Bai Mu Dan tea bud under UV light

Bai Mu Dan under UV light at 395nm. With UV you can detect the trichomes—little green-white hairs—in the bud, and the large polyphenols (purple), which give the brewed tea color and astringency, and the chlorophyll (fuchsia) which when broken down gives the tea some sweetness. Exploring teas with UV light is one of the experiments in "A Nerd's Tea Lab."

Books at
VUL's Taste Science

First, a word of introduction:

VUL's Taste Science began when I was asked by Tim Hanni MW (= Master of Wine) to help analyze survey data concerning wine preferences. As a faculty member in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University I had been interested in individual differences in taste sensitivity. As it turned out, differences in wine preferences tended to align well with these differences in taste sensitivity. For example, most very sensitive people with lots and lots of taste buds tended to prefer sweet wines, while people with fewer taste buds tended to prefer the bolder wines.
Meanwhile, Scott Svihula asked me to help out with his workshop on the aroma of teas at World Tea Expo 2010, which I did on condition that I could carry out research on tea appreciation as well.
Not long after that I retired from the faculty at the Division of Nutritional Sciences and have been able to concentrate on exploring tea, and tea together with wine.
THE RESULTS: Books, workshops, talks, and my Twitch channel!


Three books, and one more just published!

I was so excited when it became possible to publish book through Amazon—I could start to put together all the knowledge I had gained about tea into books that would be accessible to everyone.
In the first book, "Three Basic Teas & How to Enjoy Them," I began my discussion of taste and flavor, and how tea processing leads to the differences in flavor we experience with green, oolong, and black teas. After tasting many many different teas, I was able to describe my experience with them and to make recommendations for brewing and pairing these teas with food. Also included some myth busting and fun facts, and also a bit of chemistry explained for non-chemists so you can understand why the flavors work the way they do.
My next book, "Tea: a Nerd's Eye View", expands on the information in my first book, to include much more about our flavor systems, the plant Camellia sinensis itself, and details about how growing and processing leads to the different kinds of tea with their different flavor profiles. I included history about the plant and its cultivation as well—the book is indeed somewhat encyclopedic.

Loved the book. Provides scientific explanations for how we taste and smell, that is easy to understand. Can tell author is a tea lover. Good introduction to the many facets of tea drinking.
Love to carry out experiments in my kitchen, so my next book is called "A Nerd's Tea Lab.". It's filled with experiments you can carry out in your kitchen, so you can really understand your teas and how to brew them for the most enjoyable flavors.
For those of you who are interested in a spiritual side of tea, my latest book, "A Nerd Contemplates the Japanese Tea Ceremony" brings you the elements and development of the chanoyu as a meditation practice. Here's what a tea person who previewed the book said:
I feel absolutely enlightened. This is a different aspect to tea I have not come across before...a unique blend of science, history, religion, culture and tea appreciation. The book is also very personal with snippets of your personal stories, experiences and what you do currently. Pure poetry.