Glossary

Tea terms you might come across explained

A

Agari – means ‘tea powder’, tea dust leftover from gyokuro and sencha production, which is sold as Konacha tea

B
Bergamot – a citrus fruit that grows mainly in Italy, from which bergamot oil for Earl Grey is produced
Blend – a combination of different types or variations of tea
Blooming tea– tea leaves hand-tied into a ball shape which during infusion open up and oftern reveal a flower
Boba tea – look ‘Bubble tea’
Bombilla– aka. Bomba, a metal straw with a filter at one end used for consumption of mate [more]
Bubble tea– aka. Boba tea, a tea drink that originated in Taiwan with fruit-flavored or milk teas and chewy tapioca pearls

C
Cambric tea – drink made of hot water, milk and sugar, with a small amount of tea, often served to children
Camellia Sinensis – Latin name for the tea plant/tea bush
Canton tea – tea shipped to Europe by sea in the 19th century, from Canton, passed India and round Africa, the 4 month journey resulted in a significant quality loss of the tea, therefor less valued then Caravan tea
Caravan tea
– tea shipped to Europe by land in the 19th century, through Siberia or Middle Asia and Russia, the journey took about one year and the transported tea was highly valued in comparison to Canton tea because it retained more flavor and better quality
Carcade tea – a tisane infusion made of hibiscus flowers and sugar, popular drink in Egypt
Chaji – a formal Japanese Tea Ceremony that involves serving of a full-course meal, confections, strong tea and mild tea, this type of ceremony may last up to four hours
Chakai –
a simple Japanese Tea Ceremony, a less formal tea gathering which involves serving of mild tea, confections and a light meal
Chanoyu
– name for the Japanese Tea Ceremony, it literally means ‘hot water for tea’, the Ceremony consists of presentation and preparation of matcha in a form of a ritual
Chasen
– a matcha whisk made of bamboo, used to prepare the powdered tea
Chawan – a bowl used for preparing and drinking Matcha in the Japanese Tea Ceremony, more specifically referred to as Matcha Chawan
CTC – tea process that uses the method of crush, tear, curl, resulting in low quality tea [more]

D
Doodh Pati Chai –  a type of Chai tea that contains a lot of milk mixed with sugar, drunk commonly in Pakistan and India

E
Earl Grey – a classic English black tea blended with bergamot oil
Estate – a property that is used for growing tea, that may include many tea gardens/plantations under the same ownership or management
English Breakfast – a name that applies to a blend of black teas from India and Sri Lanka, one of the English classic blends

F
Fannings
– small particles of tea left over after sifting out the better quality tea, mostly used for production of bagged tea

G
Gaiwan – a Chinese lidded bowl used for infusion and consumption of tea
Genmaicha – green tea with roasted brown rice [more]
Gyokuro– tea shaded from the sun, by using bamboo screens, has an intense deep-green color and is one of the most expensive senchas available in Japan [more]

H
Hong Kong-style tea – tea beverage that consists of black tea, evaporated milk and sugar popular in Hong Kong [more]

I
Ice tea
– chilled tea with flavored fruit syrup (e.g lemon, peach) and sugar, served with ice

K
Kabuse-cha
– (aka. shaded sencha, kabuse sencha) Japanese tea, which is grown in a semi-shaded environment prior to harvest, has a characteristic, intense deep-green color and is produced in small quantities. Kabuse-cha is not shaded for as long as Gyokuro) [more]
Koicha – a type of matcha made from the first harvest of tea plants that are min 30 years old, this term translated to ‘thick’and this tea is referred to as strong, because during Chanoyu it is prepared with less water then usucha, it also has a sweeter and mellower flavor [more]
Kombucha
– sweetened tea or tisane that has been fermented using microorganisms called a “komucha colony”
Ku Ding Cha– bitter Chinese herbal tea (from a non-camellia Sinensis plant), twisted in the shape of spikes or nails

L
London Fog – a tea drink or tea latte with Earl Grey tea, steamed milk and vanilla syrup

M
Manchester Fog – a variation of London Fog tea drink with soy milk instead of regular milk, sugar-free vanilla syrup and Earl Grey tea
Masala chai– aka. chai, strong black Indian tea, with spices, added milk and honey
Matcha – Japanese green powdered tea, used especially in the Japanese Tea Ceremony [more]
Matcha-iri Genmaicha– a bland of green powdered Matcha and Genmaicha [more]
Mate – a tea beverage made of dried yerba mate plant leaves, the national drink of Argentina and several other Latin American contries, it contains no camellia sinesis leaves [more]

O
Oolong tea
– aka. Wu-long tea, a whole-leaf type of tea with longer oxidation period, graded between green and black tea [more]
Orthodox tea – it’s tea made of the two top leaves of each plant, producing the best quality tea

P
Popcorn tea
– colloquial name for Genmaicha [more]

S
SCOBY– acronym for “Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast”, a culture that contains acetic acid bacteria and yeast used to make Kombucha, it looks like a mushroom or fungus in the shape of a pancake
Shaded sencha – look ‘Kabuse-cha’
Single Estate Tea – a blend of teas from one particular estate or garden

T
Tetsubin – Japanese cast iron teapot with a handle over the top, also used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony
Tip – the youngest tea leaves found on top of the tea bush, also referred to as buds, because the rolled up shape of the leaves
Tisane
– herbal tea, tea that does not contain any tea plant leaves, but is a mix of herbs, flowers, fruits or spices  [more]

U
Usucha – a type of matcha made from leaves of tea plants that are less then 30 years old, this term translates to ‘thin’ and this tea is referred to as mild, during Chanoyu this tea is brewed with more water then koicha [more]

W
Wagashi – traditional, Japanese confectionery often served with tea, made of natural ingredients like mochi, bean paste and fruits

Withering – first step in the tea production process, when the fresh tea leaves are being withered to reduce their moisture content
Wu-long tea – look ‘Oolong tea’

Y
Yerba Mate
– “mate herb”, a plant native to South America, of which the leaves are used for making mate tea [more]
Yuanyang– sometimes called Ying Yong or “Mandarin Duck” is a mixture of coffee and Hong Kong-style milk tea popular in Hong Kong restaurants and food vendors

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