Taiwan Specialty Teas Flavor Wheel

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How to use the Flavor Wheel

The outer tier of the Flavor Wheel exhibits the usual color of above tea's liquor, from light to deep. The "flavor" is then subdivided into "taste" and "aroma". "Taste" itself comprises the two categories "5 basic tastes" (sourness, sweetness, bitterness, saltiness and umami) and "mouthfeel", which includes a tea's aftertaste, fullness, smoothness, fineness and purity. The degree of aftertaste is rated from brief to last, the degree of fullness from light to thick, that of smoothness from astringent to smooth, that of fineness from rough to fine, and that of purity from stuffy to fresh. These various tastes and mouthfeels serve as a reference for the user to describe what they experience in a cup of tea.

The "aroma" category is the main category of the Flavor Wheel. It is recommended to start from the center and work outwards. The fundamental flavors compose the inner tier, and the next one out is a more subtle extension of these fragrances. While you taste a tea, if you can stop at a certain aroma and work your way outward from that point, you can obtain an increasingly precise and concrete description. For example, when drinking a Paochong tea you sense a floral aroma, you can extend outward from the "light" heading and you will find more subtle scents, such as osmanthus or jasmine. Perhaps a single tea sample will possess various flavors, so you can repeat the process a few times, and thus obtain a complete sensorial map of the tea, and also learn how to apply the Flavor Wheel.