Tea Tasting Terms



Choppy » Tea particle which has cylinder shape, commonly happen because of to much pressing by cutter machine.
Flaky open » Tea which is not curly but a flat/opened sheet. Caused by bad withering or came from old leaf. The opposite is curly or well twisted.
Curly » The shape of tea leaf which dry out well.
Grainy » Tea particle which has bead shapes. Usually used for fanning and dust.
Leafy » Tea particle consists of leaf sheet which is curled properly.
Powder » Tea particle which similar with flour.
Wiry » Is a term used for OP type that milled well so that the shape like wire and come from young veins of a leaf. The opposite is open.
Dusty » Tea which contents small particles like dust.
Ragged » Tea which has imperfect grade. The particle is not similar.
Shelly » Tea with the particle shapes like shell house.
Creppy » Tea which has wrinkled particles.
Ease » Light tea particle (like BT).
Clean/Neat » A kind of clean tea, not mixed by other type of tea.
Make » An indicator whether the tea has processed well both grade and the appearance.
Well made » Tea which is produced correctly, so it has a good grade.
Well twisted » Tea which has curled well particle.
Nose » Smell/aroma which comes from dry tea.
Golden tip » Tip which has golden colour.
Silver tip » Tip which has silver colour.
Stylish » Dry tea that has good appearance.
Adhesive » Tea which is curled well especially OP and when it lifted, one particle with others is bonded.
Aroma » An interesting smell of dry tea.
Fine » Tea which has good appearance.
Attractive » Tea which has very attractive appearance
Knobbly » Tea which has knob particles (Souchon, BPS), as an indicator of a good tea in its processing.
Shotty » Tea particles curled well, particularly for f. Pf type.


Bold » Tea has bigger size than its sorting standard.
Normal » Tea which has the same size with the sorting standard.
Smaller in size » Tea that smaller than the sorting standard.


Even/ Regullar » The uniform tea and suitable with the sorting, which contents the same size.
Irregullar » Tea which has uneven size.
Ragged » Tea which is not well sorted, the size and colour are not similar.
Mixed » Tea which contents many kind of size.


Tippy » Tea that contents many tips.
Some tips » Tea that contents some tips.
Few tips » Tea that contents a few tips


Golden tip » Tea which has a golden colour tip.
Silver tip » Tea which has a silver tip.


Blackish » Tea which has a blackish colour shows good quality of tea. The good particle and processing are produced blackish colour of tea.
Brownish » Tea which has brownish colour shows an error while withering, milling, too many pressed in sorting, and a high level land tea could be brownish sometime.
Greyish » Tea which has unwanted greyish colour, because too many pressed or handling in sorting.
Reddish » Tea which colour is reddish because it is content of many leaf veins.


Stalky » Tea which contents many red leaf veins. Stalky occurs because of rough picking and bad sorting.
Some stalks » Tea which content some leaf veins.
A few stalks » Tea which content a few leaf veins.
Fibrous » Tea which content many fibres.
A fiew fibres » Tea which contents a few fibres.
Some fibres » Tea which content some fibres



Bright » Infusion which has bright red. The opposite is the dull. The infusion is bright when processing is good, perfect fermentation.
Coloury » Infusion which has bright red colour and live. Water colour of infusion can be older (dark) when the grinding and withering were too strong, and overfermented.
Cream » Sediment arises when concentrated infusion cooled and in general is signed by the muddy colour. This creaming down is an indication that the tea is processed well.
Light » Infusion which has pale colour, but not similar with thin. A pale colour of infusion is not always bad. Some of the good high land teas are sometimes have the light infusion. It can also caused by the bud leaves older birds, may also caused by errors in processing, for example, less fading, less milling and a short fermentation time.
Very bright » The colour of infusion is very bright.
Fairly bright » The colour of infusion is fairly bright.
Body » The colour of infusion is bright colour and has the impression of life (live).
Thicknes » The colour of infusion is thick red.
Bright red » The colour of infusion is bright red.
Oranges » The colour of infusion is bright, generally comes from the high plains.
Slight brown » Infusion which has brown colour.
Red colour » Infusion which has red colour.
Juicy » Infusion which is generally good.
Yellow bright » Infusion which has yellowish colour.
Sweet » Infusion which has clear coloured on the less good quality of tea.
Thin » A thin infusion colour.
Dull = dark » The opposite is bright. The infusion such as this water colour is not desired. The cause is bacterial infection or too hot in withering and the fermentation is too long.


Quality » Infusion which has a very good taste. Often used in tea that truly fulfils consumer desire.
Brisk = point » Fresh infusion, precisely fermented and drained. The opposite is soft.
Body = Thick » Thick and strong infusion. The opposite is the aqueous infusion.


