Why a Tea Won’t Taste the Same for Everyone

why a tea won't taste the same for everyone
Photo by Na visky on Unsplash

This is one of the shortcomings of tea reviews.

Not only do I have different preferences regarding tea, but there are many factors that can make the same tea taste different.

Let me explain in detail.

Each batch of a given tea may be different

We may be tasting a tea from a different year, and hence the weather may have changed, and so on.

Or even if it’s the same harvest of the same year, there may be a considerable time difference at the date of each tasting.

In other words, it’s not the same to drink a tea (especially green tea) when it’s relatively fresh, as opposed to when some months have gone by.

Handling and storage also plays a role here.

The water used is different

Where I live the tap water is quite soft, and once boiled (to evaporate the chlorine) it is very good for Japanese green tea, in my opinion.

Since an infused tea is 99% water, if you are tasting the tea with a different water than I am, then the experience won’t be exactly the same.

Geographical differences

If the weather is cold, then the teapot will be colder, and so the temperature of the infusion will drop quicker as time passes.

Likewise, elevation changes the temperature at which water boils.

Since I live in a place with a relatively high elevation, I can’t reach the same temperature when boiling water as if I were at sea level.

Teaware

Ideally, I should review teas using the standard cups and the like for professional tea tastings in Japan.

But I’m not a professional tea taster.

I prefer to use the teaware that I like the most, and that I have become used to.

Beautiful teapots and teacups are part of the pleasure of tea drinking.

However, they do add to the variability in terms of taste.

Genetic differences

Besides the above, people don’t taste the same flavors in exactly the same way.

For example, a tea that is very bitter for someone may not feel so bitter for another person.

Most of the time, the results are similar. It won’t be a huge difference.

Still, treat an online tea review as a general idea of what a certain tea will taste like.

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