Glossary of Tea Terms

Common terms used to describe dry tea leaves and infused tea leaves.

Wiry

Dry leaves thin and well-twisted.

Tippy

Dry leaves with many golden tips or silver buds.

Flaky

Dry leaves that are flat and open.  

Musty

Dry leaves that have too much moisture form mold & release a musty aroma.

Stalky

Dry leaves with many stems.

Clean

Dry leaves of the same size and color with no stalks or leaf fiber pieces.

Irregular

Dry leaves with uneven leaves of size and color.

Aroma

The scent from the infused leaves.

Body

The weight of the infused liquor on the tongue. Such as, light, medium, heavy or full-bodied.

Coppery

The bright, copper colored infused leaf. This indicates a good quality tea.

Brassy

An unpleasant metallic flavor on the tongue.

Dull

The liquor from the infused leaf laking a bright infusion.  

Muscatel

Flavor reminiscent of wine grapes from the infused leaf. This characteristic is found in exceptional Darjeeling teas.

Character

A specific origin or style of tea. Makaibari teas display the unique traits of darjeeling tea. 

Bakey

The flavor caused by high temperature firing in the leaves.