the A-Z

Tea encyclopedia


Assam: Region in northeastern India, located on both sides of the Brahmaputra River, considered the largest tea-growing region in the world.

Assam Hybrid: An aromatic and robust tea variety created by crossing Thea sinensis and Thea assamica. Most tea plantations grow their bushes based on Assam hybrids.

Essential oils: they make up the typical smell of each plant and give the tea its characteristic aroma.

Storage: Tea should be stored dry and preferably dark and odorless - so it retains its aroma. Without any problems you can store your Darjeeling of tea campaign in the package and simply close it with a clip.

Autumnal Tea: tea from the autumn harvest in Darjeeling and Assam. Bakey: "baked"; tea whose aroma is reminiscent of the scent of freshly baked bread.


Basket-fired: Japanese tea roasted (fired) in baskets over a fire.

Organic tea: Tea that has been produced according to the specifications of organic farming and meets at least the guidelines of the EC Organic Regulation or the specifications of an organic farming association, e.g. Naturland.

Black Tea: Black, that is fermented, tea.

Batt-Grade: There are four different leaf grades: Leaf Tea, Broken, Fannings and Dust.

Leaf tea: tea that consists of uncrushed leaves. Simple rule of thumb: the more letters - the finer the quality.

Blend: "mixture" of different tea varieties and / or different tea plantations.

Body: tea that gives a "strong cup", that is, a strongly fragrant tea of dark, reddish color.

B.O.P.: Abbreviation for Broken Orange Pekoe; Strong black tea with crushed leaf.

B.P.: Abbreviation for Broken Pekoe; black tea from less fine plucking than the B.O.P..

Boston Tea Party: In protest against the levying of tea taxes, colonists dressed as Indians threw a shipload of tea into Boston Harbor in 1773.

Bread and Butter Tea: see Rain Tea.

Brisk: A "living" tea with a fresh taste.

Broken: Crushed tea that provides a strong infusion.

Broken Pekoe: s. B.P. Broken Orange Pekoe: s. B.O.P. Camellia sinensis: generic name of the tea plant, an evergreen shrub that can grow 10 to 15 meters tall under natural conditions. In cultures, the tea bush is cut bush-like and has a height of about 1 meter.


Ceylon: tea-growing region on the island of Sri Lanka.

Ceylon tea: teas from what is now Sri Lanka, the second largest tea-growing region in the world.

Cha-no-yu: Japanese tea ritual in which whipped powdered tea (matcha) is drunk.

Ch'a Shu: Manual for tea preparation from the time of the Ming Dynasty in China (14th-17th centuries). The book takes the individual breath as a measure of time for the preparation of green tea.

Chest: Plywood box lined with foil and shod with metal to ship the tea.

Chinese tea: In China, tea is grown in 14 provinces, including Anhui, Szechuan and Yunnan. The term "Chinese tea" usually stands for green tea.

Clean: "Clean" tea without any aftertaste.

Clipper: Maneuverable sailing ships that were used to transport tea from China to London, and which in the 19th century were the subject of real races.

Caffeine (caffeine): Alkaloid with a stimulating effect. Depending on the season of harvest and positioning of the tea leaf on the bush, the caffeine content varies. The type of tea and the brewing method also affect the amount of caffeine. Compared to coffee, tea contains less caffeine. Depending on the study, one assumes 18 to 75 mg caffeine/125ml tea.

Crop: "harvest"; yield of an area under tea.

CTC: Abbreviation for Crushing, Tearing, Curling; mechanized method of tea production used primarily in the production of teas for infusion bags.

Cup: Professional tea testers refer to the cup when evaluating the taste of a tea.

Cutter: Mechanical tea cutter that crushes the tea leaves.


Darjeeling: city in northern India on the border with Nepal; tea-growing region on the southern slopes of the Himalayas; yields top teas of excellent flavor.

Dhool: Depending on whether the tea leaves are rolled once, twice or three times (see rolling), one speaks of the first, second or third dhool.

Dimbula: name of one of the first tea plantations established in Ceylon and of a tea variety.

Dooars: growing region in northern India, between Assam and Darjeeling.

Dull: tea that tastes "dull".

Dust: Smallest leaf size; the tea leaves are finely crushed and sieved.


Earl Grey: Black tea flavored with bergamot oil.

Early Morning Tea: Tea drunk in the morning, before getting up.

East India Company: British trading company based in London that held a monopoly on the tea trade with China from 1600 to 1833.

