I recently discussed the subject of matching a specific tea to a personality type with an online friend. Of course that's not really how I've experienced this type of preference in the past. In this blog entry comparing tea and wine I discussed how it seems natural for preferences to evolve over time, maybe in the form of some teas as natural entry points, and others as natural final preferences.
But there could be something to this. The two ideas could even work together, so that the natural end point for each person might be determined in part by personality type. If that's true then the order one experiences other teas could be by chance but one normal final preference would in a sense be pre-determined.
Surely many tea drinkers have had some experience of something like this, not just that a taste element or profile in a tea is new and interesting but that in some way that's how a tea should taste. For me it related to more oxidized oolongs and their soft nature but rich flavor profiles, with corresponding cocoa and malt flavors. Or maybe--given this idea is correct--I just need more exposure to different mild Chinese black teas and some other similar flavors or feel in a final range of preference will emerge.
Or maybe it really doesn't work that way.
Entry to tea type by personality reading
The online friend I was discussing it with is Jenny Tai, with more information on tea classes on her website here, although it might help to be in Shanghai to join those. There wasn't a formula that is simple enough to communicate about how it should work; she evaluates people individually, and it seemed like intuition was part of the process. I also couldn't really say how well it works based on limited discussion and results, although the idea is interesting.
To begin, "cold reading" is the practice of saying relatively general things in giving some type of formula reading that doesn't really work (eg. astrology), not that I'm saying this doesn't. The start is statements that apply to nearly everyone to some degree, followed by pursuing those that match better with follow-up. This is perhaps also why if you read down a list of astrological personality descriptions most seem to apply; they are phrased generally, and with interpretation most apply to everyone, especially if they want to accept it.
So to cut the example short almost no one prefers a harsh, strong flavored tea (although some might), and tea itself generally doesn't cover an "aggressive" range of flavors, as hoppy ales, dark french roasts, or tannic cabernets might. But again, she still might have been onto something. And who knows; maybe astrology also works. I've had some interesting experience with that too, but that's a different story.
Tea references related to personality
Not to be negative but I should preface this by saying the research sources really didn't seem to work. Here's why, shown through citing two different searched sources, using black tea as a common reference (although that really is a rather broad category):
It's almost secondary that being a perfectionist and having simple needs doesn't seem to match (the two assessments).
It gets to be a bit of a stretch but people really might seek out different types of vendor sources by personality type (eg. value versus brand image). So the three different groups as targets for the three sources might allow for all three assessments to be different but accurate: vegans / such people, Australians, and tea drinkers sourcing image-branded blended teas, presumably higher-end, but you couldn't really determine that from either marketing content or pricing.
Online tea personality test
Now we're talking, right; an online test with questions and a calculated result. The questions seem to match those standard personality type tests (Google it for more examples, but here is one at the top of a search list, to determine types like "INFP" and so on). That assessment format is relatively well accepted; it's real. The problem is the results it gave for tea preference.
|cc use Wikipedia & Melissa Doroquez|
I think these results mostly relate to answering that I like to hike.