A day in the life of a tea taster

October 8, 2019
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Have you ever wondered what a tea taster's daily life looks like on the road?
Since 2003, Jasmin has visited China every spring to meet our producers and artisans, and to select teas for the Camellia Sinensis catalogue. Here is a glimpse into his daily routine on the road.

On the road in China

Jasmin visits China each year in late March for a period of 3 to 6 weeks. Some visits are annual stops on his itinerary, while others rotate every 2 or 3 years as it would be impossible to take the necessary time with each of our contacts in a single month. In our small warehouse in Fuzhou, we receive all the Chinese teas and samples, so this allows him to taste the teas of gardens that he didn’t have a chance to visit, in order to be able to finalize his selection.

A typical day of a tea taster on the road

Jasmin's days normally start around 8:30 AM, light breakfast accompanied by the freshest possible green tea of exceptional quality of course. Unlike his work schedule at home, on the road there is no distinction for him between weekdays and weekends, he visits gardens or factories every day. His day is split between work done on-site (daytime) and office coordination and other tasks (evening). Every year he thinks how very grateful he is to have such a wonderful team of managers back home taking care of the company at all times, especially during his absence.

Why go there every year?

1. Solidify and build relationships

This is a special moment for Jasmin to spend time with the producers, their families and their employees. He always chooses accommodation as close as possible to the producers, and takes the opportunity to dine and enjoy company: these are special moments with the producers their families and friends. These dinners, of 8 to 12 people around the table, sharing a meal and drinking together are very important and precious to him.

2. Visit the gardens

For Jasmin, his annual visit to a producer's tea garden is always a great moment. Even after dozens of visits, it remains exciting to see the quality the season has brought and the evolution of manufacture and agricultural practices since his last visit.

3. Produce tea in the factory

Jasmin spends an increasing amount of time in the factory transforming tea with the producers. He is developing a growing interest in the production process and spends a good part of his journey learning about the subtleties of process and equipment.

4. Tastings

Of course the most important part!
Depending on the place he visits that day, it is not uncommon for him to taste more than forty teas in the same day! Sometimes a little intense on the body already affected by jet lag. Concentration is essential to detect the subtleties and nuances of a tea in order to make the best annual selection. But hey ...he is a pro and he loves his work.

What would you like to know about the travels of our tea tasters? Don't hesitate to tell us with a comment below.

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