Are You A Tea Geek?

Posted by Dani Noto on

Uptown Tea Shop - Premium Loose Leaf Teas and Accessories

The previous article about my Organic First Flush Darjeeling had lots of information about this incredible tea. It was a bit more on the serious side, so I thought I'd lighten things up in this article.

I will freely admit that I've officially morphed into a tea geek. I never aspired to this; it just happened...and I'm so glad it did. I realized I know a lot about tea and tea terms that most people don't — as I should, owning a tea store, right? I thought I'd share some of them so you can join me and claim the desirable and fashionable label of tea geek too.

  • Assam: A black tea grown in the Northeast section of India.
  • Bakey: An unpleasant taste when teas have been subjected to higher than desirable temperatures during processing. Think overcooked.
  • Biscuity: I like biscuits, don't you? This is a desirable trait, usually referring to a great-tasting Assam.
  • Blend: A mixture of teas from several different regions or countries that are combined to create a particular flavor profile.
  • Body: This describes a tea's fullness and strength when tasted.
  • Broken Orange Pekoe: A common tea name (BOP for short) referring to the size of the tea leaf comprising the smaller leaves and tips.
  • Dust: A term used to describe the smallest particles of tea leaf. These are not good to drink.
  • Earthy: An unfavorable characteristic caused by storing tea under damp conditions.
  • Estate: A term used to describe a garden or plantation where tea is grown.
  • Fannings: A small size of tea leaf, larger than dust but smaller than BOP. These can be used in commercial tea bags.
  • Fermentation: This term is used to describe the natural chemical process that takes place in the tea leaf after withering and rolling.
  • Flowery Orange Pekoe: A leaf size larger and usually more open than an Orange Pekoe (OP) grade. The common nickname is FOP.
  • Golden Tip: This occurs when the tea leaf buds turn golden during processing.
  • Gunpowder: Nope, this has nothing to do with firearms but is a type of Green tea, which has been rolled into pellets.
  • Muddy: If your tea is dull or lifeless, it's muddy.
  • Nose: This term refers to the aroma of tea you can smell.
  • Orange Pekoe: Is used to identify a large leaf size and is given the nickname OP.
  • Organoleptic: A fancy word for tea tasters to evaluate the quality of a tea using all their senses.
  • Sencha: The most common green tea in Japan. Sencha tea leaves are first steamed and then flattened.
  • Standing up: A tea that holds its original color and flavor is described as stand up.
  • Tannin: The type of chemicals found in tea that are thought to be responsible for a tea's health benefits. They contribute heavily to the taste and pungent characteristics of tea.
  • Tisane: Another name that describes an herbal infusion.
  • Well twisted: A tea leaf tightly rolled or twisted, indicating good withering.

I could go on and on with all kinds of fun tea names and terms. I hope you've enjoyed learning some of these terms and will join me in the proud club of tea geeks.

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