I’m a bit sad to say that this is the last week of Understanding the Organoleptic Experience. This entire course has been both engaging and challenging. I love learning new things, especially when it involves tea! The structure of a formal course has been nice to have. While I do a lot of reading and research on my own, it winds up being a bit more helter-skelter.
The reading material for this week focused on understanding the compounds that give tea its flavor. We don’t usually describe what we taste in tea in terms of the chemicals that are present in the cup but that is what is actually happening. This might not be information that I use every day but it is helpful to know the theory behind it all. Knowing the “why” behind what I am tasting adds yet another layer to the experience.
Our first assignment was similar to the salt experiment from last week but this time we had to put crushed rosemary on our tongue. It had the interesting effect of reducing bitterness and astringency while intensifying savory, “green”, and seashore flavors. I love the taste of rosemary I found this part very enjoyable.
For the second assignment, we compared kukicha, Chinese green tea, and hojicha on the same flavor template. It is amazing that three green teas can taste so different from each other. This was a great way to demonstrate the effect that processing has on flavor.
Week 3’s classroom assignment presented a unique challenge. We had to taste three things that aren’t tea. I decided on three different kinds of honey; orange blossom, wildflower blossom, and buckwheat blossom. The difference in flavors between them caught me by surprise. Buckwheat blossom honey might also be my new favorite thing.
3 Things I Learned This Week
- People drinking the same tea can have different experiences based on the genetics of their taste receptors.
- The residence time of chemicals on their receptors varies so we may be able to experience individual compounds in succession.
- (z)-3-hexenol gives tea a grassy aroma while dimethyl sulfide might remind us of the seashore.
Thank you to World Tea Academy for giving me this experience! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both of the classes that I shared here on the blog. In case you missed them, here are all of my previous Tea School Tuesday posts:
Have you ever considered enrolling in a tea certification program? Why or why not? I want to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Course provided by World Tea Academy. Opinions are my own.