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Monday, November 24, 2008

Tea Glossary

Definition
Afternoon tea A term used for a mid-afternoon meal with a variety of sandwiches and sweets at which tea is the main beverage.
Agony of the leaves Expression describing the unfurling of rolled or twisted leaves during steeping.
Anhui One of the major black tea producing regions in China.
Aroma The fragrant flavor of brewed leaf, consisting of the essential oils of tea.
Assam A region in northeastern India known for its strong, high-grade tea.
Astringency The drying sensation in the mouth caused by teas high in unoxidized polyphenols.
Autumnal Tea produced late in the growing season.
Bakey Tea taster expression for overfired teas.
Bergamot Essential oil of the bergamot orange used to flavor a black tea base to make Earl Grey tea.
Billy An Australian term referring to a tin pot with a wire handle to suspend over an open fire in which tea is boiled.
Biscuity Tea taster's expression often used with Assam teas that have been fired well but not overly so.
Black tea Fresh-picked green tea leaves are withered, spread out on racks to dry, and then crushed by rollers to release the leaves? juices (fermented or oxidized). The leaves turn brown are then fired (or dried) by hot air and sorted into grades.
Blend A mixture of teas usually to promote consistency between growing seasons.
Bloom Tea taster's term to describe sheen or luster present to finished leaf.
Body Tea taster's term to denote a full strength brew.
Bold Large leaf cut tea.
Brassy Unpleasant acidic bite from improperly withered tea.
Break An auction term referring to a lot for sale, usually 18 chests or more.
Bright Denotes a bright red brew or light leaf, as opposed to a dull brown or black color.
Brick tea China and Japan teas mixed and molded into bricks under high pressure. Once used as a form of currency.
Brisk A tea high in astringency. Also a trademarked characteristic of Lipton tea.
Broken Smaller leaf style usually created during manufacture by passing the leaf through a cutter.
Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP) Full-bodied black tea comprising broken segments of somewhat coarse leaves without tips. The smallest of the leaf grades, it gives good color in the cup and is used for many blends.
Broken Pekoe (BP) Full-bodied black tea comprising broken segments of somewhat coarse leaves without tips.
Butter tea (tsampa) Boiled tea mixed with salt and soda, then strained into an urn containing butter and dried ground cereal (often barley), and then churned. Butter tea is served in a basin and often a lump of butter is added when serving. It was served in Tibet and then in India.
Caffeine Stimulating compound present in tea.
Camellia sinensis Botanical name for the tea plant.
Catechins Class of polyphenol present in high concentrations in green tea, but found in varying levels in other teas derived from the tea plant.
Ceylon Former name of Sri Lanka used when referring to tea grown on the island.
Cha Romanized spelling of Chinese and Japanese character referring to tea.
Chai Often refers to masala chai, or spiced tea, which is a strong black tea infused with milk, sugar, and spices.
Chest Classical tea package, usually made of wood and aluminum-lines, used to ship tea from plantation.
Chesty Tea taster's term signifying off odor in tea from the wood in the tea chest.
Children's Tea

