Or, for that matter, sweet, bitter, astringent, citrus, or woody?
I had some teas with two tea friends today, and one of the first issues we dealt with was the question of sourness. Apparently, even though I thought I was pretty clear, they were wondering what I mean when I say “sour” on my blog when using it to describe a tea – something I thought of as pretty obvious and self-explanatory is, apparently, anything but. This, I think, speaks to the difficulty of writing about tastes. Even something that I thought was universal, sourness, is not necessarily obvious or the same for everyone. You can probably say the same thing about other tastes and sensations: bitterness, for one, is received very differently by different people, as anyone who’s had tea with friends would know.
So, as one of my friends suggested today, I’m going to ask you this — what is sourness to you, specifically in tea? Do you know what I mean when I say a tea is “sour”? If you do, can you describe it, and if you don’t, what do you think I might mean?