Inside the Taster's Practice
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By Suzette Hammond
“Backpacking in the Himalayas in the late 1980s, I first tasted fresh spring Darjeeling and I was in trouble!” recalls Camellia Sinensis tea taster/owner Kevin Gascoyne, who is based in Montreal. “My taste buds were exploding and my heart hammering away from caffeine, altitude, and excitement.”
For some people, this first sip that quenches an unknown thirst is what compels them to share their joy with others. This path often leads into the professional realm, where as tasters, buyers, and trainers, communication through tea is the essence of what they do.
In this age of self-indulgent flavor descriptions and overtly exotic food vocabulary, it’s worth pondering whom the taster is really talking to. How does the art of tasting benefit the tea drinker? And how does one learn how to be a better tea taster?
I put these, and other questions, to professional and passionate tasters, both from the world of tea and similarly artful taste pursuits. READ MORE