Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tasting and Describing Tea

I was reading an post over at Tea Geek Blogs titled Why We Shouldn't Describe Tea. And it basically goes on to point out the complexity of descriptions of flavors, colors, and all the senses involved with drinking tea. He suggests not trying to describe tea and put it into words, but rather to simply enjoy the tea.

I have some rather mixed feelings about this post. On one hand I think that there is a grain of truth to what he says. It is difficult to impossible to describe the flavor of tea. That's why all tea descriptions in my opinion are comparative matters. But does that mean that you shouldn't describe tea? No, you should in fact strive harder to describe it. People have strived for ages to put down in words the indescribable, and this shouldn't be any different.

So my suggestion, drink tea. Drink lots of it. Think about it, enjoy it, compare it to other teas. If writing it down helps you convey what you're tasting, do it. If you don't think you can accurately express it in words, try anyway, you'll only get better by trying.

2 comments:

Jason Walker said...

Agreed.

As I pointed out on Tea Geek's post, there are flaws in equating his study on seeing paint samples and tasting tea.

Even if talking about tea did hamper memory formation and recall, writing tea descriptions is an altogether different study.

Appreciating, reflecting on, and describing teas do not need to be exclusive activities.

Jason
Walker Tea Review

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