Taste Translation

Delicious Japanese to English translation for sake, tea, coffee and chocolate


Arline Lyons

September 2017 round-up

Renaissance St Pancras in the daytime. Never get tired of looking at it. Renaissance St Pancras at night Wow. I can’t believe I haven’t posted since July. The problem with going away for an extended period of time is that… Continue reading →

WABI 和美 A Taste of Japan Trade day Friday 7 July 2017

This was another rather fortuitous event. After I decided to go to the International Wine Challenge (IWC) sake trophy winners tasting at the Japanese Embassy in London, I followed IWC on Twitter… and they were promoting WABI! As it turned out,… Continue reading →

IWC Trophy winning sake tasting at Japanese Embassy London July 2017

This was a classic case of a good deed coming back to reward you in expected ways. I gave my brother a ticket to a Sake Service Institute (SSI) tasting for his birthday last year, as a result of which… Continue reading →

Filter methods comparison at MAME 16 July 2017

The wonderful Emi and Mathieu held another session at MAME on Sunday 16 July, although it wasn’t the same kind of tasting as they had been doing for the last few months! This time they took the exact same coffee…… Continue reading →

With distinction!

There was a pleasant surprise waiting for me in the post when I got back from Cardiff – the results of my WSET Level 3 Award in Sake! As I mentioned in the write-up of the course, I was very… Continue reading →

Coffee shop hopping in Cardiff

I spent a few days in Cardiff in May, mostly to attend the conference of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting but also to enjoy a day or two of roaming around the city and getting in as much of… Continue reading →

(Hot) chocolate tasting: Zotter cardamom

I had prepared some sake and chocolate for tasting (both alone and together) over the May bank holiday weekend, but we didn’t get around to it. Instead, we ticked a very old item off our to-do list and cleared out… Continue reading →

One coffee six ways: coffee tasting at MAME April 2017

April was busy for MAME, with not one but two tastings! (They held a fruit tasting earlier in the month.) This tasting was much more focused than the ones I’d been to previously. One coffee variety from one farm, processed three ways… Continue reading →

Sake and chocolate tasting April 2017

I had only heard about pairing aged sake (koshu, 古酒) with chocolate, so I was surprised when Matthew Headland (@connectniigata) suggested pairing non-aged sakes. I had plenty of chocolate left over from our Easter chocolate tasting, so I decided to… Continue reading →

One sake, two ways: drinking vessels

I had read about the effect of drinking vessels during the WSET Level 3 course, but all the tasting during the classroom sessions was from their ISO glasses so although we experienced a lot of variety (including the sake sakes warm… Continue reading →

Home chocolate tasting Easter 2017

Easter. We’re a big fan of Lindt chocolate bunnies, but this year – after getting into tasting through sake and coffee – I decided to go for an Easter chocolate tasting instead! I had no idea where to start, so… Continue reading →


Like wine and beer, sake uses yeast to turn sugar into alcohol. But where does the sugar come from?  Grapes already contain sugar in the form of glucose and fructose, but rice and the grains used for beer store their energy… Continue reading →

Fruit tasting at MAME

We weren’t organised enough to go anywhere over Easter, so we stayed local, enjoying some long walks with friends and doing a few things around the house. Plus I went to a tasting at MAME and we had a chocolate… Continue reading →

Chicago coffee tasting at MAME

Mathieu and Emi held a special tasting session at MAME on Sunday 9 April to share some coffees that Mathieu had brought back from a trip to the US, specifically to Chicago. A friend insisted that he visit famous roasters… Continue reading →

WSET Level 3 Award in Sake Review

Why a sake course?  Although I had known about sake for years, I developed a keener interest when a Japanese viniculture student whose academic work I had translated starting promoting his national drink – sake. His marketing material for breweries… Continue reading →

Photo gallery: Prufrock Coffee, London

Photo gallery: WSET Level 3 Sake Course Day 3, Japan Centre and Shimogamo

Photo gallery: Gozenshu sake tasting at Sakagura with Tengu Sake

Photo gallery: WSET Level 3 Sake Course Day 2

Photo gallery: WSET Level 3 Sake Course Day 1

Sake tasting at Shinwazen, March 2017

The very generous Markus Baumgartner is one half of the couple who run the charming Japanese food, drink and gift shop Shinwazen near Zürich Hauptbahnhof. He and his wife Yuko are retired, but active in the Slow Food movement and… Continue reading →

Sake rice

As it’s also called “rice wine”, it’s not hard to guess that sake is made from rice. But what kind of rice? Rice grown in Japan is usually short-grained Japonica rice, both glutinous (e.g. mochi rice) and non-glutinous (table rice) varieties. It’s entirely… Continue reading →

What is sake?

Made from a simple set of raw ingredients, sake gains depth and complexity through the preparation of rice, choice of brewing yeast, and variations in the the brewing process. The term sake (酒) in Japanese has a much wider meaning than in English,… Continue reading →

What is the Taste Translation logo?

The concentric circles that make up the Taste Translation logo are based on those found inside official sake tasting cups, kiki-choko (ききちょこ). The pattern is called ja-no-me (蛇の目), “snake eyes”. Professional sake tasters look through the sake at the alternating white and… Continue reading →

Who’s preparing these tasty translations?

Taste Translation offers specialised Japanese to English translation for fine food and drink, in particular for sake, coffee and chocolate. My name is Arline Lyons, and I’m a translator and localisation project manager with 20 years’ experience of Japanese language and culture. I worked… Continue reading →

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