Monday, October 3, 2011

Tea for Today tastes some Turkish tea, Western-style

Dr. Who's steampunk samovar
Marlena, who hosts the Tea for Today blog, intersperses tea tasting notes with pictures of faraway places (which often bear no relation to the teas themselves, but reflect her wide traveling experiences and are just lovely to look at), along with other tea facts.

This week she tasted some Turkish tea from two vendors, but she made it Western-style (1 tsp, boiling water, 3 minutes). Traditionally, Turks make their tea with a samovar and all the delightful complexities that go with that. One of these days, I need to buy me one of those contraptions.

Marlena makes the following interesting statement:
As sometimes happens, the taste of the tea follows directly in the foorsteps of the aroma, which to me, is one indication of a good tea. 
While, obviously, there are a million ways to measure a good or great tea, the aroma is particularly useful. The tongue can only identify five flavors-- sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami; but the human nose can identify tens of thousands of different, nuanced aromas. Interestingly, women in general have a stronger sense of smell than men, and their sense of smell is most highly developed during ovulation (if you'll pardon a bit of TMI with your breakfast). So, ladies, drink that comfort tea when you need it, and take good notes of what you're drinking.

Also, dogs have about 10 times the olfactory receptors that humans have. If I had a wish (other than for world peace, blah blah blah), I'd want to have a dog's ability to smell. Can you imagine the nuances of aroma and flavor you'd be able to discover in your favorite teas?

(Doctor Who steampunk Dalek comes from sculptor Alex Holden. I don't think it's actually a samovar, but who's counting?)

[Updated to fix horrid typos. Bleh.]


Geoff said...

WHERE did they find some Turkish tea?! I've been meaning to try some for over a year! It's on my to-do list...for...uh...research. Yeah.

Unknown said...

Geoff: We covered this in detail on Facebook, but I thought I'd touch on this here. Cinnabar Gongfu said that almost all Turkish tea is bog-quality and is exported. The Turks themselves drink mostly Ceylon tea, which they obviously import.

The tea Marlene was referring to was the following, which can be purchased on Amazon.