A T4U post from 2012:
Using your mouth to drink tea is a topic that has already been discussed quite extensively. Those who support and oppose the concept are always firmly dug into their respective camps, so I won’t say any more than is needed – I just want to quickly discuss my recent thoughts on the matter.
- What kind of tea are we referring to when we talk about using our mouth to approach tea? Teas we like? Teas with future potential?
Some people demonize tea vendors, believing that tea vendors cater to a beginner’s taste, making low-quality products that are quite cheap in order to make a good profit at the expense of noobs. Thus, they recommend that newcomers should not trust their own mouths when buying tea. In response to this statement, I believe that shopping around and collecting information is something that all buyers should do. Get online more often and have a look around, find trustworthy vendors through the reviews and recommendations of the community. Of course, nobody can guarantee that you won’t make a poor purchase (even experts make mistakes in what they buy at times), but I trust that at least the rate of doing so can be drastically reduced. Once you’ve found a vendor you trust and tea you like, everything is in place!
2. If you aren’t drinking tea, what other methods would you use to buy tea?
There are some veteran tea drinkers that can buy old tea just by looking at it. They don’t even need to smell it to determine whether or not they will buy. I’m not discussing that group at this time…how about fresh tea? Do we smell it? Touch it? Or because it is a large factory production we don’t even need to drink it, buying is the logical choice? I don’t see much of a difference here from the scenario where newcomers are being deceived by tea vendors.
Tasting that a new tea has decent quality: Does this count as approaching tea with our mouths?
Tasting that a new tea has “potential”: Does this count as approaching tea with our mouths?
If we don’t taste the tea and simply look it over and give it a sniff, can we visually determine, or smell the quality of new tea?
Without tasting, can we see and smell the potential of a new tea?
Some say that new tea is unstable, so we should buy teas with at least 5 years on them…so 2012-5 = 2007. Do you know anybody that without drinking a tea can simply have a look and a sniff and find which teas from 2007 have quality and potential within?
Some people use tasting to find teas they like. Some people use tasting to find tea with quality. Some people use tasting to find tea with potential. All of these people are drinking the tea. Smelling, looking, touching – these are all additional pleasures.
Using your eyes to approach tea
Using your nose to approach tea
Using your mouth to approach tea
Using ears to approach tea
Using feelings to approach tea
I choose using my mouth to approach tea.