The Lexicon Of The Tea Taster - Glossary Of Terms

This is the vocabulary of words used by tea experts and professional tea tasters. 
This vocabulary covers hundreds of concepts to describe the appearance, taste and aroma of tea. These are the most commonly used ones:

 
1. Agony of leaves
  • The rolling and unfurling of the leaves up and down in the cup at the time of steeping that is when boiling water is poured on them
2. Aroma
  • The fragrant smell of the dry tea leaves, the leaves in infusion and of the brewed tea itself. Good aromas are described as flowery or fruity. The dry leaves and the infused leaves have an aroma characteristic of the region in which the tea was grown or of the tea house that manufactured the tea.
3.Astringency
  • The feeling of tingling and dry sensation created in the mouth of the drinker by teas rich in polyphenols
4. Bakey
  • An undesirable characteristic usually arising from drying the leaves at too high a temperature
5. Bergamot
  • The "Chinese Orange" bergamot is a citrus fruit shaped like a pear, which originated in China but is today grown in Italy, and the essence of which is used to flavor Earl Grey Tea
6. Body
  • This expresses the weight of the drink on the tongue, the strength of taste and the feeling of fullness in the mouth. It is graded from light to full.
7. Bright
  • This denotes a leaf that is bright or light in color and an expectation of a taste that is refreshing and alive and gives a feeling of astringency to the tongue. This is a desirable characteristic of choice tea.
8. Brisk
  • This describes a tea that is full and lively on the tongue and that has been properly fermented and dried.
9. Chesty
  • Tea leaves having an after taste or smell from the wooden chest in which the tea was packed
10. Colory
  • Categorization for tea that has a good color
11. Creaming Down
  • This describes tea where particles float or rise to the top of the tea in some types of black tea or blended teas. This is considered undesirable and is likely to be caused by the use of poor water.
12. Dull
  • The drink looks murky and is of a low quality
13. Firing
  • Drying the tea leaves by way of hot air or in a wok in order to quickly halt the process of fermentation
14. Flat
  • Tea of poor taste and flat and of a low quality. This indicates old tea or tea that is not fresh. It can also be caused by improper storage.
15. Flavory
  • Possesses a distinct specific taste
16. Flowery
  • A concept that describes whole tea leaves that have light colored tips
17. Fruity
  • The fruity characteristic of choice Oolong Tea
18. Gone off
  • Tea without taste or life or that has a bad smell
19. Muddy
  • This describes a dull infusion lacking in taste
20. Musty
  • The brew has a moldy taste or smell which is due to improper packing or storage.
21. Orange Pekoe
  • This term describes a large whole leaf tea
22. Pekoe
  • Derived from the Chinese word that describes the white hairs on the side of the leaves of certain teas. The term denotes small, whole leaf tea.
23. Peak
  • This is the magical moment when the body, the taste, the aroma and the astringency of the tea combine to in the mouth to create an ecstatic feeling. This mainly relates to the black teas rather than green tea or Oolong tea
24. Plucking
  • Picking of the tea.
25. Pungent
  • Strong tea with a presence
26. Self drinking
  • Tea that is good in itself and does not need to be blended or to have any additions lemon added
27. Smooth
  • Describing tea possessing a smooth pleasant taste.

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