The Tea Experience

Tea is my favourite kind of aromatherapy.

I have always felt that that tea is a brilliant onslaught on the senses. I have also said before that tea is an experience, and it is true. Each tea is a unique one. In recent days, one of my favourite tea experiences has been that of the lemon green tea by Lipton. My sister came to visit us after a long while and brought some teas for me, one of which was the lemon green tea. And while I was sipping this light, zingy, refreshing tea, it really hit me how tea is not just any experience, but an experience for all senses. Let me narrate for you just how that is.

The first thing you notice about tea as you prepare it is how it looks, of course. Depending on what kind of tea you choose, it will either be a deep brown shade, or the mesmerising, varying colours of blends and herbal teas. If you have a pretty cup to put it in, that makes it all the more pleasing to look at. I cannot imagine one not being pleased by looking at a well made tea in a decent cup. That is the sense of sight sorted. This beautiful lemon green tea had a slight orange tinge to it and looked quite vibrant.

The vibrant orange colour of Lipton's lemon green tea

The vibrant orange colour of Lipton’s lemon green tea

When it comes to hearing, there are two things that add to the tea experience. First would be the sound of the whistle going off on the kettle. I do realise that some people might find that sound annoying, but the whistle of the tea kettle gets me excited for a good cup of tea. The second would be good music or ambience sounds. Depending on my mood, I either like to enjoy some classical or folk music with tea or if I happen to be outside, the sounds of nature. It just adds to the magic of enjoying a good cup of tea. On this occasion however, I was enjoying this tea with my sister, and just sitting and talking with her was quite pleasant.

The sense of smell is actually quite indispensable to our sense of taste. 90% of flavour is perceived through smell. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was trying to learn more about tasting tea and describing it and I learned that professional tea tasters actually take the time to sniff the tea and take in the aroma before tasting it. And truly, the fragrances of teas that float around the head while we drink them are one of my favourite parts of drinking tea. Even when I enjoy a cup of coffee, I like to just sit and smell it for a little bit. If you have never tried it, I recommend that the next time you make yourself a cuppa, just sniff it and enjoy the scents while you wait for it to cool. The smell was one of the things that really appealed to me about the lemon green tea. It had such a refreshing, lemony smell that it immediately put me in a good mood. There is just something about citrus scents that perk you up.

Pretty tea in a pretty cup

Pretty tea in a pretty cup

Next up is the taste, the hero when it comes to food and beverages. Do I really need to explain this one? I think not. Instead, I shall describe to you the flavours of Lipton’s Lemon Green Tea, and I shall attempt to do so in technical terms. The head notes of this tea were actually slightly vegetal, no doubt owing to the fact that it was green tea, followed by body notes that were definitely citrus. The lemon flavour didn’t really hit me as soon as I sipped it, but they did follow quickly after. The tail notes therefore were distincly lemony. I really enjoyed the clear flavour of this tea, and coupled with a tasty homemade pizza, I felt nothing was amiss.

Lemon green tea and homemade pizza

Lemon green tea and homemade pizza

Lastly, is the sense of touch. In relation to tea, touch comes into play in two ways again. There is of course the comfort of holding a warm cup of tea on a cold day or night and feeling the warmth seep into the skin or the refreshing feeling of sipping some iced tea from a cold, tall glass on a hot summer day; then there is the mouth feel of tea as you drink it. Each tea has a different kind of viscosity and texture which can be experienced as we drink it. Professional tea tasters describe this dimension of teas as well when they review teas. As for me, I can only come up with the word “zingy” when I think about how this tea felt in my mouth. It was quite a good sensation.

So my dear reader, I urge you to take your time the next time you drink tea and experience it fully, not just consume it. There are so many layers to it, why rush through? There is a world of sensations that comes with drinking tea, if you haven’t pondered this before, you should do so now. Tea is a complete sensory experience.

All the love, T.

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