Yorkshire Gold and tea-tasting: when you proof yourself wrong

yorkshire goldEver since I was introduced to Yorkshire Gold a few years ago, I compare every tea with milk to Yorkshire Gold. No other black tea (or red tea, if you’re Chinese) is as smooth, thick, and flavoured as Yorkshire Gold with full-cream milk.

Not tea from Starbucks (too watery); not tea from a 5-star hotel lounge (too light); not this famous tea that I must try because it comes in real fancy packaging from the posh supermarket (flavourless).

However, I’m a science person and work in an industry that (purportedly) places the highest regards in data and evidence, so I don’t expect you to take my word for it – I designed a double-blind trial to prove once and for all that Yorkshire Gold is the superior tea.

In the office, I recruited another Yorkshire Gold fanatic and a few stragglers who happened on our experiment in the office pantry and we brewed up the four different brands of black tea that we were able to get our hands on that day:

  1. My Yorkshire Gold that I think is the shit
  2. Someone’s PG Tips that was surprising not bad
  3. Someone’s Twinnings that we thought should act like the control
  4. And the office’s free Yellow Label Lipton that everyone thinks tastes like piss

We made up the protocol as we went along:

  1. Each tea bag was placed in an identical office-supplied mug.
  2. The bottom of each mug was labeled with the brand of the tea.
  3. Near-boiling water was poured into each mug and allowed to sit for around the same amount of time.
  4. After removing the tea bags, four teaspoonfuls of full fat milk were stirred into each mug.
  5. Everyone poured a bit of each tea into paper cups and tried to identify which tea was which.

To cut a long story short, and because you have probably guessed by now how this ended, no one was able to tell the Yorkshire Gold from the rest. Nope, not even the two who wrinkle their noses at any other tea. Some of us correctly identified the other teas though. I was baffled and disappointed, she was giggling and angry.

We discussed if that means we should stop wasting our cash on tea and just drink the office piss instead.

But you know what, back to science. If you read enough papers, you’ll know that nearly every experiment has flaws and limitations. So we tried to identify them. We figured maybe all the tea tasted the same because once you have tasted the most flavourful tea, you would not be able to distinguish all the others. I also usually have a lot more milk in my tea than just four teaspoons – so everything just tasted slightly off, even the tea that I drank everyday. Plus, all the other people just didn’t appreciate Yorkshire Gold to begin with, so how could they have known which was which?

People want to believe what they believe. Until the next experiment, I still quite like my Yorkshire Gold.





2 thoughts on “Yorkshire Gold and tea-tasting: when you proof yourself wrong

  1. btw, you taste teas not with cream/milk. You tastates it as is, with a spoon, based on smell, taste, and flavour. Using something like crackers to reset your taste buds and new metal spoons for each tea type. btw, almost boiling water helps better.

    good luck tasting…

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