Tea Flavour Wheel

Similar to the wheels used for wine or beer, the aim of the tea flavour wheel is to associate perception with a label. In general, they are much easier to use than an alphabetical list but the full  list of tea terminology can be off-putting for beginners (e.g. cherry wood, cedar, hard wood, soft wood, cut wood, pine, maple).

For this reason I’ve developed the wheel below. We work from the inside out. The innermost circle in this wheel has words that relate to mouthfeel (watery, velvety etc.). The inner aroma circle has a broad description (vegetal, earthy, sweet etc), and the outer circle has a little more detail.

I’ve found that this level of detail works well when people are starting out with tea tasting.

Tea Flavour Wheel PouringTea

The Art of Tea

The Art of Tea collectionNormally, I’m all about quality of product rather than appearances but every so often that gets turned on its head. Take this set called “The Art of Tea” which was bought in South Africa. I’ve been reluctant to actually use any of the product inside but the primary motivation for buying this set was the attractive packaging.

Having said that tea degrades over time. Even though I didn’t buy it for the tea, it makes no sense to search high and low for the freshest first flush Darjeeling with the quickest shipping time and yet keep all of these (including one Darjeeling!) for over two years. It’s getting opened today, starting with the rooibos.

 Here’s what’s inside:AofT collection

  • Kenya Malaika (black)
  • Darjeeling (Indian black)
  • Genmaicha (Japanese green)
  • Jade Mountain (Chinese green)
  • Snow buds (Chinese white)
  • Jasmine pearls (Chinese flavoured green)
  • Earl Grey (Indian flavoured black)
  • Sakura (Chinese flavoured green)
  • Chai (flavoured black)
  • Sweet dreams (herbal)
  • Rooibos vanilla
  • Forest berries (fruit infusion)

It can be difficult to get tea gifts that are well packaged but this one certainly stands out. I think I paid around 200 ZAR (around €20 at the time) for the box. Good value considering anything similar that I’ve seen here costs double that.

Photos from Spain

My blog (and my tea drinking) have been badly neglected for the 10 days I was in Spain. Not a decent cup of tea the entire trip but it’s hard to bear a grudge in a such a beautiful country and there was plenty of good food and wine to make up for the lack of tea.

We started off the trip in Mérida, capital of the Roman province of Lusitania and renowned for some of the best preserved Roman sites in Spain.

Roman Theatre - Merida Acueducto de los Milagros - Merida
Goats - Spain

We met some goats on the road.

We couldn’t decide from the guidebook description if we had been to Trujillo before. We had, but didn’t regret the second visit. Then we continued on to another World Heritage site, Guadalupe.

 Trujio

View over Trujillo

Building Trujio

 

After that we spent some time on a farm in the Sierra de Andujar National Park….

Cat - Sierra de Andujar Horse - Sierra de Andujar
Sheep - Sierra de Andujar Goat vs Lamb

….where the horses eat Lavender for breakfast:

Horse & Lavendar

In Castilla–La Mancha, we stopped in the theatre-town of Almagro  and visited Don Quixote’s windmills.

Courtyard - Spain Plaza Mayor - Almagro

Don Quixote's windmills

And finally the trip finished in Cazorla National Park where the birds of prey seemed particularly eager to keep an eye on us.

birds

Such a beautiful country – I’d happily give up tea for another 10 days to do the trip all over again.