Tea Flavour Terms

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There are currently 29 names in this directory
Baggy
An undesirable taint sometimes found in inferious teas which have been stored in sacks

Bakey
An unpleasant characteristic noticeable in the liquors of teas which are heated to higher temperatures than mandated during processing

Berry Like
Fruity and tart tasting

Biscuity
A strong desirable taste describe as a: Sweet, malted flavor with a velvety body, reminiscent of baked bread, often a character in black teas

Bitter
Intense and boldly appalling flavor, sometimes offensive

Bright
A style and refreshing flavor of tea for the palate

Citrusy
Tangy, tart, citrus fruit such as orange, lemon, grapefruit, or tangerine

Clean
Flavor that is pure, there is an absence of any off-tastes

Creamy
Milky, vanilla-tasting

Earthy
Woodsy, soil-tasting, nature-inspired taste and aroma

Flowery
A floral flavor or scent which is mostly associated with high-grade teas

Grassy
Vegetal, fresh cut lawn taste

Malty
Biscuity with a velvety body, wheat and barley-tasting, often used to describe Assam black teas

Meaty
Hearty, heavy tasting, full, thick texture, often describes high quality Indian black teas

Metallic
Low, unpleasant quality and taste, often found in poor quality green and black teas

Muscatel
A flavor similar to that of grapes, a characteristic found in the liquors of the finest Darjeeling tea

Nutty
Toasted, malty flavors reminiscent of a but such as an almond, hazelnut or walnut

Plain
Having very minimal flavor, mellow, dull, bland, simple

Salty
Mineral like, sour, peppery

Savory
Pleasant, aromatic, bold yet balanced flavors

Smoky
Burnt tasting, reminiscent of ash and fire

Sour
Tart, acidic, citrusy

Spicy
Flavorful with a bite, fiery, peppery, tangy

Sweet
Often fruity, sometimes creamy, having candy-like characteristics

Tarry
A tea which has a smoky aroma

Tart
Sour, tangy, astringent

Vanilla
Creamy, sweet, milky

Vegetal
Often a great tea characteristic, grassy, vegetable-tasting, reminiscent of a freshly cut lawn

Winey
Vinegary, grape tasting, sour, astringent

 

Tea Body / Finish

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There are currently 24 names in this directory
Acidic
Sour, tart, vinegary

Aroma
The odor of the tea. A complex aroma is often described as a bouquet

Astringent
Bold, pungent sensation that lingers on the tongue and sides of the mouth caused by tannins

Autumnal
The Liquor from teas grown in cool Autumn weather

Balanced
Well-rounded, tasting equal portions of flavors

Body
Texture of the tea on the palate during tasting, which is largely determined by tannins and amino acids within the tea

Character
Smell, taste and presentation of the tea

Clean
Crisp, fresh, pure flavor notes

Cloudy
Result when the tea is prepared iced, also known as condensation. When the ice hits the hot tea, the ices or solid slowly turns into liquid and forms cloudiness in the tea

Complex
Having multi-dimensional flavors that unfold layer by layer; complicated

Crisp
Clean, fresh, sharp

Delicate
Soft, subtle, lightly flavored

Dull
Uninspiring, mellow, lack of character

Finish
Lasting impression on your tongue after swallowing

Flat
Plain, dull, mello, without higher or lower notes in tastes

Hard
Aggressive, bold, sharp, higher in mineral content

Heavy
A tea which is brisk and overly strong

Hungry
Describes the liquor of a tea which is lacking in cup quality

Intense
Strong, bold concentration of flavor and aroma

Muddy
Having a dull or lifeless liquor

Point; pointy
A most desirable brisk pungent characteristic

Pungent
Describes a tea liquor having marked briskness and an astringent effect on the palate without bitterness

Rich
A mellow liquor which is abounding in quality and thickness

Sappy
A tea liquor which has a full juicy flavor

 

Tea Types

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There are currently 34 names in this directory
Assam
A black tea grown and sourced in Assam in Northeastern India. The tea is a full-bodied one, characteristic by a rich, strong flavor

Bancha
A Japanese tea made from coarse leaves, which is popularly consumed, but not top notch quality

Black tea
One of the major tea types and the most popular and common tea in the world. These teas are the most processed of all teas.

