Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Teaology 101: Today’s post is brought to you by the letter 'A'!

There is so much to say about tea, whether it’s about the processing methods, the characteristics of the dry and wet leaves, as well as the liquor, and even geography. Some words are pretty self-explanatory, others not so much. I thought it would be a good idea to create a dictionary dedicated to tea. There are many words, so this will be a continuous task until I’ve covered everything from A−Z as best I can! Hopefully, these lists can provide some clarity to anyone interested in tea. Soon, you’ll be on your way to becoming a tea snob yourself and correcting others when they say something erroneous about tea! I’m kicking this project off with the letter 'A'.

Afternoon Tea: A light British meal normally eaten around 4 or 5 pm. It consists of the consumption of finger sandwiches, scones with jams and clotted-cream, and tiny desserts.  All of this is enjoyed along with pots of tea.

Agony of the leaves: This is when tightly coiled tea leaves reveal themselves by slowly unfurling during the steeping process.

Anhui: A province in China that produces tea such as Keemun.

Antioxidant: A compound which slows the oxidation process.

Aroma: This is the smell given off by the infused tea leaves and the resulting liquor. Also called the “nose”.

Assam: A strong, full-bodied tea with a rich flavour named after the growing region in India. Quite often used in blends such as English Breakfast.

Assamica: A variety of Camellia sinensis. Referred to as Camellia sinensis var. assamica.

Astringent: Describing a sharp, dry taste in the mouth from the liquor. This is caused by unoxidized polyphenols.

Autumnal: Describes teas harvested in cooler weather during the late season. This is often associated to teas from India.

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