Feeling inspired by the an earlier blog entry on tuition pots, I decided to draw on some simple ideas and share with my readers how I would best go about sampling different tea types in a more structured way whenever I feel up to it. For this purpose, I use my competition mug sets, and for the fanatics, a kitchen scale for weighing tea leaves.
You will need 3 grams of every tea type that you would like to put to the test and an infusion time of 5 to 6 minutes. More importantly, stick to one common infusion time for all your teas. The idea behind a long infusion duration is to allow us to observe if tea leaves during this extended period would release any inherently undesirable tastes such as bitterness, acidity or stubborn astringency that just will not fade despite a few gulps of plain water.
Preheating your mugs and cups is also essential before you drop tea leaves into the cups and infuse them with boiling water. Empty the contents of the tea mugs into their cups and look out for the colours, smells, tastes and aftertastes of individual teas and see how they compare to other tea types from the same group, eg: red teas. Take a few sips of warm water in between tasting before moving on to a different tea.