Trade Site


Glossary & Definitions

Tea Glossary


Have you ever confused your Ceylon from your Bergamot? If so, this glossary is for you!


  • Anhui: A major tea producing province in China.
  • Antioxidant: A compound which retards oxidation.
  • Aroma: Also known as the nose, the odour of the brewed leaf and the resulting liquor.
  • Assam: A major tea growing region in India. These black teas are known for their strong malty flavour.
  • Astringency: The drying sensation (or bite) in the mouth caused by certain teas
  • Bergamot: A citrus oil derived from the bergamot orange used to flavour black tea to make Earl Grey tea.
  • Black Tea: Fully oxidized leaves of the Cameillia sinensis plant. Black teas are the most popular tea in the world and are also known as Red tea in China referring to the colour of the infusion in the cup.
  • Blend: Method to establish consistency between lots of teas.
  • Body: Tea tasters term to denote strength and viscosity of a brewed tea.
  • Caffeine: An alkaloid which acts as a Central Nervous System stimulant and diuretic.
  • Ceylon Tea: Tea from Sri Lanka
  • Chai: The word for tea on the Indian Subcontinent.
  • Chun Mee: A grade of tea with a curled form.
  • CTC: Acronym for Cut, Tear Curl. A machine process which cuts the withered leaves into uniform particles to facilitate a complete oxidation.
  • Darjeeling Tea: Tea grown in the Darjeeling Hills of India. These teas are reknowned for their muscatel flavour.
  • Dust: The smallest grade of tea, typically associated with lower quality. Dust is prized for its quick extraction and is commonly used in teabags.
  • Earl Grey: Any black tea blend flavoured with Bergomot oil/
  • Fannings: Small particles of tea one grade larger than Dust produced as a by product of the tea making process.
  • Fermentation: More properly termed- Oxidation. Describes the process of enzymic oxidation, where elements in the leaf react to create a darker brown  red colour and characteristic aroma to the resulting tea.
  • Firing: The process whereby the tea leaves are dried to arrest further enzymic changes. This makes the tea fit for packing and storing.
  • Formosa Teas: Tea produced in Taiwan, typically oolong teas.
  • Genmaicha: Green tea blended with roasted rice.
  • Golden: Refers to the orange coloured tips present in high quality black teas.
  • Green Tea: Un-oxidized, dried tea, mostly found in China and Japan
  • Gunpowder: A green tea rolled into tight pellets.
  • Hyson: A general term for Chinese Green Teas.
  • Jasmine: Green or Oolong tea scented with jasmine flowers.
  • Keemun: Chinese Black tea from Anhui Province.
  • Lapsang Souchong: Chinese black tea with a strong smoky characteristic imparted in the firing process.
  • Muscatel: A Muscat grape like taste associated with many Darjeeling teas.
  • Nose: Aroma of brewed tea.
  • Oolong: Derived from ‘Wu long’ the Chinese term for black dragon. A type of tea that is semi-oxidized resulting in a brew that is between a Green and a Black tea. These teas are renowned for their complex tastes and aromas.
  • Orange Pekoe: The larger leaves of the tea plant. Does not refer to the flavour characteristics of any tea.
  • Plucking: The process of harvesting and collecting tea leaves.
  • Polyphenols: Antioxidant compounds present in tea.
  • White: Similar to Green Tea. Identifiable by the presence of the white hairs on the leaf tips, and a light infusion.
Return to the Help homepage
Mastercard, Visa, Visa Electron, Delta, Switch and PayPal
© D.J.Miles & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. Privacy policy | Terms and conditions | Delivery and returns