Blind Tea Tasting Set #3

It's two on two in this blind tasting set, where we challenge the taster to separate two teas of one type from two of another. In this case, we're looking at regional differences, and we will specify the teas under consideration: Minnan (South Fujianese) and Taiwanese oolongs. Both regions most frequently roll their oolongs into little pearls, so the blind taster won't be helped much by the appearance of the dry leaves, making it a somewhat subtle, but very interesting, comparison.

The samples arrive in pouches numbered from #1 to #4. Along with the samples, you will receive a link to a page that will reveal the name and nature of the teas, to be viewed after the tasting.

Some questions to ask oneself while tasting Set #3 are:

  • Smell the leaves in the pouch without looking at them. Can you already guess which ones are which? Why?
  • After brewing the infusions, do their colors give you any hint as to their tastes? Inhale the aroma coming off the infusion before giving it a sip. Do they match, or are some notes only found in the aroma or the flavor?
  • Tasting and smelling all of the teas, what aspects do all of them have in common and what commonalities do only some teas share?
  • Sort the teas in different ways, for example intensity, aroma- vs. taste-dominance, or color. Can you arrange them by similarity?
  • Finally, try to place them in one or the other category. Which ones are you more confident about, and which are more challenging?

For an extra challenge, have someone else prepare the infusions or prepare them without looking at or smelling the leaves. Try to answer the relevant questions above. (See our video Find the Black Sheep for techniques for doing blind tastings by yourself.) If you're stuck and happen to have other teas from these regions handy, you can use them as a reference to get ideas going.


  • Four 10g-pouches of mystery teas
  • Link to page with the details about each tea


  • Intermediate


  • Quantity: 6g / 500ml
  • Water temperature: 100°C
  • Infusion time: 4 min
  • Quantity: 3g / 100ml
  • Water temperature: 100°C
  • 4 Infusions: 30, 45, 45, 60 sec.

For the best blind tasting experience, brew in a ceramic gaiwan in gongfu cha style.