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Tea Glossory

agony of the leaves:
expression describing the unfurling of rolled or twisted leaves during steeping
aroma: fragran flavor of brewed leaf, consisting of the essential oils of 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: Australian term referring to tin pot with 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: the most common form of tea worldwide. prepared from green tea leaves which have been allowed to oxidize, or ferment, to form a reddish brew.
blend: mixture of teas, usually to promote consistency between growing seasons
bloom: tea taster's term to describe sheen or lustre 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: auction term referring to a lot for sale, usually 18 chests or more.
brick tea: tea leaves that have been steamed and compressed into bricks. Tea is typically shaved and boiled with butter and salt to make a soup
bright: denotes a bright red brew or light leaf, as opposed to a dull brown or black color.
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
caffeine: stimulating compound present in tea
cambric tea: a very weak tea infusion in an excess of milk and sugar
catechins: class of polyphenol present in high concentrations in green tea, but found in varying levels in other teas derived from the teaplant
chai: tea. Often refers to masala chai, or spiced tea, 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
coppery: bright infusion of good quality black tea
dhool: refers to the tea leaf during fermentation, noted for its coppery color.
earl grey: Black tea that is scented with the essential oil of bergamot, a citrus.
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.
flush: the freshly-picked tea leaves, typically comprising the bud and first two leaves of the growing tea shoot.
formosa: tea produced in Taiwan, typically oolong teas
full: strong tea without bitterness and posessing good color
genmaicha: green tea with toasted rice
golden: denoting the orange colored tip present in high quality black tea
grainy: term used to describe high quality CTC teas
green: unfermented, dried tea, more commonly found in China and Japan.
hard: pungent tea, desired in some Assam teas
harsh: bitter teas
heavy: a thick, colory infusion with little briskness or astringency
hyson: chinese green teas. Brand of tea in common usage during 18th century. "flourishing spring".
jasmine: black tea scented with jasmine flowers, typically made with green Pouchong tea as the base
light: liquor lacking body or thickness
malty: slightly over-fired tea, sometimes desirable
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
nose: the aroma of the tea
orthodox: prepared using a technique which leads to larger leaf styles mirroring hand-produced teas.
pan fired: tea that is steamed and then agitated in an iron wok over a fire
plain: tea taster's term to denote dull liquor with sour taste
plucking: the process of harvesting the tea by cutting the flush from the growing tea shrub.
polyphenols: astringent compounds present in tea
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.
self drinking: rounded, well bodied tea that can be served unblended
smoky: tea taster's term for teas that have been fired over smoky flames, imparting 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
stalk: describes teas with presence of red stalk pieces from a hard plucking
tannin: erroneous term referring to the astringent polyphenols of tea, unrelated to tannic acid polyphenols of other plants
tarry: tea taster's term for teas that have been fired over smoky flames, imparting a smoky flavor
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
tippy: teas with white or golden tips, indicating high quality
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.
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
white: a special type of green tea. Distinguished by the presence of the white hairs of the tea flush (baihao) and a lighter green, almost clear, infusion.
winey: mellow quality, 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

 (Source: www.tealand.com )