Pungency » Infusion which has sour taste but not quite bitter. It means that the tea can be a point. A seasonal nature that may damaged by fermentation and withering which taken too long.
Flavoury » Infusion that shows a strong aroma of plateau tea, generally a tea which produced in the dry season.
Brassy » Infusion which has bitter taste. Generally because of less swift leafs and too much old leafs.
Mature » Infusion which has delicious taste from the tea which has continued fermentation process during storage.
Character » Infusion that has a taste, quality and aroma.
Mellow » A mature infusion but slightly darker colour and the colour of pulp is quite old. The opposite is harsh= rasping = raw.
Good strength » Taste of the infusion that has very strong pungent.
Fair strength » Taste of the infusion which has quite strong pungent.
Smooth » The infusion which has a soft taste.
Hight fired » Taste of the infusion is very firy due to the overdried.
Tarry » The infusion has a taste like burnt tobacco.
Weedy » Taste like weed/grass.
Muddy » The infusion that has dark colour caused by over fermented.
Baggy » Untasty infusion due to the storage in sack.
Papery » Rasa bau kertas akibat teh tersebut dibungkus dengan kantong kertas/ karton.
Hungry » Tea which has low character.
Chesty » Infusion that has smell of resin caused by the new coppice from a trunk.
Choppy » A bright liqour and creamy colour (Indian tea/Assam)
Soggy » Colour of the infusion which is not preferred, heavy.
Stale » Undelightful taste caused of bad storage.
Woody » Less flavour, which occurrs in the last of spring harvest (sub tropic).
Mushy » Taste of the infusion which is not strong, lack of brisk and less bright.
Flavoury » Typical aroma taste (smells good, flowery/fruity by particular region, usually highland tea).
Some flavour » Typical aroma from certain plantation.
Nose » The aroma which comes from smell of infusion/pulp.
Some brisk » The taste is quite fresh.
Roundness/full » Complete taste such as strength, aroma and flavour.
Mellow » The opposite of harsh, rasp and greenish.
Weathery » Taste of infusion that has less tasty caused by the rainy season.
Autumnal » The tastiest tea at certain season.


Bisquity » Typical taste of Indian Assam tea.
Bouquet » Taste of the tea which has a very bold flavour.
Rich » Has same meaning with Roundness/full.
Winey » Over fermented wine flavour.
Body fullnes » Taste of complete infusion with creamy liquor.


Greenish » Unripe taste caused by under fermented.
Plain » Infusion is lack of brisk and flavour quality. It still has a strenght sometime. It is because of the season changing, rapid growth, or the processing is not good enough.
Thin » Infusion which has weak flavour (no strength). It is because of the leaf is too faded, weakness in milling or the milling is not long enough, over fermented. The opposite is thick.
Stewed » Infusion with lack of aroma, less smells of tea, with undesirable quality. It is because of continued fermentation in dryer with low temperature. The opposite of the process is resulting case hardening, the infusion generally tastes fusty.
Washy/weak » Very thin infusion, less sharp taste
Soft » Unpoint/ unbrisk infusion. Although less of brisk, but not as bad as flat. It is because of over fermentation and high water content.
Weathery » Infusion that has a soft taste and this often happens in the rainy season which is very wet.
Flat = gone off » Infusion that has very plain taste, no freshness. The opposite is brisk. This is generally because of too long in storage outside with humid air. Coarse » Infusion that has strength in flavour but not reach the quality. low land tea generally has this taste.
Hars=raw=rasping » Infusion that has unripe taste, it is one level under greenish.
Sweaty » Tasteless infusion. The causes is uncertainly known, maybe because it tainted or overdrying, then the tea stacked in when it still hot without refrigerated first.
Greenish » Unripe and sharp infusion,. It is because of too long in milling, less withering, and over fermentation.
Bitter » Bitter taste infusion, but not sharp.
Tainted » Untasty infusion caused of additive smell from outside. It may happen because of contamination by other material.
Dry » Infusion that tastes dry, due to the high temperature in the dryer.
Over fired » Infusion that has one level taste above dry.
Smoky » Infusion that has
Bakey » Infusion taste like a burnt organic object, caused by high temperature in drying.
Burnt » Infusion taste like a burnt organic object, stonger taste level than bakey.
Malty » Infusion that has a low sour taste
Fruity » Infusion has a quite sour taste (an anomaly or defect in the tea). The causes are infection of bacteria, the shoots were left too long in wet condition.
Sour » A sour taste infusion. The causes are bacterial infection, slow evaporation of water on wet leaves; it may caused by the mill, and unhygienic fermentation place.
Case hardening » Infusion that has a sour taste and it is happened because of drying too fast.


Tainted » Scent of infusion which smells bad because of contamination from other materials


Bright » Infused leaf with bright colour. This characteristic is most desirable and it shows a good processing.
Coppery » Infused leaf with coppery colour. Generally, tea which grows in plateau area and has a good processing will produce a infused leaf like copper.
Greenish » Infused leaf which has greenish colour caused by less fermentation and milling so that the taste become harsh.
Dark = dull » of the infused leaf which is not bright, brownish black and old green colour caused by overheat processing, over fermented and bacterium infection.
Mixed = uneven » Different infused leaf colour due to series of melling or a mixed fermentation.
Very bright » Colour of the infused leaf which is very bright.
Fairly bright » of the infused leaf which is quite bright.
Very bright and coppery » Colour of the infused leaf which is very bright such as copper.
Clean » An infused leaf that is clean and uniform.

This article was taken from N8 Tea Products Catalogues. PT. Perkebunan Nusantara VIII, Indonesia