Iced tea: soft drink.

English Blend: Blend of Assam, Darjeeling and Ceylon tea.


F.: Abbreviation for flowery; tea made from the youngest leaves of the shrub.

Fannings: Second finest leaf grade, coarser than Dust and smaller than Broken. Fannings is mainly used for tea bags because of the strong infusion.

F.B.O.P.: Abbreviation for Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe.

Fermentation: oxidation process used to produce black tea; green tea is unfermented.

Fine Plucking: "Fine plucking" in which only two leaves and a bud are harvested.

First crop: "First plucking" of the young tea bushes, which provides the best quality.

First Flush: The first picking after the winter break, from the end of February to the end of April, depending on the weather.

Flat: A - in contrast to brisk tea - rather bland tasting tea.

Flavonoids: plant substances that give the plant its typical color and with which it protects itself from pathogens and harmful influences. They are considered to have an antioxidant, cell-protective effect, i.e. they play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders.

Flavour (Flavor): Aroma and fragrance of the tea

Flush: the young shoot on the tea bush with leaf bud and the two youngest leaves (two leaves and a bud).

F.O.P.: Abbreviation for Flowery Orange Pekoe; tea picked when the shoots are in bloom; produces a high quality tea with an aromatic, bright infusion.

F.P.: Abbreviation for Flowery Pekoe; Black tea from fine plucking, whose leaves are rolled into balls.

F.T.G.F.O.P.: Abbreviation for Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe; one of the most exquisite and expensive tea qualities with a high percentage of leaf tips and buds. Many of the tea specialties at Sir Harly's Tea are FTGFOP1 or even SFTGFOP 1 where the 1 denotes the premium quality of the leaves, i.e. the best of the best.

Full: tea that is strong in flavor, but not bitter.


Garden tea: Unblended tea that comes from a single garden and is traded with an indication of its origin.

G.B.O.P.: Abbreviation for Golden Broken Orange Pekoe. High quality broken tea with golden tips, leaf tips.

Tannic acid (tannin): Component of the tea, which is less in the tips and more in the leaves. Has a calming effect on the digestive tract.

G.F.O.P.: Abbreviation for Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe. High quality leaf tea with golden tips, leaf tips.

Golden: Tea that contains light tips fermented shorter time.

Golden Tips: Young leaf tips - whitish color, with little tannic acid.

Grade: Tea grades are distinguished according to the size and type of leaves.

Green tea: Unfermented tea that has a higher tannin content than black tea. Due to its high flavonoids and other bioactive substances, it provides cell protection, protects against vascular changes, positively influences metabolism and has a blood pressure lowering effect.

Gunpowder: "gunpowder"; an unfermented, i.e. green, tea rolled into balls.


Trading Companies: The tea trade was dominated for centuries by two trading companies, the British East India Company (founded in 1600) and the Dutch East India Company (founded in 1602).

Hardness: The hardness of the water plays a major role in the preparation of the tea. The softer the water, the better.

High grown: Designation for highland teas, i.e. teas that grow at altitudes above 1300 m.

High Tea: Highlight of the English everyday life with tea and pastries. India: Largest tea producer. The best known are the tea-growing regions of Darjeeling and Assam.


Infusion: This is what tea testers call the tea leaves of the infusion that remain after straining. A bright color is usually a guarantee of a high quality tea.


Japan: home country of the tea ceremony, where green tea is preferably produced and drunk. Gyokuro (shade tea) from the Uji growing region is considered the highest quality green tea.

Jasmine Tea: Chinese green tea infused with jasmine flowers. This form of flavoring has existed for about 1000 years.


Imperial plucking: use only the bud and the first leaf for tea. In ancient China, tea for the imperial court could only be harvested from virgins. The buds were cut with golden scissors and collected in golden baskets.

Candy: Coarse crystalline sugar that tea connoisseurs often prefer to refined sugar.

Caravan tea: tea that was transported on camels from China through Inner Asia and traded via Russia.

kbA: Abbreviation for controlled organic cultivation. Organic foods that meet the guidelines of the EC Organic Regulation may bear the hexagonal German organic seal.

Caffeine: Alkaloid contained in coffee and tea that has a stimulating effect.


Leaf (~style): When tea testers evaluate dry tea leaves, they simply speak of the leaf. The tea leaves are judged in terms of their appearance, uniformity, coloration and odor.

Light: Black tea that tastes "light", that is, neither full nor strong.

Liquor: Professional tea testers use this term to describe the infusion, which is judged in terms of its color.

