I’m pleased to announce that I have passed Core.02 Tea Enhancements and Grading Systems! That means it is time to move onto my advanced course. It took a while to decide from the catalog of courses that they offer. Understanding the Organoleptic Experience stood out because it was written by Virginia Utermohlen Lovelace MD.
This class is definitely much more advanced than the previous one that I took. If you are new to tea I would recommend getting your basics done beforehand so that you aren’t overwhelmed. The portion about the anatomy of the organoleptic system had me feeling like I was back in college! I’ve never seen such thorough information in any book related to tea (except for the maybe the one that Virginia wrote!).
The second section of this course focused on how smell, taste, and flavor work. I already knew some of the concepts but there was a lot that I didn’t. The diagrams included were super education and I’ve made sure to download all of the notes. I know that I will be referring to them in the future. It’s amazing how many processes happen and the number of parts that are involved just for us to taste a cup of tea.
Our classroom assignment was a very interesting exercise. The instructions asked us to make water solutions with sugar, salt, and vinegar. We then had to dip cotton swabs in the solutions and test where on our tongues we were able to taste each of them.
I’m still working on the other assignment for this week. It is incredibly hard to get people to let you take pictures of their tongues! Thank goodness for the grace period at the end of the course to get everything completed.
3 Things I Learned This Week
- The parietal lobe in our brains helps us to determine the texture of tea. The inferior portion of the frontal lobe is where our body decides if we like the tea we are tasting or not.
- Practice enhances our ability to differentiate between smells but does not improve our ability to name them.
- We can differentiate about 10,000 smells but our bodies can only distinguish about 4 aromas simultaneously.
Next week will focus on how we perceive flavor, the basic tastes, and mouthfeel. I can’t wait to share what I learn with you all!
Course provided by World Tea Academy. Opinions are my own.