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Afternoon Tea : Refers to a British meal taken in the mid-afternoon, comprising of sandwiches, scones, and pastries accompanied by tea. The 7th Duchess of Bed ford is believed to have started the traditional afternoon tea in the early 19th century.

Autumnal :  Teas harvested in autumn. The term is typically associated with teas from India and Formosa.

Assam :  A region in north-eastern India. It is currently the largest tea growing estate in the world.

Basket-fired : Japanese tea that has been cured in baskets by firing or drying.

Black tea : Tea that has been dried after the fermentation or Oxidation period of manufacture.

Blend : Tea taster who decides on the proportions of each different tea required to produce the flavour of a given blend.

Brick tea : Common grades of Chinese and Japanese tea mixed with stalk and dust and moulded into bricks under high pressure. Originally these bricks were used by Asian travellers as convenient way to transport the tea. Tea bricks were also used to barter for trade goods

Caddy : The name given to a tin or jar of tea, which takes its name from the Chinese or Malayan word ‘catty’- a term used to describe the weight of one pound of tea.

Camellia sinensis : Botanical name given to the tea bush.

Ceylon : Former name of Sri Lanka.

Cha : The word for tea derived from the Chinese language.

Chanoyu : Japanese tea ceremony or ritual.

Chest : Original tea packaging from plantation.  Normally made of wood and lined with metal foil.

Chunmee : Chinese green tea, said to resemble the shape of human eyebrows.

Cloning : Cuttings taken from old tea bushes which are allowed to root and then are planted to produce new tea bushes. Many tea bushes are grown from clones or cuttings taken from older bushes.

Congou : A general term used to describe all Chinese black teas regardless of the area in which they are grown and made.

Darjeeling : A province in Northern India that produces world renowned black teas.

Dimbula : A district in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) that produces full bodied black teas.

Earl Grey : A black tea treated with the oil of bergamot which gives the tea a scented aroma and taste.

Estate : A tea growing property that may include more than one garden under the same manger ship or ownership.

English breakfast Tea : A name for the tea blends which originally applied to China Congou tea in the United States. In Britain, it was associated with a blend of teas from India and Sri Lanka; today it is used to include blends of black teas producing a full-bodied strong flavored colorful tea regardless of origin.

Flush : Refers to the timing of the tea harvest. “First flush” is the early spring plucking of new shoots.  “Second flush” is harvested late spring through early summer, yielding more body and full flavour.  “Autumnal flush” is the late season harvest.

Grade : Term used to describe a tea leaf or particle size of leaf.

Green Tea : Tea that is withered immediately, and often steamed and/or fired before oxidation can begin.

Gunpowder : Normally a Chinese tea, but today could be any young tea which is rolled into smaller pellet size balled and then dried.

Gyokuro : A high grade Japanese tea a produced by a special process in the Uji district of japan. It is made from tea grown on shaded bushes which increase chlorophyll content.

Herbal Infusion : Often referred to as “herbal tea” or “herbal tisane”.  These teas are mixtures of herbs and do not contain any “tea” leaves.

High tea : The name given to a meal served late afternoon to early evening which is a mixture of afternoon tea and dinner.

Hyson : A type of Chinese green tea meaning “flourishing spring”.  Young Hyson is this type of tea which is plucked early.

Infusion : The process of extracting elements from tea, herbs, fruits or berries by submersing in boiling water.   This process is often used for obtaining medicinal properties from herbs.

Jat : Type of tea brush normally applied to its origin. For example a tea comes from the China or India
Jat: This means that the tea bushes originated either from seeds or cuttings from China tea plants or from the indigenous tea found in Assam, Kandy A city in Sri Lanka (formally Ceylon).

Keemum : A fine grade of black leaf China Congou tea produced in the Anhui province.

Lapsang Souchong :  A Chinese tea that is dried over smoking pine needles.

Matcha : Powdered green tea from Japan used in the Japanese tea ceremony.

Nuwarah Eliyah : A Ceylon tea, High Mountain grown at altitudes above 4000 ft sea level. The tea is light with full flavour.

Oolong Tea : Partially oxidized tea leaves produced in China and most often in Taiwan (formally called Formosa).

Pan-Fired : A kind of Japanese tea that is steamed then rolled in iron cauldrons over charcoal fires.

Pekoe Souchong : The third leaf from the tip.  Larger and more course than the newer shoots.

Pouchong : A kind of scented Chinese or Formosan tea derived from the Cantonese method of packing tea in smaller paper  packets each of which was supposed to be the product of one tea plant.

Pruning : Selectively cutting back of the tea brush, so that it maintains its shape and help increase yield.

Rooibos : Harvested in the wilds of South Africa.

Scented tea : Green semi fermented or black teas that have been flavored by adding flower petals, fruits spices and/or natural oils. Examples of these are Jasmine tea, Rose Puchong, Orange tea, Cinnamon tea or Earl Grey.

Semi-Fermented tea : Tea that has been partially oxidized before being fired and dried.  Most often referred to as Oolong tea, it has the qualities and appearance somewhere in between a green tea and a black tea.
Sencha: The most popular variety of green tea in Japan.

Single Estate Tea : A blend of teas from one particular estate, plantation, or garden.

Smoky tea : Black tea from China and Formosa that has been smoked over a wood fire such as Lapsang Souchong.

Specialty tea : A blend of teas that takes its name from the area in which it is grown; a blend of teas blended for a particular person or event or a blend of teas for a particular time of the day.

Souchong : A large leaf black tea. Originated in China, Souchong tea was made from a small bush whose leaves were allowed to develop to a large size.

Tannin : The name the tea industry uses for polyphenols contained in tea and is largely responsible for the pungency of some types of teas.

Tarry : The smoky aroma and taste associated with a smoked black tea such as Lapsang Souchong.

Tea Caddy : A term used to describe a container used for storing tea.  Often decorated with gold and fine jewels and kept under lock and key.

Tea tree : A tea bush or plant which has been allowed to return to its wild state and grow back into a tree.

Tea taster : An expert judge of leaf and cup quality tea at all stages of production, brokerage blending and final packaging.

Tip : Used to describe the ends of leaves on a tea bush.

Tippy Teas : Teas which contain a large portion of tips and denoted as TFOP or TGFOP for teas originating from India.

Tisane : Dried herbs or fruits are infused in water and often called “Herbal Tea”.  Because Tea leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant are not used, these beverages often do not contain caffeine.

Vintage : Used to describe teas from the same harvest at market.

White Tea : Rare teas of fine quality. White teas are known for their high antioxidant content and subtle flavor.

Yunnan : Yunnan Province is the most southwest region of China bordering the countries of Vietnam, Laos, and Burma

Yixing : Located near Shanghai, this city in Eastern China is world renowned for their clay teapots.