For the second week of my Core.02 course with World Tea Academy, the focus was on tea grading systems. I was familiar with a lot of this portion but it has been nice to get back to basics for a bit of a deeper dive.
I really appreciated the emphasis that was put on there being no such thing as the best tea. Each tea serves a different purpose. What works well in one situation might not be the most appropriate choice for another. We all love SFTGFOP but it is important to remember that the leaf grade is not an indication of quality.
My favorite part was definitely the video where Donna Feldman demonstrated tea grading with mesh screens. I’ve never been able to see how the leaves of different grades actually shake out. The results were pretty eye-opening. A plain OP might be considered a lower grade but the leaf was much more consistent than a colorful and tippy high-grade tea. She also gave great explanations of how this process would be applied by the industry.
Our classroom assignment about what determines the quality of tea definitely provided some food for thought. It was harder to come up with my own answer for that than I thought it would be!
3 Things I Learned This Week
- There is one flavor profile for sencha tea typically preferred in Kyoto, and another one in Tokyo.
- Sir Thomas Lipton made “Orange Pekoe” a household name
- Competition teas in Taiwan are judged by the appearance of the dry leaf (20%); the appearance of the liquor (20%); the aroma of the tea and the wet leaf (30%); and taste (30%).
Next week is the sensory evaluation. That should be both fun and nerve-wracking! I have no problem writing reviews for the blog but submitting formal tasting notes always makes me anxious.
In case you missed it, make sure that you check out Tea School Tuesday – Week 1!
Course provided by World Tea Academy. Opinions are my own.