The very first tea tasting takes place immediately after production in the plants responsible for the primary processing of tea leaves; this task is carried out by experts from the producer. This initial assessment of these products for different kinds of tea creates a control mixture, which provides a standard to compare with tea at every stage, long before it ever reaches the consumer. The first and all subsequent tasting of Riston tea somewhat resembles a ritual. The tea is brewed according to specific rules, and special porcelain teapots and tea bowls called “testing dishes” are used for this purpose. Porcelain is the most suitable material for this dish due to its porous structure; it provides the best results for storing tea and revealing a tea leaf’s genuine taste and aroma. Three grams of tea is added, the tea is brewed for five minutes, then it is poured into tea bowls. It should be noted that professional tea testers do not assess tea leaves’ quality only on the basis of flavour and taste. Therefore the tasting process includes an assessment of all indicators, including: the appearance of the dry leaf, its infusion, aroma, taste, and the appearance of the boiled leaf. At the end of the tasting session, a tea tester provides his conclusion on the quality of the tea. Before reaching the final consumer, the tea is tasted a few more times at different stages – when samples are sent to the broker and to experts from importing companies when they decide to place an order, and when the tea is delivered to its destination (to make sure that it endure transportation). It is again tested at the plants for processing the tea leaves (where the tea is prepared in consumer packaging for the final customer). Upon assessing the quality of these leaves, blends are created and there is quality control of the finished product. Despite the difficulties of this profession, it is so nice to know that such labour is appreciated by people throughout the world. It seems you are connected by a fine thread to this special mystery, known only to you. And when you're enjoying the evening over a cup of hot tea, remembering the best moments of the day that has just passed, you will know that, on the other side of the globe on the amazing island of Sri Lanka (Ceylon), a team of genuine professionals continue to carry out their careful and very difficult, yet interesting work, with care and love.

Tea Tester's Answers