Rasseru said

Isn't it weird how sometimes tea smells like other things taste

I’ve never experienced this phenomena quite like as it is in tea…

I’m drinking a ya shii and it literally smells like those little rectangular tropical fruit sweets we get in the UK taste, the ones same shape as blackjacks.. Uncanny.

But it doesn’t taste at all like this. Quite interesting, I wonder what the science is behind this phenomena – the aroma molecules obviously have something in them to be like tropical fruit, but not the thing that the tongue needs..

Weird isn’t it, how it smells like something else tastes. Crossed taste wires or what..

3 Replies
Mookit said

I recently experienced this with my first ever tasting of a lapsang souchong tea.

Smoked salami, anyone?

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I just did a blog post on taste, so I’ll say a little about this. Scent really is taste, as far as basic tasting by the tongue only covering sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami (more or less “savory,” seaweed scope, glutamates, with MSG as one component of what you taste related to that). You don’t need to take my word for this, though, just taste a tea, see what you pick up, then taste it again while pinching your nose. Almost all the flavor drops out, because “taste,” the part your tongue is doing, doesn’t cover most of it. The odd twist that you mentioned is that the scent of dried leaf doesn’t always match the brewed aroma, or scent-bourne flavor elements of the brewed liquid. I have no idea why that is, or how that could be.

Here’s a cool video on that by a taste expert (bit of a committment though; it’s an hour long): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hz_IhlgTu0

Rasseru said

yeah, thats sortof what im talking about, quite why the tea aromatics smelled like tropical sweets, but tropical sweets taste like that flavour

- almost like they are the same structure molecule but one is attached to the heavy part of the sweet and the other light enough or not attached to anything in the tea so it breaks off and floats with the steam/aroma. or something :D

but as you said sometimes the odd twist is that the aroma is way different from the taste.

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