Case ExampleTaste Watch January 2012

Taste Watch is a condensed one page length report with colorful graphs and charts focusing on various food/beverage categories. The report provides alternate view regarding taste and examples of how to use analyzed taste data.

Milk Tea

Which one to pour first into a cup: tea or milk?

Milk tea: a simple beverage made with brewed tea and milk. However, there are two ways to make a cup of milktea. Either pour milk into a cup then add tea, or vise versa. Although personal preference may vary, does it make a difference in taste by different pouring order? In this report, taste influence by preparation order is analyzed.

Analysis Content

In milk tea preparation, one possible influence is temperature. One possible explanation is when cold milk is added to hot cup of tea, cold milk quickly increase milk's temperature. This causes denaturation of protein, leading to taste change. If tea is added into a cup with milk, on the other hand, temperature of milk steadily rises without denaturation.

For taste analysis, samples are prepared by order or preparation: milk or tea first into a cup, and milk temperature:cold (chilled in a refrigerator) and hot ( heated up to 76.1℃, above milk denaturing temperature of 75 ℃). Teas used are Assam and Darjeeling tea leaves brewed with same amount of leaves with same amount of boiled water and brewing time.

Umami and Saltiness
Difference by Temperature

Figures bar graphs showing [astringency] for Assam (Figure1) and Darjeeling (Figure2).

Out of various taste types, [astringency] has large difference in output. Assam has stronger output overall than Darjeeling in this case. In both tea leaves, most samples that used hot milk has stronger [astringency] output than samples that used cold milk. This difference indicates that tea with hot milk has more astringent taste.

Difference by Preparation Order

In case of preparation order, there are differences in output strength between Assam and Darjeeling. Assam showed large difference in [milk first] between hot and cold milk, however, when compared to [tea first] there is small difference. Darjeeling, on the other hand, compared to [tea first], [milk first] has lower[astringency].


Although there are output difference between Assam and Darjeeling, there are two common points. First, samples with hot milk has stronger[astringency]. Second is samples prepared with cold milk first into a cup has lowest [astringency]compared to other samples. This may influence taste experience when drinking. There may be difference variation by tea leaves, however, there is a relationship of temperature, and preparation order to taste that can influence the outcome of taste.