The Reason You Should Slurp When You Drink Tea

Most of us were probably taught growing up that slurping our drinks is rude. However, while that is the case in many instances, it turns out that avoiding slurping out of politeness may have been limiting our enjoyment of certain leaf-infused beverages this whole time. According to tea connoisseurs, lightly slurping a cup of the beverage can help boost the flavor and enhance the entire tea-drinking experience.

To slurp simply means to suck in a little air along with the liquid when we put our lips to a cup. This usually results in making a loud, slurping sound that can be considered annoying or rude to others at the table, which is why we are advised not to do it. However, sipping a small amount of oxygen along with tea can actually enhance the taste by encouraging the release of more flavor compounds, according to Red Blossom Tea. Bringing in air along with the tea also helps cool the liquid down, meaning that you can sip the tea sooner, when it is at its most fresh, without being distracted by heat, which can take away from the flavor. The additional oxygen that comes from slurping helps deliver an overall more complex, robust flavor to the tea. Slurping is also beneficial because it ensures the liquid covers the tongue and coats the palate, ensuring the flavor lingers long enough for you to fully appreciate the flavor complexities and varieties.

Slurping is not considered rude in some places

In the West, slurping is usually considered bad table manners, so many of us do not do so in order to avoid being perceived as rude or ill-mannered. However, according to Tea How, in parts of Asia, slurping tea is not only not considered rude, it can actually be encouraged. In places like Japan, slurping can be a sign of appreciation and enthusiasm for the drink.

And while that may not be the case in the United States right now, you can maintain your table manners and still enhance your tea-drinking experience by simply holding the liquid in your mouth for a little longer. Tasting the tea for around five seconds also helps to ensure that your palate is completely coated and you are getting the chance to fully experience all the flavor notes, with no noisy slurping required. Taking time to savor the beverage and take in the aroma can also enhance the tea drinking experience.

But if you happen to be alone when enjoying your beverage, then there is definitely no reason not to give this tea drinking technique a try. So the next time you settle down to enjoy a nice, relaxing cup of tea at home, don't be afraid to make a little noise when you take that first sip.