Tea Tasting Journals?

Post Reply
User avatar
lurid
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2023 6:17 pm
Location: Midwest, USA

Wed Jan 18, 2023 9:12 pm

Are there any sort of tea tasting journals available for purchase that anyone here knows of?
I got the tea tasting journal from 33Books, it's cute, but it's only available in a pocket size, which doesn't give me a lot of room for taking notes, so it's not very practical. (I'm looking for something similar to this, but full-sized.)
I've seen tea journal template PDFs available for purchase on Etsy, and there's probably free ones online, too, but I'm not really thrilled with the idea of journaling digitally, or printing out pages and assembling my own physical tea journal.
Of course, there's always just using a regular lined journal and taking notes, which is what I'm currently doing, but I was wondering if there were more options out there that were specifically intended for tea tasting.
Thanks in advance! :D
polezaivsani
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:43 pm
Location: Kaliningrad, RU

Thu Jan 19, 2023 3:14 am

Picking a notebook fitting my ideas for comfortable writing with lovely paper and going on with whatever structure that you'd deem necessary worked fine for me thus far, at least nobody around here complained about how I'm keeping essentially a very subjective if not private journal =). Best journal is the one you'd devise yourself, it'd be the fit for your needs and it can be mended as you go. Have fun!
Andrew S
Posts: 584
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:53 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Thu Jan 19, 2023 4:40 am

As with @polezaivsani, I just write in a beaten-up notepad that I got a few years ago, with a fat little pacer ('mechanical pencil'), when I'm trying some interesting new teas and I want to keep a note of them for later. And usually, those little notes are just for me, and won't end up here. They're my internal thought processes, and usually incomprehensible to other people, even if they can decipher the squiggles...

I'm not really sure if there are nice tea-journals out there (perhaps others might know), but I just looked up the one that you referred to, and my instinctive feeling is that you might get more freedom with any kind of journal that you're comfortable with.

I've said before that I'm glad that the world of tea is not yet similar to the world of wine, where people feel obliges to taste 'tasting notes' by reference to some standard, or by reference to some 'points system'. I like that tea is more about the experience (for you), the conversation (in person, or in a place like this) and the overall learning experience (for all of us) than about tasting / testing / scoring the tea. But perhaps that's just me.

Andrew
User avatar
lurid
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2023 6:17 pm
Location: Midwest, USA

Thu Jan 19, 2023 4:58 am

Andrew S wrote:
Thu Jan 19, 2023 4:40 am
As with polezaivsani, I just write in a beaten-up notepad that I got a few years ago, with a fat little pacer ('mechanical pencil'), when I'm trying some interesting new teas and I want to keep a note of them for later. And usually, those little notes are just for me, and won't end up here. They're my internal thought processes, and usually incomprehensible to other people, even if they can decipher the squiggles...

I'm not really sure if there are nice tea-journals out there (perhaps others might know), but I just looked up the one that you referred to, and my instinctive feeling is that you might get more freedom with any kind of journal that you're comfortable with.

I've said before that I'm glad that the world of tea is not yet similar to the world of wine, where people feel obliges to taste 'tasting notes' by reference to some standard, or by reference to some 'points system'. I like that tea is more about the experience (for you), the conversation (in person, or in a place like this) and the overall learning experience (for all of us) than about tasting / testing / scoring the tea. But perhaps that's just me.

Andrew
Thank you for sharing your perspective! I wanted to get a tea tasting journal with a flavor wheel and so forth, because I thought it would help me learn to distinguish the difference between teas better through guided practice. But come to think of it, something like that might just get me in the habit of noticing the same super surface-level flavors and smells over and over again, just because they'd be already listed out for me... Kind of counterintuitive then, I suppose!
Tyler
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:18 pm

Thu Jan 19, 2023 8:57 pm

I wanted to get a tea tasting journal with a flavor wheel and so forth, because I thought it would help me learn to distinguish the difference between teas better through guided practice
You can use a computer with a writing tablet, but other than that I don't think there's really anything better than just finding a style of notebook you like. Personally whenever I take notes on tea I use loose paper
Andrew S
Posts: 584
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:53 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Mon Jan 23, 2023 2:38 am

lurid wrote:
Thu Jan 19, 2023 4:58 am
Thank you for sharing your perspective! I wanted to get a tea tasting journal with a flavor wheel and so forth, because I thought it would help me learn to distinguish the difference between teas better through guided practice. But come to think of it, something like that might just get me in the habit of noticing the same super surface-level flavors and smells over and over again, just because they'd be already listed out for me... Kind of counterintuitive then, I suppose!
That's perfectly fine, and perhaps flavour wheels and similar things will be helpful to you. I started by looking at things such as other people's 'brewing parameters' and so on, but I'd suggest moving away from that kind of thing as soon as you can (probably before you think you're ready to do so), because our own experiences usually teach us best.

Here's an example of a tea-specific flavour wheel that was made with the evident intention of steering well clear from the more typical wine-themed versions: https://www.kyarazen.com/the-kz-tea-wheel/

You could probably find others as well, or, like that author suggests, you could modify one for yourself (for example, I admit that I've never smelled a civet cat, so that description wouldn't really help me).

Separately, there is, of course, the simple pleasure of writing little tea notes on a nice piece of paper with a nice pencil or pen without being bound by someone else's guidelines... Perhaps a flavour wheel tucked into a simple but well-made writing pad or journal would work.

Andrew
User avatar
Greywacke
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:00 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:41 am

Seconding Andrew that sometimes just having any nice-feeling notebook is enough (and I'm a sucker for a nice notebook). I liked the idea of a tasting notebook, but you're then bound by the sections the book lays out, plus you're bound by how much space they gave you. Your notes could either be too long, or too short, and then it's just a waste of the rest of that page.

Something that I ended up doing myself was making Tasting Wheel Stickers for myself. I tend to rework it every time I print out a new set because I haven't finalized what's important to me or where to put them. I only use them when I think it's relevant to the tea I'm tasting--more often I only use them when doing a comparison between two teas (I use different coloured felts on one wheel for that). But that way I can have as many or as few teas on one page as I want. Then I can further elaborate in my notes.

Static tasting wheels can sometimes trap you in a rut? But I do like them for quick 'at a glance' summaries of a tasting.

Image
polezaivsani
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:43 pm
Location: Kaliningrad, RU

Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:33 pm

Here's one example of one peculiar system for judging tea I've noticed a while back. Not the handwritten medium, but a beautiful anecdote on what an idiosyncratic exploration might reap.

https://web.archive.org/web/20201018150 ... ocoa-2018/
Post Reply