The Tea Dictionary

The Tea Dictionary
August 10, 2018 Kuahbocheng

In the quest to become a true tea master, the following are some important tea terms for you learn in order to communicate aptly in the abstract language of tea:


Aroma: The smell or scent of the tea


Astringency: Tea that has a high level of astringency tends to exhibit this dry, puckering and pungent sensation on your tongue which is caused mainly by the tannins found in fruits such as bird cherry. Furthermore, astringency also produces some sort of bitterness in terms of taste.


Body: Body refers to the strength and level of fullness of the tea. In layman terms, a full-bodied tea has a strong flavor. Black teas are usually stronger in flavor as compared to white tea or green tea.


Biscuit: A well roasted and fired Assam tea will produce a pleasant biscuity aroma


Bright: A bright tea tends to reflect more light and is seen as “shiny”


Brisk: A brisk tea makes you remember what the tea tastes like because it comprises of a memorable and lively taste as compared to a tea with soft taste that does not have much flavor in it


Burnt: This is not a desirable trait in tea as it means that the tea had been overly-roasted


Character: What is the character of this tea? Also means what are the vital components of this tea? What makes this tea? Where does this tea come from? And what kind of flavor does it produce upon infusion?


Clean: A clean tea means that the tea is absent of any unpleasant traits and you cannot really tell the origin of the tea. However, this does not necessarily mean the tea is of good quality


Coppery: A beautiful tea liquor color that tea lovers often seek in teas


Contamination: Tea leaves that are contaminated by other unfavorable contents other than tea leaves


Earthy: People usually make references to green tea when they use the word “Earthy” because it means that the tea has this vegetal flavor to it


Finish: What is the final taste that continues to linger around your tongue after drinking the particular tea? That is the finish.


Flowery:  Floral flavor that is usually exhibited in high quality teas


Grassy: An undesirable term in green teas. Does anybody like to drink grass? Doubt so!


Light: In terms of appearance, a light tea does not have much color to it


Malty: A malty tea is said to be able to leave a memorable taste behind on your tongue.


Metallic: Another undesirable trait in tea- taste comparable to that of chewing a nail


Pungent: An optimal level of combination of briskness, brightness and astringency


Soft: A light flavor


Tired: Leaves are relatively stale and thus does not provide the desired flavor or aroma of the tea


Weedy: A hay-like taste