Low grown: designation for tea that grows at lower altitudes than high grown. In general, the higher the altitude, the more noble the tea.

LTP: Abbreviation for "Lawrie Tea Processor", a machine named after its inventor, in which the tea leaves are finely cut.


Malty: "malty"; a positive characteristic of tea.

Matcha: Japanese green powder tea that is stirred with hot water using a bamboo whisk and served in the Japanese tea ceremony.

Medium grown: Tee, der in Lagen zwischen 650 m und 1300 m über dem Meeresspiegel wächst.


Natural Leaf: Naturally left tea leaf that has not been cut or rolled.


O.P.: Abbreviation for Orange Pekoe; denotes the simplest leaf quality, i.e. long leaves without tips. The O can be traced back to the Dutch oranje for royal and has nothing to do with orange fruit.


Pekoe: Pekoe is the anglicized form of the Chinese term for white hair, because the fine white hairs of the young shoots can be seen on the underside of young tea leaves.

Pekoe Souchong: Tea obtained from the coarse plucking, that is, the fourth to sixth leaf.

Picking: The harvest of the tea. The younger the leaves picked, the higher the quality.

Polyphenols: Belong to the most important components of tea leaves in terms of quantity. Within polyphenols, 6500 different compounds are known, which in turn are subdivided into larger groups. Catechins (including epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG for short) form the largest group and account for up to 30 percent of the dry leaf substance in young tea leaves.


Rain tea: Tea harvested during the monsoon.

Rolling: Rolling; process by which tea leaves are rolled in a stick or ball shape.

Russian tea: (1) Caravan tea from China, transported to Europe via Russia until the opening of the Suez Canal (1869).

(2) Tea produced in Russia, mainly in Grusinia and Georgia.


Samovar: device for preparing the tea, used since the 18th century, especially in Russia, Turkey and Iran.

Black tea: Fermented tea.

Second Flush: The second picking in the course of a growing season.

Sorting: At the end of production, the tea is sorted into grades according to the size of the tea leaves. A distinction is made between leafy grades and broken grades. The English-Indian, New Indian, Chinese, and modern scales differ in the naming of the degrees.

Sri Lanka: present name of the former Ceylon.

Stalks: leaf veins and petioles.


Tea Taster: Tea tasters that also compose the blends as tea blenders.

Tea blends: Compositions of different types of tea.

Tea School: Japanese institutions where specially trained tea masters teach the art of tea ceremony.

Tea ceremony: Japanese art of tea preparation.

T.G.F.B.O.P.: Abbreviation for Tippy Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe. Top grade with Darjeeling Broken tea.

T.G.F.O.P.: Abbreviation for Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe. Top grade in Darjeeling leaf tea.

Thea assamica: Assam tea plant, which is now also planted outside Assam and as a hybrid (Assam hybrid). It has wider leaves than the Chinese tea plant.

Thea sinensis: Chinese tea plant; originally native to China, but now grown elsewhere.

Teein (theine): Caffeine in tea was initially erroneously assumed to be a different substance, since caffeine is released differently in coffee and in tea. The caffeine from coffee acts immediately, while the caffeine from tea is bound to polyphenols and is released only slowly, but lasts longer in its effect Tea stimulates, but does not excite.

Tip: "tip"; the involucre of the leaf bud, which is covered with fine hairs.

Tired: A "tired" tea that has been stored for a long time or comes from spent bushes.

Drying: Firing; roasting of black tea, which used to be done in pans over an open fire.

Twining: Thomas Twining, the founder of the oldest British tea dynasty, served tea in his London coffee house from 1706. Two leaves and the bud: "two leaves and the bud"; the young shoot on the tea bush with bud and the two youngest leaves.


Urasenke: Japanese tea school.


Water hardness: The softer the water, the better the tea. Spring water or drinking water with a hardness level of up to 7 is ideal. Commercially available water filters soften and dechlorinate the water, but must be cleaned regularly.

White tea: White tea owes its name to the silvery, silk-like down surrounding the tea buds. Only the unopened leaf buds of the tea bush are used for this tea, which is only briefly anfermented. The preparation should be the same as for green tea.

Withering: Withering; first production step after picking, during which the leaf loses moisture and shrinks.


Zen: Doctrine of Buddhist meditation, founded in the 7th century A.D. in China. Brick tea: tea pressed into brick shape with the help of rice water. Once common because of its good transportability, now found only in Tibet and Mongolia.