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  Tea Tasting Glossary
Terms describing dry leaf

Black - a black appearance is desirable, preferably with bloom.

Blackish - a satisfactory appearance for CTC type teas. Denotes careful sorting.

Bloom - a sign of good manufacture and sorting (where reduction of leaf has taken place before firing), a sheen that has not been lost through over-handling or over-sorting.

Bold - particles of leaf, which are too large for the particular grade.

Brown - a brown appearance in CTC type teas that normally indicates overly harsh treatment of the leaf.

Chesty – tea tainted by inferior unseasoned packing materials.

Chunky - a very large broken-leaf tea.

Clean - leaf that is free from fibre, dirt and all extraneous matter.

Crepy - leaf with a crimped appearance, common to larger grade, broken-leaf teas such as BOP.

Curly - leaf appearance of whole leaf grade teas such as OP as distinct from wiry.

Even - teas true to their grade, consisting of pieces of leaf of fairly even size.

Flaky - flat, open pieces of leaf, often light in texture.

Grey - caused by too much abrasion in sorting.

Grainy - describes primary grades of well-made CTC teas such as Pekoe Dust.

Leafy - a tea in which the leaf tends to be on the large or longish size.

Light - tea light in weight, of poor density and sometimes flaky.

Make - a term used to describe a tea manufacture batch.

Mushy- tea that has been packed or stored with a high moisture content.

Neat - a grade of tea having good 'make' and size.

Nose - smell of the dry leaf.

Powdery - fine light dust, as the tea people say, meaning a very fine light leaf particle.

Ragged - an uneven, badly manufactured and graded tea.

Stalk and fibre - bits of tea bush other than the leaf, which should be minimal in superior grades, but are unavoidable in lower-grade teas.

Tip - a sign of fine plucking, apparent in top grades of tea.

Uneven and Mixed - uneven pieces of leaf particles, indicating poor sorting and resulting in a tea that is not true to a particular grade.

Well Twisted - used to describe whole leaf orthodox tea grades, often referred to as well made or rolled.

Wiry - leaf appearance of a well-twisted, thin, longleaf.
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