Many tea drinkers find their favorite blend, their favorite way to prepare it, and call it done. Why fix what isn’t broken, right? More power to you!
But if you’re new to tea, or perhaps getting a little bored of the same routine, or just want to broaden your horizons, keeping a tea journal is a great way of broadening the experience of your tea journey. Here are some of the benefits:
- Keeping a tea journal helps you stay connected with your tea drinking sessions, allowing you squeeze a little more joy out of the experience.
- Keeping a tea journal engages and sharpens your memory of smell and taste. Certain teas may become intertwined with your memory of a time in your life.
- Keep track of the teas you’ve already tried. That way you aren’t repeating yourself. Especially good if it’s been many years since you’ve tried a particular tea, and a detailed record will jog your memory.
- Writing down your thoughts can help you better understand what kind of tea drinker you are.
- By recording how you’ve prepared your tea, you can tweak your method for the best outcome.
How to keep a tea journal
Some may prefer the old fashioned hard copy journal written chronologically. There is a certain nostalgia and quality of experience with this method. The downside is that it may be difficult to keep track of things by tea category or to search your journal for a specific tea. You can help improve this by numbering your pages and having an index in your journal that is broken down by tea type.
Another hard copy method is to print out a tea tasting template on an 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper. Then you can organize your entries inside a 3 ring binder.
There are now digital options for journaling that fit well with tea tasting. Journaling apps like Day One are compatible with mobile devices, allowing quick and easy journal entries with the ability to take photos of things like tea leaves and color of brewed tea. You can even create a separate journal just for your teas or easily search your entries for specific teas.
If you feel like sharing your tea journey with others, you can share your entries on social media such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
What to record in our tea journal
Here are some suggestions on what to record
- Name and brand of tea
- Tea category (black, green, herbal, etc…)
- Dry leaf characteristics: shape (whole leaf, broken leaf, etc..), color, scent.
- Brewing method: amount tea per oz water, tea ware used, brew time
- What was added to tea (milk, sugar, honey)
- Notes: General impressions, any changes you might make to preparation method.