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Tea Research and Extension Station

Taiwan Specialty Teas Flavor Wheel
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Overview of Taiwan Unique Teas Flavor Wheel

  Taiwan is a world-famous tea region for tea cultivation, however, most consumers will be hard to put the particular flavors of the tea they drink into words. In addition to this, the technical vocabulary for tea tasting is quite abstruse and obscure. As a result, consumers will often try every tea offered by the farmers or merchants, and spend a lot of time to finally find a flavor to their liking. Therefore, TBRS has made it their mission and responsibility to make an inventory of the particularities of Taiwan unique teas and describe them in a simple language in the Flavor Wheel, to thus establish a common language between connoisseurs and amateurs.

The Tea Flavor Wheel was developed as a result of the concerted effort of 25 tea producers and tea tasters, all professional researchers of TBRS working in small subteams. They selected the finest and most representative teas from tea contests across Taiwan, including samples across the spectrum, from awarded teas to discarded teas. At this point in time, 495 tea samples have been tasted, analyzed and described. These small teams then met and reached a consensus before inscribing the chosen vocabulary onto the flavor wheel. This reduces the miscommunications between tea industry professionals and consumers, which in turn facilitates tea promotion and sale.

In 2020 TBRS officially issued flavor wheels for the Six Tea Types, which comprises the flavors of specialty teas across Taiwan. Apart from the national market, opening up and expanding to the international market is a priority for the future of Taiwanese tea. Due to the large variety of Taiwanese teas, and their complex manufacturing process, the average international consumers' impression of Taiwanese teas will perhaps merely is limited to "oolong tea". So as to deepen the impression left by Taiwanese teas, and increase their memory of it, it is necessary to make appropriate use of colloquial language to connect the consumers' palatal memory and Taiwanese unique teas. Only in this way can we overcome the ongoing difficulties in pitching Taiwan unique teas to overseas markets.