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A tea flight, a sort of sampling plate as shown above, is a nice way to compare and appreciate the subtlety of fine teas of same type. They can be from different gardens, country, or sometimes the same crop, but plucked at a different season. The idea is to compare teas with similar characteristics to expand your palate. Usually you will be offered three teas, but there is no absolute rule on this.
This art of tasting tea is an opportunity to learn about the teas you taste. The tea expert or Tea Sommelier who guides you through the tasting will introduce you to the history and origin of the specific flight you have chosen. He will also teach you the proper method of preparation for these teas, and valuable tips on food pairing. He may also share some information about health benefits linked to these teas!
The teas are generally served in small white porcelain cup of one or two ounces, or in a professional tea cupping set. When done in the state of the art, the teas are brewed in front of you, and the infusion (steeped leaves) is introduced first. Like in wine tastings, assess each tea on the nose first, and then on the palate. Sometimes, you will receive a card to record your notes and findings.
This type of tasting is not only for connoisseurs, tea lovers of all levels can enjoy it! It is a great opportunity to discover and enjoy a selection of different teas.
If you had a chance to experience a tea flight, we would love to hear about your experience!