SALE NO - 42 /2023-2024
SALE DATE: 2024-02-12


Tea Tasting Terminlogy

Tea Tasting Terminlogy

Taken from “The Book of TEA” – Antony Bugess

# Terms Describing Liquors
Bakey Over-fired liquor Tea in which too much moisture has been driven off
Body Liquor having both fullness and strength, as opposed to being thin
Bright Denotes a lively fresh tea with good keeping quality.
Brisk the most “live” characteristic. Results from good manufacture
Burnt Extreme over-firing
Character An attractive taste, specific to origin, describing teas grown at high altitudes
Coarse Describes harsh, undesirable liquor
Coloury Indicates useful depth of colour and strength
Cream A precipitate obtained after cooling
Dry Indicates slight over-firing.
Dull Not clear, and lacking any brightness or briskness
Earthy Normally caused by damp storage but also describes a taste that is sometimes “climatically inherent”
in teas from certain regions.
Flat Not fresh (usually due to age)
Flavour Most desirable extension of “character,” caused by slow growth at high elevations. Relatively rare
Fruity Can be due to over-fermentation and/or bacterial infection before firing. An overripe taste
Full good combination of strength and colour.
Gone off A flat or old tea, Often denotes high moisture content
Green An immature, “raw” character. Often due to under fermentation (Sometimes under withering)
Harsh A taste generally due to under withered leaf, Very rough
High-Fried Over-fired but not bakey or burnt
Lacking Describes neutral liquor, No body or pronounced characteristics
Light Lacking strength and depth of colour
Malty A full, bright tea with a taste of malt
Mature not bitter or flat
Metallic A sharp Metallic taste
Musty Suspicion of mold
Plain A liquor that is “clean” but lacking in desirable characteristics.
Pungent Astringent with a good combination of briskness, brightness and strength
Quality Refers to “cup quality” and denotes a combination of the most desirable liquoring qualities.
Raw A bitter, unpleasant flavor
Soft The opposite of briskness, Lacking any “live” characteristic, Caused by inefficient fermentation and/or firing
Strength Substance in cup
Taint Characteristic or taste that is foreign to tea, such as oil, garlic, etc. Often due to being stored next to other commodities with strong characteristics of their own.
Thick Liquor with good colour and strength
Thin Insipid light liquor that lacks desirable characteristics
# Terms Describing Infused Leaf
Bright A lively bright appearance, usually indicates bright liquors
Coppery Bright leaf that indicates a well-manufactured tea
Dull Lacks brightness and usually denotes poor tea. Can be due to faulty manufacture and firing, or high moisture content
# Terms Describing Dry Leaf
Black A black appearance is desirable.
Blackish A satisfactory appearance for CTC
Bloom A sign of good manufacture and sorting is that the leaves have a bloom or sheen, which has not been removed by over handling or sorting.
Bold Particles of leaf, which are too large for the particular grade
Brown A brown appearance in teas that normally indicates overly harsh treatment of the leaf
Clean Leaf that is free from fiber, dust and all extraneous matter
Even True to the grade, consisting of pieces of leaf of fairly even size
Flaky Flat, open and often light in texture
Gray Caused by too much abrasion during sorting
Grainy describes primary grades of well-made CTC teas such as Pekoe Dust
Leafy a tea in which leaves tend to be on the large or long side.
Light A tea light in weight, of poor density. Sometimes flaky
Make Well-made tea (or not), true to its grade
Musty a tea affected by mildew
Neat A grade having good “make” and size
Nose The smell of the dry leaf. Different teas have different smell according to the type of soil in which they are grown and the altitude and climatic conditions of the region, which they are grown
Powdery Fine light dust.
Stalk & Fibre should be minimal in superior grades, but is generally unavoidable in lower-grade teas
Uneven “Uneven” pieces of leaf (mixed) usually indicative of poor sorting and not true to the particular grade - cheap advertising