Tea World

Lesson 25

Tea Tasting Terminology

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Tea tasters have their own jargon. Here are a few examples:

Strength: The strength of the liquor is thickness and gives a good indication of the cuppage or the number of cups of tea that can be prepared from 1 kg. While orthodox teas could yield 300-400 cups per kg, CTC teas yield 400-500 cups and dust grades even more.

Briskness: Briskness is the liveliness in liquor and brisk teas have good keeping qualities.

Character: Character is the distinctive taste which depends upon the area in which the tea is grown e.g. Niligiri character or Darjeeling character.

Quality: Quality is aroma or the overall pleasant taste, which comes out during periods of slow-growth like winter quality of Nilgiris and other high-grown teas, second-flush quality of Darjeeling etc.

Flavour: Flavour (variably) described as peachy, raspberry, germalene, muscatel etc.  

On the other hand, there are also undesirable teas like smoky, burnt, stale, fruity (often caused by bacterial contamination during manufacture), heavy (thick but dull) and weathery (greenish, raw taste of some rainy season teas). Sometimes teas could be tainted with foreign substances like chemicals and sub standard packing materials.

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