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Anhui: A major tea producing province in China.
Antioxidant: A compound which retards oxidation.
Aroma: Also known as the nose, the odor of the
brewed leaf and the resulting liquor.
Assam: A major tea growing region in India. These
black teas are known for their strong malty flavor.
Astringency: The drying sensation, (or bite) in the
mouth caused by certain teas.
Autumnal: Tea produced late in the growing season –
often used in reference to Darjeeling 4th flush teas.
Bergamot: A citrus oil derived from the bergamot orange used
to flavor black tea to make Earl Grey tea.
Black Tea: Fully oxidized leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Black teas are the most popular tea in the world and are also known as Red tea in China referring to the color of the infusion in the cup.
Blend: Method to establish consistency between lots of teas.
Body: Tea taster's term to denote strength and viscosity of a brewed tea.
Brick Tea: Tea leaves that have been steamed and compressed
into bricks. Pu-erh is a common brick tea.
Caffeine: An alkaloid which acts as a Central Nervous
System stimulant and diuretic.
Catechins: The class of polyphenol found in tea which
function as antioxidants.
Ceylon tea: Tea from Sri Lanka.
Cha: Romanized spelling of Chinese and Japanese
character which defines the word tea.
Chai: The word for tea on the Indian subcontinent. In the west
it generally means a spiced black tea made with milk (masala chai).
Chesty: A term denoting an odor in tea absorbed from
the wood of a traditional storage chest.
Chest: Traditional container made of wood with a metal
lining used to ship tea from tea estates.
Chunmee: A grade of Chinese tea with a curled form.
Congou: Chinese Black, or Red, Tea.
CTC: Acronym for Cut, Tear, and Curl, a machine process which cuts the withered leaves into uniform particles to facilitate a complete oxidation. Typical of most black tea grown in India and other lowland producing countries, and used in teabags to create a stronger more colorful tea.
Darjeeling Tea: Tea grown in the Darjeeling Hills of India.
These teas are renowned for their muscatel flavor.
Display Tea: A tea that has a special appearance once steeped.
Dust: The smallest grade of tea, typically associated with lower quality.
Dust is prized for its quick extraction and is commonly used in teabags.
Earl Grey: Any Black Tea blend flavored with Bergamot Oil.
Fannings: Small particles of tea one grade larger than Dust produced
as a by product of the tea making process.
Fermentation: More properly termed – Oxidation. Describes the process of enzymic oxidation, where elements in the leaf react with air to create a darker brown-red color and characteristic aroma to the resulting tea.
Firing: The process whereby the tea leaves are dried to arrest further
enzymic changes. This makes the tea fit for packing and storing.
Flush: Flush refers to the four separate plucking seasons throughout
the year, each known for it’s distinctive flavor.
Formosa Teas: Tea produced in Taiwan, typically oolong teas.
Genmaicha: Green tea blended with roasted rice
Golden: Refers to the orange colored tips present in high quality black tea
Gong fu: Meaning skill and patience. The style of brewing tea with a high
proportion of leaf to water and repeated short infusions.
Green Tea: Un-oxidized, dried tea, mostly found in China and Japan.
Gunpowder: A Green Tea rolled into tight pellets.
Gyokuro: Translates to ‘Pearl Dew’, a Japanese Green Tea made from shaded plants.
Guywan: A traditional Chinese lidded tea drinking vessel with accompanying saucer.
Hyson: A general term for Chinese Green Teas.
Jasmine: Green or Oolong Tea scented with jasmine flowers.
Keemun: Chinese Black Tea from Anhui Province and often
used in English Breakfast blends.
Lapsang Souchong: Chinese black Tea with a strong smoky characteristic
imparted in the firing process.
Muscatel: A muscat grape like taste associated with many Darjeeling Teas.
Nose: The aroma of brewed tea
Oolong: Derived from ‘wu long’ the Chinese term for black dragon. A type of tea
that is semi-oxidized resulting in a brew that is between a Green and a Black Tea. These teas are renowned for their complex tastes and aromas.
Orange Pekoe: The larger leaves of the tea plant. Does not refer to flavor characteristics of any tea.
Orthodox: Traditional method for picking and processing teas in
India without using CTC technology.
Pan fired: Method of heating leaf and arresting enzymic oxidation of tea.
Pekoe: A term used to describe the largest leaves used to produce whole leaf teas. Also refers to an un-distinctive blend of tea. Pronounced ‘pek-o’.
Plucking: The process of harvesting and collecting tea leaves.
Polyphenols: Antioxidant compounds present in tea.
Pu-erh Tea: A type of tea originally from the Yunnan province of China. Tea that is further processed using an age old Chinese method. These teas are known for aging quite well. Some prized Pu-erhs are 40 years old.
Rolling: The process by which withered leaves are rolled to initiate enzymic oxidation.
Tea: The processed leaves, or the infused beverage brewed from
the processed leaves, of the Camellia sinensis plant.
Ti Kuan Yin: "Iron Goddess of Mercy"- a type of Oolong Tea with
a fragrant aroma. Also known as Tieguanyin.
Tippy: Term denoting tea that contains white or golden tips, indicative of high quality
Tisane: An infused beverage made with plants other than Camellia sinensis.
Tuocha: Chinese for ‘Bowl tea’. A common shape of Pu-erh Teas.
White: Similar to Green Tea. Identifiable by the presence of the
white hairs on the leaf tips, and a light infusion.
Winey: Mellow quality, characteristic of some Keemun teas
which have been given six months to a year to age.
Withering: The operation which removes moisture from the recently plucked
leaves making them less brittle and preparing them for further processing.
Generally done by spreading leaves allowing the air to pass over.
Yixing: Pronounced ‘yee shing’, a region of China noted for its purple clay, used to produce distinctive unglazed teapots often used in the gung fu style of brewing tea.
Yunnan: A province in southwestern China known as the birthplace of tea.
This region also produces Pu-Erh tea.
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