How to Host a Tea Tasting Party at Home

How to hold a tea tasting party at homeAs with many things in life, it’s best to taste a tea with the company of friends.

Having a tea tasting party at home is fun for both experienced tea lovers and newbies alike.

It’s also cheaper than a wine tasting, and you won’t be drunk at the end πŸ™‚

I regularly hold tea tastings since I have a tea store in my country, and the results are always positive for the people involved.

In this article I’ll share with you what I’ve learned.

What you’ll need

Besides the tea, the most important thing is the teaware. Make sure that you have enough cups for everyone. A white or translucent cup is better so that you can appreciate the color of a tea’s liquor.

You may also need more than one teapot in case that there are many guests.

I suggest that you taste four different teas. If you go over six it’s too much liquid to drink, and it becomes harder to remember what the difference was between the first and last.

This also depends on the volume of your cups and the number of infusions that you will be having for each tea. If time allows, it’s very interesting to taste different steepings of a tea.

You can offer snacks and sweets, but I keep food out of my tea tastings. Food may alter the taste of your tea, so leaving the food for last may be a good choice.

Regarding the time, I usually go for 1 hour but it’s all up to you.

Ideas for your tea tasting party

You can have a theme for your tea tasting, like for example teas from a specific country or region. Try to have the appropriate teaware for a better experience.

Another option is to taste the same type of teas, like for example green teas.

For more experienced tea enthusiasts, how about the same tea but from different regions or cultivars? You’ll be amazed by the differences in taste and aroma of what seem to be similar teas.

How to taste a tea

There are different ways to taste tea for each country and a professional tea taster may not even brew the tea as you would enjoy at home. However, for our purposes we’ll just use a basic tea tasting method.

First, pay attention to the tea leaves. Observe their shape, color, size and aroma.

Once you brew your tea, appreciate the resulting color and aroma. You should also smell the wet leaves.

Now you can finally taste the tea.

Notice the relative amount of sweetness, astringency, and bitterness. There are also flavor notes for you to discover.

You don’t have to be a certified tea taster to taste a tea. The most important thing is to have fun with your guests, it’s not a contest.

Have you hosted a tea tasting party yet?

6 Comments

  1. Tyas Huybrechts
    January 5, 2015

    A tea party or tea tastings sound indeed like a lot of fun! I have been doing tastings for friends recently, but usually only with a limited number of people. I do enjoy getting the bold impressions from people who are not actually into tea that much because the remarks they make are usually quite straightforward and out of the blue, but very close to reality and what the majority also might remark.

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      January 5, 2015

      Hi Tyas

      I’ve done tea tastings for up to 8 people. Usually it’s around 3-6.

      The majority are people who try Japanese tea for the first time. They usually like the bancha teas better, like houjicha and genmaicha.

      Reply
  2. Kamyria
    January 5, 2015

    Great ideas! Tea parties are so much fun. I’ve done it with my family couple of times in the past.

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      January 5, 2015

      Thank you for your comment Kamyria.

      I hope that tea parties become more common in the Western hemisphere from now on.

      Reply
  3. lochan
    January 5, 2015

    Ricardo, 5 δΊ” different types of tea and not 4 ε›› because 4 ε›› is an unlucky number!!!!

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      January 6, 2015

      Hi Lochan

      You’re right, 4 is unlucky number in Japan!

      Reply

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