The Right Tea Newsletter

Issue #40 - September 2021


Welcome to the latest issue of The Right Tea Newsletter!


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Have you ever wondered how a tea professional performs tea tastings?

Well, much like in everything else, you need to have the proper tools. Your favorite cup of tea may be wonderful, but it is not best suited for a controlled tea tasting experiment.

However, these items are accessible to everyone, even if not always easy to find. So, in this issue we will introduce you to what makes up a professional tea tasting set and the items you need to level up your tea tasting sessions.


Let’s begin!




The Professional Tea Tasting Set

A professional tea tasting set is just what the name says: a tea set used by professionals in the tea industry.

However, you don’t have to be a professional to have access to one or to use one.

This particular tea set allows the drinker to brew the tea and strain it in order to be able to analyze tea leaves and tea at the same time.

While your regular teapot, strainer and cups may work just fine, you may have a harder time making sure that you can replicate the same conditions every single time.


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Items in a Professional Tea Tasting Set

A profession tea set includes a special brewing cup with a lid, and an accompanying bowl. Both items are porcelain to prevent odors from influencing your tasting session and white so that you clearly evaluate colors.

  • The brewing cup: it is a small cup with a handle and lid. On the rim of the cup there is an opening that is either a small U-shape or similar to teeth. With the lid on, these “teeth” will help you strain the tea as it is poured into the bowl, keeping the leaves inside.

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  • The tasting bowl: this is not just any bowl, it is perfectly sized to fit your brewing cup, with lid, when tipped 90 degrees to allow your tea to pour without you having to hold it. It can get pretty hot, so this is a real advantage.

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Caring for Your Tea Set

When finished, you should wash each piece carefully after using to avoid stains that could affect your perception of the true color of the tea or tea residue that could affect the flavor of the following sessions.

Make sure to rinse them properly as washing liquid up liquid may accumulate in the lid.

Be careful when drying each piece, as they are incredibly light and could easily crack when dropped. Please don’t be clumsy like me. My heart just broke when I saw the cracked lid.

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Place the items carefully back in their box until your next tea tasting session.


Is it Worth the Price?

A professional tea set may not be that much more expensive than a fancy mug with an infuser, but this tea set is not designed for your everyday cup of tea. It has the purpose alone of conducting a controlled tea tasting session.

Well, it all comes down to how serious you are about tasting and learning about your teas. If you are considering become a tea professional and full-time tea taster, then yes, you need a set or two, or more.

Do you need it to enjoy your tea? Absolutely not, but if you want to understand your teas better, understand your tastes and you are willing to experiment and invest time to understand how each tea compares to one another, then why not?

Do you need more than one? Again, it’s up to you. Two sets will allow you to conduct comparative sessions that you can better assess in the moment rather than conducting one session after the other and relying on your memory or your notes.

It will make evaluating more than one tea at a time faster and, I’ll admit, more fun as well.


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Alternatives to the Professional Tea Set

If you are not yet sure that you want to commit to a professional tea tasting, then you may keep using your regular cups and strainers.

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You will have to create your own controlled experiments. Professional cups are smaller than a regular tea cup and are usually filled up to the opening. You’ll need to make sure you always fill your brewing vessel up to the same reference point.

Professional cups have their lids and shape to let strain the liquid and keep the leaves inside. Do not be tempted to use an infuser as the leaves need to brew freely and you should be able to look at the wet leaves after brewing, so use a strainer instead.

Make sure that your brewing vessel and tasting cups are both made of porcelain so that no odors will influence your results, and white so that you can evaluate the true colors of the tea leaves and liquor.

Try doing a few tasting sessions with items you have at home, and then if you do enjoy it, get yourself a nice professional tea tasting set.


Other Items for the Tea Tasting Session

There are other items that you’ll need for controlled tea tasting that are usually not included when you purchase a tea tasting set in a tea shop. You may need to buy them separetaly or use whatever you may have around the house for this purpose.

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Here is the list of additional things you’ll need:

  • Electric tea kettle – ideally with a temperature setting. It is quicker than your regular stove top kettle and more convenient as you may wish to heat small amounts of water each time.

  • Scale (high precision) – your regular kitchen scale may not go as low as a tenth of a gram and tea leaves are incredibly light. Half a gram will make a big difference.

  • Thermometer – a simple kitchen thermometer will do, you need to make sure the water is at the correct temperature as in the winter water tends to cool down quickly.

  • Timer – the timer on your phone will do the job just fine, but if you wish to take pictures while you wait for the tea to brew, then it is best to have a small timer of the side.

  • Extra bowls, preferably small and white – so that you can have the dried tea leaves nearby so that you can compare them to the brewed ones.

  • Spoon – for tasting the brewed tea.

  • Paper and pen, or a computer – take notes, objective ones that you can go back to when you wish to compare teas. While a great tea is likely to stay present in your memory, some nuances and the brewing instructions may not.

Now all that is left is to choose the tea and begin your own professional tea tasting sessions.


Prepare for your Professional Tea Tasting Sessions




Have fun drinking and tasting all of your teas!





What’s Next?

More articles about tea are coming, so keep on the lookout for the next issue of our newsletter. While you wait, look around our website and learn more about tea and its health benefits.

Until then make sure to follow us on Facebook for daily tips and other wonderful tea related items.

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