An herbal caffeine free beverage; any tea served with half tea, half milk and sweetened; a theme tea party oriented toward youth.
Chunmee Green China tea, so called due to its resemblance to the shape of human eyebrows.
Congou A general term used to refer to all black teas from China.
Coppery Bright infusion of good quality black tea.
Cream Tea A meal featuring delicacies and sweets at which tea is the main beverage.
CTC Stands for Crush, Tear, and Curl, a machine-based process which macerates the leaves by pressing through counter-rotating rollers to create a stronger, more colory tea.
Darjeeling A province in northern India that produces black tea famous for its exquisite bouquet.
Dhool Refers to the tea leaf during fermentation, noted for its coppery color.
Dimbulla A district in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) that produces full-bodied black tea.
Dust The smallest broken leaves left over after all manufacturing processes are finished.
Earl Grey A black China tea scented with oil of bergamot.
English Breakfast A name originally applied to Congou and now used to include blends of black teas in which the China flavor predominates.
Estate The property or plantation where the tea is grown; an estate may have more than one garden.
Fannings Small grainy particles of leaf (1 to 1.5 millimeters) sifted out of the better-grade teas much smaller than BOP and used in tea bags only. Depending upon the quality of the original tea leaf (such as Boh Estates? Cameronian), fannings in teabags may produce liquor that is as good as the original whole leaf tea.
Fermentation Used in the process of preparing black and oolong tea, this step involves allowing the natural browning enzymes present in tea leaf to oxidize fresh green tea leaves and to impart the darker brown-red color and characteristic aroma.
Fibrous Teas which contain a large percentage of fannings.
Firing The process of rapidly heating the leaf, either with hot air or in a wok, to quickly halt fermentation and dry the leaf to its final product.
Flat Teas lacking astringency or briskness.
Flowery Used in grading the size of tea, it typically indicates a leaf style with more of the lighter colored tips.
Flowery Orange Pekoe (FOP) Orange Pekoe with an abundance of tips, and therefore of finer quality.
Flush Young tea leaf shoots. The term also refers to the various harvests ? "first flush" is the early spring plucking and "second flush" is harvested in late spring and early summer. A second flush has a stronger flavor than the first flush.
Formosa Tea produced in Taiwan, typically oolong teas.
FP Whole-leaf black tea with the leaves rolled lengthwise.
Full Strong tea without bitterness and posessing good color.
Garden The name of a specific plantation used to identify fine harvest produced solely from that garden.
Genmaicha Green tea with toasted rice.
Golden Denoting the orange colored tip present in high quality black tea.
Gong fu Meaning "performed with care," this typically refers to a style of brewing with many repeated short infusions of leaf in a miniature pot.
Grainy Term used to describe high quality CTC teas.
Green tea Unfermented tea that is immediately heated (or steamed) to kill the fermentation enzymes. It is then rolled and dried. Naturally low in caffeine, the brew is very light in color. Green teas range from a light, fragrant taste to a very bold vegetal flavor.
Gunpowder A type of young green tea, each leaf of which is rolled into a ball.
Gyokuro Japanese for "pearl dew," it is a high-grade tea grown under the shade and made by a special process in the Uji district of Japan.
Hankerchief tea A tea which was grown on Formosa and which gets its name from the large silk hankerchiefs that Chinese tea growers used to use to collect their very fine tippy teas.
Hard Pungent tea, which is desired in some Assam teas.
Harsh Bitter teas.
Heavy A thick, colory infusion with little briskness or astringency.
Herbal infusion Sometimes called "herbal tea" or "tisane," it is not a tea but an herbal mixture containing no caffeine.
High tea An afternoon or evening meal with meat and other dishes at which tea is the main beverage.
Hoochow A China green tea.
Hyson Chinese for "flourishing spring." A type of green China tea, formerly drunk extensively in Europe. "Young Hyson" is a type of China tea plucked early.
Jasmine Black tea scented with jasmine flowers, typically made with green Pouchong tea as the base.
Jat Type of tea bush normally applied to its origin. For example a tea comes from the China or Indian jat. This means that the tea bushes originated either from seeds or cuttings from China tea plants or from the indigenous Indian tea found in Assam.
Keemun A fine grade of black-leaf China Congou tea produced in Anhui province.
Kenya A country in Africa that produces one of the finest black teas from that continent.
Lapsang Souchong A smoky China tea dried over smoking pine needles.
Malty Slightly over-fired tea, sometimes desirable.
Matcha Powdered green tea from Japan, used in the tea ceremony.
Metallic Tea taster's term to denote coppery taste of some teas.
Muddy Tea taster's term to denote a dull, blackish color of the infusion.
Nilgiri A district in the hills of southern India that produces black tea. Used extensively in flavored teas because it holds flavor well.
Nose The aroma of the tea.
Oolong tea Semi-oxidized tea from China or Formosa; a diplomatic tea in that oolong is a compromise between black tea and green tea. Oolong tea is more delicate than black tea and stronger than green tea. The floral Ti Kuan Yin produces a clear mellow brew and is famous for its light fragrance.
Orange Pekoe (OP) Higher quality than Pekoe leaves, it is not a kind of tea but a term which describes the size of leaf. It is a black tea comprising leaves 8 to 15 millimeters. It has fewer tips than FOP. because it is plucked somewhat later in the season. Generally refers to tea from Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Leaves are long, thin and rolled lengthwise.
