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Tea Tasting at TeaGschwendner

Profession out of passion

Head of Tea Department

Daniel Mack

Daniel Mack, also known as Daniel
Gearloose. Our busy Tea Taster is the
creative head of our Tea Department,
the star of our Facebook live events
and always has an open ear for your

Slurp - Smack - Spit   

No, Tea Tasters are not people without manners. Slurping and spitting are simply part of their profession. Although: It is only a profession in the second place. First and foremost, it is a vocation. For without passion and unusually pronounced taste buds, without openness to exotic cultures and people, without the ability to create imaginative compositions, this wonderful profession cannot be taken up.

There are only a handful of tea tasters in the whole of Germany. It is not a classic apprenticeship. Most of them complete an apprenticeship as a wholesale and export merchant and learn the craft and the art of tasting from an experienced tea taster over many years (usually around 7).

The aim is not only to develop the sense of taste and smell, but above all to develop a so-called tea memory. The Tea Taster not only tastes tea, but is also a tea buyer and quality inspector, supplier developer, product developer and blender. In other words, they are responsible for using their tea memory to always put together the right composition for the blends that are popular with customers.

To do this, a tea taster usually has to give up spicy food, alcohol, coffee, cigarettes and cigars. But who finds that difficult when on some days they are allowed to taste several dozen teas from the most beautiful regions of origin on this earth?

Sensual Team

There are thousands of tea varieties around the world that differ in terms of plant, origin, climate, cultivation, plucking, harvest and processing methods. Again and again, our tea tasters find the right tea within a flood of samples. They “read” a whole range of criteria like taste, smell, quality of the leaf and color of the cup within the context of the country of origin and determine quality and price by this. If you watch the tea tasters smelling, sipping and quickly forming their opinion at the tea tasting counter, you start to understand how they filter such qualities, year by year: with acumen! The highly sensitive tongues of our tea tasters are their most invaluable capital – and also «TeaGschwendner's».

The entire assortment in their head

But the job only begins with tasting the samples. Always with the complete assortment in mind, up to 250 samples are tasted daily. The trained palates immediately find out which teas are suitable to adequately complement the assortment or to be used for new creations. To do this, of course, the team first has to know the consumers' buying habits by constantly observing the local market!

Tongue and dexterity required

Such "house tasks" form the basis of another important field of activity: for contacts abroad and negotiations with tea merchants, besides a wealth of experience, negotiating skills and tact are required. The Tea Tasters have acquired all this in the course of their many years of training and daily work through knowledge, skill and numerous visits to tea-growing countries. The result: Today, people value the opinion and advice of the TeeGschwendner Tea Tasters! They enjoy the greatest respect among tea merchants and garden managers. Thomas Holz was accepted into the Tea Taster Panel of the German Tea Association - external proof of his international reputation.

Close Cooperation 

While the tea tasters focus their attention on the taste and visual qualities, quality management ensures that the products are clean and safe. So in the first step, the tea buyers choose their favourites by sensory testing of the tea - but before the tea gets into the cups of TeeGschwendner friends, quality management and quality assurance have the last word. Even the samples are tested, and if the tea is then purchased, the incoming goods of the delivery are also checked again.

The quality thus assured also passes through further testing points on its way in the in-house production. This ensures that the teas are blended, sieved, filtered, labelled and bottled according to the tea department's instructions. 

First-Hand Info

1st Infusion

What is a Tea Taster 

"What is that, a Tea Taster? Can you learn it?" I hear questions like this, or something along the lines of it, all too often when I tell someone what I do for a living (and my wife usually turns around because she's heard the story so many times before). To be honest, I have to admit: I didn't know exactly what a "tea taster" does myself when I had my first day of work in a tea company more than 15 years ago.

2nd Infusion

Everyday life of a Tea Taster

What exactly does a Tea Taster do all day long? I can't just drink tea all the time, can I? Well, actually I can. My working day usually starts with making myself a pot of tea! On average, I drink about 2-2.5 litres of tea a day. During the tastings, we spit out the tea we are tasting, which means that we have to make sure we also drink enough liquid on the side.

Live in Nepal, Thomas Holz explains what is important in tea tasting to recognise a good tea and how a tea tasting takes place.

Short clips for little tips

On our Youtube channel you will find plenty of short clips in which our Tea Tasters vividly answer common questions.
Some examples: 

According to the motto Short clips for small tips, you can see short excerpts from our live events, where questions were asked by our tea friends via chat. If you're interested, please take a look - or take part in our next Facebook Live Event and ask your own questions.

Visit our YouTube Channel