Blend
A mixture of two or more teas from different origins to achieve a certain type of flavor which is unique

Ceylon Tea
Teas that are cultivated in Sri Lanka

Chai
Chai - the hindi word for tea. The terms chai means a mix of spices steeped into a tea-like beverage. Often the spices are mixed with black tea but rooibos is also being used. Cahi is typically sweetened and served with milk

China Oolong
Large leaf tea from China that is partially oxidised

Darjeeling
Superior teas grown in the Darjeeling region of India

Dooar
A tea grown in the Dooar district located in Central india

English Breakfast
Traditionally a blend of China Keemun which has now evolved to include Indian and Ceylon teas

Formosa
Tea grown on the island of Taiwan

Green Tea
Tea that resembles the original green leaf due to its minimal processing. This tea is not oxidised

Gunpowder
A type of Green tea which is rolled into pellets

Gyokuro
A prized Japanese green tea which is rich to the taste and pleasing to the eye. The tea undergoes special handling at every stage of its growth (shaded) and processing (hand fired)

Hyson, Young Hys
A chinese green tea named for the East India Merchant who first sold it in England. Young Hyson is generally preferred to Hyson

I-Chiban Cha
A Japanese term referring to the first flush or first plucking of tea. It is generally a very delicate tasting tea

Imperial tea
A rolled green tea from Ceylon,. China or India made from older leaves. It has good aroma and is refreshing

Instant tea
Developed in the 1930’s and commercialized in the 50’s, instant tea sacrifices nuances in fragrance and flavor for convenience

Jasmine
The Chinese use Green Tea as the base to which Jasmine flowers are used to scent the tea. The finest Chinese Jasmine is called Yin Hao and Chun Hao. Formosa Jasmine's use Pouchong tea as a base. Pouchong is allowed to wither for a longer period of time (than Green) before it is fired which places it between Green and Oolong

Keemun
A fine grade of Black tea from China. It is dark amber color and a unique sappy liquor

Lapsang Soucho
A fine grade of China Black tea with a distinctive smoky flavor which results from a unique drying process. Tea drinkers either love or hate the taste of this unusual tea

Oolong
Partially fermented withered and oxidized tea, originally native to China

Pingsuey
In Chinese, the term means ice water. A Black Tea from the Hangchow district of Zhejiang Province. An excellent mild tasting tea

Pouchong
Some of the finest quality and high priced teas. A very fragrant tea which is also used as a base for making Jasmine Tea

PU-Er / PU-Erh
Technically classified not as black but dark black tea, the best of which is aged for decades before use. The base may be green tea or black, and its tastes and aromas can range from earthy to elegant. In China it has been customarily drunk with or after meals as a digestif

Red Tea
“Red Tea” was used by Chinese tea merchants as their name for what the rest of the world would call Black Tea. Today, the term is still used in China, but much less commonly.

Rooibos (Red Tea)
South African Herbal plant called Rooibos or Red Bush from which an herbal tea is made. These two types of red tea are often confused.

Russian Carava
A blend of China Black Teas. Although there is little consistency between available blends in the marketplace.

Scented tea
Teas which are infused with aroma and taste of various flowers or spices

Sencha
A green tea from Japan that has been steamed, rolled into a needle-like shape, and dried.

Silver Tip Pekoe
A very costly tea from China made from full-grown buds of a special tea bush. This is also referred to as White Tea

Silvery oolong
Another costly tea which utilizes the delicate whitish leaf from the first flush

Sumatra
Tea grown on the island of Sumatra. Gradings and characteristics are similar to Java teas.

White tea
The name of ‘white tea’ refers to the silver-colored (white) hairs on the picked tea bud. White tea is the least processed of all teas. It isn’t rolled first but is immediately fired

 

General Tea Terms

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There are currently 12 names in this directory
Caffeine
A component of tea which stimulates the nervous system

Dust
A terms which is used to describe the smallest particles of the tea leaf. They resemble dust

Estate
A plantation or garden where tea is grown

Fannings
A very small size of leaf, although larger than dust

Golden Tip
Small unopened leaves of the tea plant. When a tea has many tips it is called “tippy”

Grainy
Well made fannings and dust

Lot
Describes all of the teas offered under a single mark or serial number at any tea auction.

Organoleptic
The process used by most tea tasters to evaluate the quality of a tea using all the senses.

Tannin
The chemical component of tea thought to be responsible for its presumed health benefits. One of the major components which contributes to the taste and pungency of tea.

Tea
The leaf and extracted liquor of the shrub Camellia sinensis. No other beverages merit the unqualified term tea.

Tea chest
A traditional way of packing bulk teas. Usually made of wood with an aluminum lining

Tisane
A term which describes an herbal infusion

 

Tea Processing

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There are currently 3 names in this directory
Crush Tear Curl (CTC)
Teas which are sent through rollers which tear and break the elaf after it has been withered. Teas processed like this are typically stronger and have shorter steep times

Pan-fired
A Japanese tea which is steamed and then rolled in iron pans to halt further oxidation

Pekoe Flush
The new growth on a tea plant consisting of a full complement of leaves, it takes about 40 days for a new bud to blossom into flush