Orthodox Prepared using a technique which leads to larger leaf styles mirroring hand-produced teas.
Pan-fired A kind of Japan tea that is steamed then rolled in iron pans over charcoal fires.
Pekoe A grade of black tea produced by a medium plucking of the second leaf on the bush.
Pekoe Souchong Black tea, each leaf of which is rolled in a ball produced by a coarse plucking of the third leaf on the bush.
Plain Tea taster's term to denote dull liquor with sour taste.
Plowman's Lunch A meal featuring hearty meat and cheese sandwiches, pickled vegetables, sweets, and served with tea as the main beverage.
Plucking The process of harvesting the tea by cutting the flush from the growing tea shrub.
Polyphenols Astringent compounds present in tea.
Pouchong A kind of scented China tea, so called from the Cantonese method of packing in small paper packets, each of which was supposed to be the produce of one choice tea plant.
Pu erh A type of tea most notably from the Yunnan province of China, and is a damp green tea that has been fermented microbiologically to a black leaf.
Pungent Tea taster's term to denote a very astringent tea.
Rawness Bitter taste.
Rolling The process of crushing the leaves to initiate fermentation and impart twist.
Rooibus Bush tea from Africa. Caffeine free, it may be purchased as a varietal or blended with herbs and flavorings.
Russian tea The name given to a glass of hot tea liquor which is poured into the glass over a slice of lemon. Sometimes sugar or honey are added. In some countries this type of tea drink is known as lemon tea. The name comes from the Russia way of taking tea.
Scented tea Green, semi fermented or black tea that has been flavored by the addition of flowers, fruit, or essential oils. Earl Grey is one of the most famous of scented black teas. Madame Butterfly is a green tea scented by the addition of flowers and flavoring.
Self drinking Rounded, well bodied tea that can be served unblended.
Semi-fermented tea Tea that has been partially fermented before being fired or dried. The tea has the qualities and appearance halfway between a green and black tea.
Sencha The most popular variety of green tea in Japan.
Single estate tea A blend of teas from one particular estate or garden.
Smoky Tea taster's term for teas that have been fired over smoky flames and thus impart a smoky flavor.
Soft Tea taster's term for underfermented teas.
Souchong Term for large leaf teas derived from the third and fourth leaf of the tea shoot.
Specialty tea A blend of teas that takes its name from the area in which it is grown; a blend of teas blended for a particular person or event, or a blend of teas for a particular time of day.
Spring teas Formosa teas picked in the April-May season.
Stalk Describes teas with presence of red stalk pieces from a hard plucking.
Summer teas Formosa teas picked in the June-September season.
Szechwan A non-smoky black tea from China, with narrow leaves and flowery fragrance. Also a tea growing province in China.
Tannin An astringent chemical component of tea.
Tarry Tea taster's term for teas that have been fired over smoky flames and thus impart a smoky flavor.
Tarry Souchong Very smoky black tea from China or Formosa.
Tat Shelf made of wire mesh or burlap used to spread the leaves out for withering and fermentation.
Tea caddy A small container (often with lock and key) for tea; the word caddy comes from catty, the Chinese or Malayan word for "pound", which is the quantity of tea originally contained in a caddy.
Theaflavins Orange red potyphenols unique to fermented teas such as black tea, and formed from the condensation of two catechins.
Theanine Unique amino acid in tea.
Theine Synonym for caffeine.
Ti kuan yin Chinese for "iron goddess of mercy," which is a distinctive type of oolong tea that is typically longer-fermented and possessing a darker-colored but fragrant brew.
Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (TGFOP) Represents some of the most precious teas in the world. It is common to see whole leaves in their original state after brewing. TGFOP is the highest grade, usually full leaf tea from India (Darjeeling and Assam). Golden refers to light colored buds.
Tip The bud leaf on a tea plant.
Tippy teas Teas with white or golden tips.
Tisane Teas produced from the leaves of plants other than the tea plant, herbal tea.
Tuocha Bowl tea. A form of brick tea comprised of pu erh tea pressed into a bowl shaped cake.
Twankay A low grade China green tea. This word was corrupted when people called men manning the ships who brought tea back from China "Twankys." These ships often foundered on reaching the British coast and the bodies of Twankys would be washed ashore to be found by their widows -- hence the name given to the Aladdin character "Widow Twanky" by a Victorian impresario.
Twist Before fermentation, the leaves need to be crushed to initiate oxidation. This imparts the curled appearance of the finished leaf.
Two and a bud The ideal plucked tea for production consisting of the new tea shoot and the first two leaves.
Uva A district in Sir Lanka that produces a tea of great subtlety.
Vintage Leaves that share the same harvest.
White tea A rare tea produced from full-grown buds of "Big White" tea bush, which is not rolled or fermented -- only steamed.
Winey Mellow quality, which is a characteristic of some Keemun teas which have been given time to age.
Withering The first step in production of most teas. Involves letting the fresh leaves wither for some period of time after plucking to reduce moisture content.
Woody Tea taster's term indicating an undesirable grass or hay flavor in black tea.
Yixing Pronounced "ee-hsing", this region in China is noted for its purple clay used to produce distinctive unglazed teapots.
Yunnan Black tea from the Yunnan province of China. Along with Assam, this region was the original site of wild tea plants.

psss...i love drinking tea!! it makes u ageless..i gotta bliv this fact..

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