate the complexities and subtleties of the tea’s aromas.

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By incorporating these tea tasting techniques and embracing retro-olfaction perception, you can elevate your tea tasting experience to new heights. Take the time to practice these techniques and explore the unique flavors and aromas that various teas have to offer.

Tea Tasting Techniques Image

What’s the Flavour Like?

The flavour of tea is a fascinating combination of different notes that come together to create a unique taste experience. These flavour notes can be categorized into head notes, body notes, and tail notes, each contributing to the overall profile of the tea.

Head notes are the initial flavours that hit your palate when you first taste the tea. They are often the most prominent and can set the tone for the entire flavor profile. Common head notes include floral, fruity, or herbal flavors.

Body notes are the middle-range flavors that provide depth and complexity to the tea. They can be described as the heart of the taste experience. Examples of body notes include earthy, nutty, or spicy flavors.

Tail notes are the lingering flavors that remain on your palate after you swallow the tea. They can add a pleasant aftertaste and complete the overall flavor journey. Some tail notes may include honey, caramel, or even hints of smokiness.

To help tea enthusiasts identify and describe these flavor notes, a useful tool called the “taste wheel” can be used. The taste wheel is a visual representation of different flavor categories that helps in articulating the tastes experienced while sipping tea.

Category Flavor Notes
Aroma Floral, Fruity, Earthy
Body Nutty, Spicy, Smooth
Tail Honey, Caramel, Smoky

By referring to the taste wheel, you can further enhance your tea tasting experience by pinpointing and discussing specific flavor profiles. Whether you’re a seasoned tea connoisseur or a beginner, understanding and appreciating the different flavor notes of tea can elevate your journey into the captivating world of tea tasting.

How Does It Feel?

The mouthfeel of tea plays a significant role in the overall tea tasting experience. When we sip a cup of tea, we not only taste the flavors but also experience various sensations in our mouth. These mouth sensations, combined with the tea’s flavors and aromas, contribute to the complexity and enjoyment of the tea.

Tea mouthfeel refers to the physical sensations we perceive in our mouths when we drink tea. These sensations can include the texture, smoothness, thickness, astringency, and even the temperature of the tea. The mouthfeel of tea is closely connected to both taste and smell, intertwining to create a multi-dimensional sensory experience.

The Connection Between Taste and Smell

Our sense of taste and smell work hand in hand to create our perception of flavor. While taste refers to the basic sensations of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami, the aromas we smell play a crucial role in how we perceive these taste sensations. In fact, our sense of smell is responsible for up to 80% of our perception of flavor.

When we take a sip of tea, the volatile compounds in the tea’s aroma interact with our olfactory receptors, which are located in our nose. These receptors send signals to the brain, combining with the taste signals from our taste buds to create a holistic flavor experience. This connection between taste and smell enhances the overall mouthfeel sensation and contributes to the complexity and depth of the tea’s flavors.

The Importance of Mouthfeel

The mouthfeel of tea adds another layer of complexity to the tasting experience. Different teas can have varying mouthfeel characteristics, such as:

  • Smoothness – a velvety or silky texture that glides over the tongue
  • Dryness – a sensation of dryness or astringency that leaves a slight puckering sensation
  • Thickness – a viscous or thick texture that coats the mouth

The mouthfeel of tea can also be influenced by factors such as the tea’s origin, processing methods, and brewing techniques. For example, a high-quality oolong tea may have a smooth and buttery mouthfeel, while a robust black tea might have a bold and full-bodied mouthfeel.

Understanding and appreciating the mouthfeel of tea allows us to fully immerse ourselves in the tea tasting experience. By paying attention to the different sensations and how they interact with the tea’s flavors and aromas, we can gain a deeper understanding of the tea’s complexity and enjoy a more nuanced and satisfying cup.

Mouthfeel Characteristics Description
Smoothness A velvety or silky texture that glides over the tongue.
Dryness A sensation of dryness or astringency that leaves a slight puckering sensation.
Thickness A viscous or thick texture that coats the mouth.

Exploring Different Types of Tea

When it comes to tea, there is a vast variety to discover. Let’s take a journey through the main types of tea and explore their unique characteristics. From bold and robust black tea to delicate and refreshing green tea, each type offers a distinct flavor profile that caters to different tastes and preferences.

Black tea, known for its rich and full-bodied taste, undergoes fully oxidized processing, resulting in a dark infusion. Green tea, on the other hand, is unoxidized and retains its natural green color and fresh vegetal notes. It offers a light and crisp flavor, making it a popular choice for those seeking a gentle and invigorating cup.

White tea, with its subtle and delicate taste, is the least processed type of tea. It is characterized by its light color, floral aroma, and smooth finish. Oolong tea falls between black and green tea, offering a diverse range of flavors, from fruity and floral to toasty and earthy notes. Pu-erh tea, famous for its unique fermentation process, showcases deep and earthy flavors with a hint of sweetness.

Lastly, we have purple tea, a relatively new variety that stands out with its vibrant purple leaves. It offers a unique combination of the robustness of black tea and the health benefits of green tea, making it a popular choice among tea enthusiasts.

By exploring the different types of tea, you can indulge in a world of flavors and aromas. Whether you prefer the boldness of black tea or the subtle nuances of oolong tea, there is a tea out there that will satisfy your palate and elevate your tea tasting experience.

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