Professional Tea Judging Sets in use at a tea competition in Taiwan
November 06, 2023

How To Use A Professional Tea Judging Set

The Professional Tea Judging Set is essential teaware for being able to taste and assess whole leaf tea efficiently and thoroughly. Let's take a look at what's included, and how it can be used to enhance your tea tasting experience and understanding of tea.

The Components of the Set

This set includes three components: A 150 ml porcelain lidded cup with a strainer spout, an accompanying bowl, and a tasting spoon. All you need in addition to these is a tea cup to begin tasting tea like a pro!

The bowl is also very useful on its own for quickly examining the tea leaves by brewing them directly in the bowl, which is commonly done in the tea industry. The ceramic spoon perfectly accompanies the bowl brewing method by allowing you to fully examine the tea leaves as they unfurl and also to smell the aroma wafting from the spoon after it is dipped into the bowl of brewing leaves. This is an essential aspect of quality assessment that is also perhaps the most subtle. It requires experience to assess the aromatic qualities of a tea with a tea spoon!

Both of these brewing methods, referred to as "cuppings," are an essential aspect in tea production, quality assessment for procurement, as well as tea competitions.

Uniformity: The Foundation of Assessment

Judges at a tea competition in Taiwan using tea judging sets.

The fundamental purpose of the tea judging set is uniformity. It allows you to brew your tea consistently, using the same quantity of tea leaves, water temperature, and brewing time. This standardization provides accurate comparisons between different batches of teas. Whether you are a tea merchant evaluating various batches of tea from a single harvest or comparing teas from different seasons, the tea judging set ensures that each tea tasting is consistent.

Cup or Bowl: Versatility at Its Best

The Professional Tea Judging Set offers flexibility in its use. Both the cup and the bowl have distinct advantages. The cup provides a more comprehensive evaluation of the tea, allowing you to experience the aroma of the tea brewed leaves and also get a clear visual assessment of the color and transparency of the brewed tea. This comprehensive assessment is especially valuable in the context of tea competitions as well as by merchants in their procurement of tea.

The bowl brewing offers the most expedient assessment, while still providing a clear representation of the tea leaves, how they were processed, and finally how the tea tastes as it brews. With bowl brewing, you get to taste the tea when it is still light, and as it becomes stronger the longer it brews.

No Need for Precision

Reviewing tea harvest selection using tea judging sets

You don't need to be overly precise when measuring the tea leaves. While a scale is optimal, it's not essential. A simple tablespoon or the included spoon can be used for measuring, as the primary goal is to maintain uniformity for comparative assessments. 

Repeatable Assessments

Similar to using a small teapot for Gongfu brewing, the judging cup can also be used for multiple infusions. It allows you to brew the same tea repeatedly, which is useful for observing how tea leaves evolve and behave in successive infusions. 

Up Your Tea-Appreciation Game!

In conclusion, the Professional Tea Judging Set is a must-have tool for any tea enthusiast who desires to explore the intricate world of tea tasting and tea assessment. 

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