Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Problems With Descriptions

Little known fact, I have Synesthesia. It was one of those things I thought everyone had and was more and more made aware of as I got older that nope, not everyone sees the world like I do. Everything has colors to me; sounds, smells, tastes, sights...the only problem this has ever caused is how to describe things...mix that with my Sensory Processing Disorder and basically I had to learn an entire new way to describe my experiences so that I actually make sense when I am communicating.

Here is a recent example of how this problem has recently made my life interesting...describing tea. With my ever growing love of tasting teas and now my new love of reviewing them, I have had to think of ways to describe teas that make any sense at all to people who want to know how a tea tastes.

Here is a review I posted about a Rooibus from Two Leaves and a Bud Tea Company.

I often find Rooibus hard to describe, especially to people who have never had it before. The aroma is like being in a deciduous forest in autumn, sweet, woodsy, and leafy. There is also the slightly zingy taste of the Lemongrass that adds both a citrus and a green taste to the tea, but it seems more of an after thought than a major aroma.

The taste on the other hand is earthy and smooth with the natural sweetness that is one of Rooibus's traits. You do not taste the Lemongrass until the tea has already been swallowed and it is just a little reminder that it is there.

Overall it is exotic and an enjoy sensory experience, but I am not a huge fan. It is not at all bad but something about the mix of flavors do not work for me.

Here is how I actually perceive the tea:

The taste is primarily burnt umber with shades of bright rust swirling through, the lemongrass adds a small flash on bright spring green, like the last rays of sunlight that shoot through a vibrant sunset and then fade as it sets. The natural sweetness leaves flashes of white, like little stars, that dance across my mouth and then finally it all fades into a dull dark rust that lingers like a memory.  The colors do not blend well in my mouth, the bright spring green flashes, while not muddying up the colors do clash and take away from the beautiful burnt umber and rust swirls. Something that would have brought in more golds, reds, or even a pleasant contrast like blues or deep greens would have made a beautiful hazelnut, almond, or chocolate. The lemongrass just seems too spiky.


  1. I really like the second description better, because I too experience things in color

    1. Hehe, maybe that is why it took me so long to realize it was not the norm