tea taster, vocabulary, terminology, tea
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Reprinted by permission from The Tea Companion: A Connoisseur's Guide by Jane Pettigrew, Running Press, $18.95 U.S.  ©2004   This is copyrighted property and may not be re-printed or used in any manner without proper authority from the publisher.  

  

 

TEA TASTERS VOCABULARY

Tea Tasters' Vocabulary

©2004 The Tea Companion: A Connoisseur's Guide by Jane Pettigrew, Running Press

Tasters and blenders have a vocabulary of some hundred words to describe appearance and flavor.  The most common are:

 

body a tea with body has a strong liquor not a thin, weak one

 

bold big pieces of leaf

 

brassy refers to a liquor with a bitter taste

 

bright a bright liquor; not dull in appearance

 

brisk a lively taste, a well-fermented, well-fired tea

 

choppy leaf that has been chopped in a breaker or cutter rather than rolled

 

coarse a liquor that has strength but poor quality

 

colory special category teas with good colored liquor

 

dull the opposite of bright, and not a desirable quality

 

even leaf pieces of roughly the same size

 

flaky leaf that is in flakes rather than twisted pieces

 

flat a tea that has gone off, has too much moisture

 

flavory with a distinctive taste

 

grainy denotes well-made fannings or dusts

 

gray gray-colored leaf resulting from over-cutting or because the desirable coating of juices on the leaf has been rubbed off due to over-handling during the sifting stage

greenish an infusion with a bright green color; not desirable, due to under-rolling or under-fermentation

 

harsh a bitter, raw taste with little strength

 

irregular  uneven-size pieces of leaf

 

malty with a hint of malt, found in well-made teas

 

mellow the opposite of greenish, harsh, etc.

 

point leaf with desirable briskness

 

plain lacking in desirable qualities

 

pungent astringent without being bitter

 

ragged uneven and irregular pieces of leaf

 

smooth with a pleasant, rounded taste

 

tainted unpleasant flavor caused by chemicals used in cultivation, or by damp conditions, or by pollution during transportation, etc.

 

thin a tea with little strength due to hard withering, under-rolling, or too high a temperature during rolling

 

tip the very end of the delicate young buds that give golden flecks to the processed leaf

 

wiry well-twisted leaf, as opposed to open pieces

 

 

 

 

 


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