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Tea Tasting Glossary

Terms Describing Dry Leaf

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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B

Black
A black appearance is desirable preferably with 'bloom'.

Blackish
A satisfactory appearance for CTC type teas. Denotes careful sorting.

Bloom
A sign of good manufacture and sorting (where reduction of leaf has taken place before firing) a 'sheen' that has not been lost through over-handling or over-sorting.

Bold
Particles of leaf which are too large for the particular grade.

Brown
A brown appearance in CTC type teas that normally indicate overly harsh treatment of leaf.

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C

Chesty
Tea tainted by inferior or unseasoned packing materials.

Chunky
A very large broken-leaf tea.

Clean
Leaf that is free from fiber, dirt and all extraneous matter.

Crepy
Leaf with a crimped appearance common to larger grade broken-leaf teas such as BOP.

Curly
Leaf appearance of whole leaf grade teas such as OP, as distinct from 'wiry'.

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E

Even
Teas true to their grade, consisting of pieces of leaf of fairly even size.

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F

Flaky
Flat open pieces of leaf often light in texture.

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G

Grey
Caused by too much abrasion during sorting.

Grainy
Describes primary grades of well-made CTC teas such as Pekoe dust.

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L

Leafy
A tea in which the tea tends to be on the large or longish size.

Light
Tea light in weight, of poor density and sometimes flaky.

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M

Make
A term used to describe a tea manufacture. In tea-taster's terms a "make" means a well-made tea or not true to its grade.

Mushy
Tea that has been packed or stored with a high moisture content.

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N

Neat
A grade of tea having good ìmakeî and size.

Nose
Smell of the dry leaf.

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P

Powdery
Fine light dust as the tea people say meaning a very fine light leaf particle.

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R

Ragged
An uneven badly manufactured and graded tea.

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S

Stalk and Fiber
Bits of tea bush other than the leaf, which should be minimal in superior grades but are unavoidable in lower-grade teas.

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T

Tip
A sing of fine plucking apparent in top grades of tea.

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U

Uneven and Mixed
'Uneven' pieces of leaf particles indicating poor sorting and resulting in a tea not true to a particular grade.

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W

Well Twisted
Used to describe whole-leaf Orthodox tea grades, often referred to as well 'made' or 'rolled'.

Wiry
Leaf appearance of a well-twisted, thin, long leaf.


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Orlando, Florida 32814
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