The Telltale Tongue

cartoon of blindfolded eater

“Our eyes tell us lies,
and brands have the upper hand,
but nothing can overcome,
the telltale tongue.”

May Blind Taste Tests Set You Free!

Chris participating in a blind beer taste test.

When it comes to food and drink, we’re all guilty of making irrational choices.

We should choose the products that, first and foremost, have the best taste. But we don’t. We make irrational decisions because of skewed preconceptions, advertising, and general monkey-brained-ness.

Luckily there’s a simple solution: The blind taste test.

When the fancy packaging and price tags are removed are you sure you can tell the difference?

The Telltale Tongue

For years, Kim and I have been hosting various types of blind taste tests. We’ve tested all sorts of things, from cheese to chocolate and burgers to bolognese. Without exception, the results have changed the way appreciate, and buy, those foods.

Now we will be sharing these experiences with you and inviting you to participate in a series we’re calling it The Telltale Tongue.

How Blind Taste Tests Are Done

  • Select: We pick a product to test. Eggs, cheese, beer, wine, coffee, you name it.
  • Collect: We round up a variety of brands of this product, including the cheapest, most popular, and most expensive.
  • Prepare: All products are stripped of their branding and prepared equally. For example, if we’re doing a blind taste test of beer we’ll make sure they’re all served from the same type of glass at the same temperature.
  • Serve: One person, who knows which product is which, will serve the products to the blind tasters.
  • Taste: Tasters privately write down their notes of each product they taste, caring not to make any visible or auditory reaction that may affect others’ perceptions.
  • Rank: Once having sampled every product in the test, the tasters individually rank the products from first to worst.
  • Share: Product-by-product in the order they were served, tasters share their perceptions, rankings, and guesses as to which brand it may be.
  • Reveal: The server reveals the brands behind each product.
  • Calculate: I create a spreadsheet to consolidate all tasters’ rankings and create an overall score, thus crowning the winners and losers of the blind taste test.

Want to Join or Follow Along?

Subscribe to be notified when we’re publishing a new post and be invited to future taste tests.