Friday, April 29, 2011

Can you evaluate bottled tea?

What if you were working at a bottled tea manufacturing company, what kind of bottled green tea would you make? To produce a great bottled tea, you need to know what customers think of your tea and your competitors’.

Konnichiwa, it’s meヽ(^。^)ノ Again, I’m gonna talk about a thing I learned at the bottled tea workshop. The company that the instructor works for produces bottled tea. They do tests and evaluations for their products and the competitors’. The company use two kinds of evaluation method and one is a scientific evaluation and the other one is a sensory method. At this workshop, we got to try the sensory evaluation. We learned how it is done and actually experienced it.

Here is a view of what we did at the workshop. Let’s say that you were working at a research laboratory in a bottled tea plant. You ought to think about what kind of product you are going to produce next. You needed to evaluate and analyze your bottled sencha and your major competitors’ for this season to find out what is going to make a big hit on the next season.

This is a relative evaluation. The white marked tea is the control tea, which is your product. The red and blue marked teas are the samples which are the products from competitors. (Water is just for washing your mouth.) The panelists drink these teas and compare how different they are from the control. They check seven aspects.

1. dynamics of aroma
2. green aroma
3. roasted aroma
4. sweetness and umami
5. bitterness
6. green flavor
7. roasted flavor

The point is not if you like it. The panelists need to compare the dynamics on each aspect. They taste the teas and complete the survey. The paper partially shown in the picture is the survey sheet.

I actually tasted them as a panelist. The amount of samples was not so much, so I tied to alternately sip little of each tea. But I noticed that it tastes different when I sip plenty amount. I learned that I can tell correct flavors with plenty mount. Anyway, the Smple Red had more roasted aroma and flavor than the control. The Sample Blue had less aroma, but more umami and green flavor. (These samples were major brands from different companies made and sold in Japan.)

So, if you launch your own bottled tea plant, don’t evaluate teas by your preference but with dynamics on the each aspect. Haha^^  Jah!

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