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Tea Glossary

Find definitions for tea types, tea origins and more with this glossary of tea terms.

Agony of the Leaves
Get the definition for the tea phrase "agony of the leaves."

Ali Shan
Ali Shan (a.k.a. "Alishan" or "A Li Shan") is a high-elevation tea producing region in Taiwan. Learn more.

Artisanal Tea
Get the definition of artisanal tea in this tea terms glossary.

Assam Tea
Tea grown in the Assam region of India. Learn more about this popular tea type.

Bedside Tea
Once a popular way to wake up, bedside tea is now a rare luxury.

Black Tea
Get all the basics on the West's most popular tea type, including kinds of black tea, how black tea tastes, what it's made from and more.

Botanical (Herbal Tea)
In the beverage world, 'botanical' is an alternate term for herbal tea. Learn more about this term.

See the definition and a photo to learn more about the tea term 'buds.'

Camellia Sinensis
Camellia Sinensis, or "Chinese camellia," plays a central role in the tea world. Learn more.

Camomile is a popular type of herbal infusion / "herbal tea." Get the definition for camomile, plus find recipes, reviews and more.

Ceylon Tea
Ceylon tea is one of the most popular types of black tea in the world. Learn more.

Chagra is a form of "cha" (tea) that isn't for drinking. Learn more.

Depending on where you are and who you're talking with, the word 'chai' can have very different meanings.

What is a Chai Wallah?
A reader asks, "What is a chai wallah?" Get the complete answer, including the cultural role of the chai wallah, what chai wallahs do and more.

CTC tea is a type of commodity grade tea. Learn more.

Darjeeling First Flush Tea
Weird name, huh? But it can be great tea. Learn more.

Darjeeling Second Flush Tea
One of the most expensive types of tea in the world, in part because of its distinctive flavor.

Decoction is a method of making tisanes and some teas. Learn more about this tea and tisane term.

Dessert Tea
Dessert teas (also known as 'dessert blends') are a relatively new phenomenon in the tea world. Learn about this trend with the definition of dessert teas.

Dimbulla is a tea-growing region in central Sri Lanka. Learn more.

Dirty Chai
Dirty Chai is a popular type of coffeeshop drink. Get the definition here.

Flowering / Blooming / Blossoming / Display Teas
Flowering tea is also known as 'blooming tea,' 'blossoming tea' or 'display tea.' Learn more about flowering teas.

Gong Fu Cha
Gong Fu Cha is a style of Chinese and Taiwanese tea brewing. Get the definition of Gong Fu Cha, then read more in an interview with Jennifer Leigh Sauer of Bon Teavant.

Green Tea Latte
Green tea lattes are a popular type of green tea drink based on caffe lattes. Check out popular brands of green tea lattes, green tea latte recipes and more with this definition.

Gunpowder Green Tea
Gunpowder Green Tea is commonly used in Moroccan Mint Tea. Learn more.

Herbal Tea
This is a commonly used, and highly controversial, 'tea' term. Learn more.

The term 'infusion' can be applied to prepared drinks and dry material for making drinks. Learn more.

Hsinchu is a tea-producing region in Taiwan.

Iced Tea
Learn more about iced tea / ice tea, including what types of iced tea are popular, how to make iced tea and more.

Keemun Black Tea
Get the definition for Keemun Black Tea.

Kombucha - Vinegar Tea - Mushroom Tea
Kombucha is also known as 'vinegar tea' or 'mushroom tea.' Get the definition for and basics about this distinctive tea type.

Lapsang Souchong Tea
Get the basics on this famously smoky black tea.

Li Shan (Lishan)
Li Shan (a.k.a. Lishan) is a high-elevation tea-producing mountain in Taiwan. Learn more.

Loose-Leaf Tea Defined
What ARE loose-leaf teas, anyway? How are loose-leaf teas different from teabags, and how do they overlap with full-leaf and broken grades of tea? Find out all this and more...

Masala Chai
Masala Chai is the correct term for 'chai tea.' Learn more about this popular tea type.

Milk Tea
Simply put, milk tea is tea with milk. It's also much, much more than that...

Nantou is a tea-producing region in central Taiwan.

Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya is the highest elevation tea-producing area in Sri Lanka. Learn more about this unique tea origin.

Oolong Tea
Like green tea and black tea, oolong tea is one of the major tea types. It has the widest range of flavors and aromas of any of the tea categories. Learn more.

Oriental Beauty Oolong
Oriental Beauty Oolong is a distinctive oolong with a pronounced, honey-sweet stonefruit taste.

Orthodox Tea
Orthodox tea is more prized than CTC tea. Learn more.

Pu-erh Tea
Pu-erh (also commonly spelled 'puer' and 'pu'er') is type of tea with a deep, rich flavor.

Red Tea
The term "red tea" has two very different meanings -- one involving tisanes and the other involving "true" tea.

Rooibos (Red Bush Tea)
A tisane ('herbal tea') that grows outside Capetown, South Africa. Learn more.

Shan Lin Xi (Shanlinxi)
Shan Lin Xi (a.k.a. Shanlinxi) is a high-elevation tea-producing region in central Taiwan.

Silver Needle White Tea
Silver Needle is a type of white tea. See a photo and definition of Silver Needle here.

Spiced Tea
What IS spiced tea, anyway? Does it include herbal spice blends? What kinds of spices are used to make it? Where is it from? Learn all this and more with the definition of spiced tea.

Specialty Tea
Specialty Tea is a growing segment of the tea industry. Learn more.

Sweet Tea
Sweet tea is one of the most popular types of tea in the United States. Learn more.

In addition to being the capitol of Taiwan, Taipei is also a tea-producing region.

Tea Bags
Tea bags are the default brewing method for many people, yet there's a lot they don't know about this brewing method, its history and its impact on their cuppa.

From plant to cup to meal to marijuana, the word "tea" has many meanings. Get the definition here.

Tea Latte Definition
From chai lattes to matcha green tea lattes to Earl Grey lattes, tea lattes are becoming popular coffeeshop drinks. Learn more.

Tea Leaves
Did you know that the term "tea leaves" can be used as an idiom, as a demand for answers and as an insult? Learn more about this term and its meanings.

Tips (Tea)
Tips (also known as 'golden tips' or 'silver tips') are a part of the tea plant and some processed teas.

Tisane (Herbal Tea)
Tisanes are also commonly known by many other names. Like tea, they are infused or boiled in hot water.

Uva is perhaps the most famous tea-growing region in Sri Lanka. Learn more.

Wen Shan (Wenshan)
Wen Shan (a.k.a. Wenshan) is a tea-producing region in northeast Taiwan. Learn more about Wen Shan's teas with this definition of Wen Shan.

What is Jasmine Tea?
Learn about the different types of jasmine tea, the health benefits and health warnings associated with jasmine tea, how jasmine tea is made, and more, with this definition.

White Tea
White tea is a tea made from the buds (and sometimes also the leaves) of the tea plant.

Learn what Sencha is, where it is from, where to buy it, how to make it, how to use it in recipes and more with this definition.

Sencha-Do Ceremony
You may know all about chado, but have you heard of senchado?

Yerba Mate
Yerba Mate is a popular, high-caffeine infusion. Learn more.

Tea Towels
What exactly IS a tea towel, anyway? And why is it called that?

Tea Ceremony Definition
There are many types of tea ceremonies, yet not all tea sessions are tea ceremonies. Find out what is (and what isn't) a tea ceremony.

What's a Tea Ball?
The tea ball is a type of tea infuser commonly used in casual tea brewing.

What is Maccha?
IN this FAQ, a reader asks, "What is Maccha?"

Tea Time
The term "tea time" can mean different things depending on the culture and the context.

Tea Chests
The tea term 'tea chest' often refers to one thing in major tea producing regions and another thing in areas such as Europe.

Tea Caddies
A 'must' for any tea lover, tea caddies are often overlooked in this plastic-bag world. Learn more.

Tea Cloth
Tea cloths are often used in tea brewing and serving.

Tea Cozy
These tea accessories are commonplace in England, Australia and India, yet are less known in many other parts of the world. Learn about their materials, usage, history and more.

Tea Cupping
Learn about professional tea cupping, also known as tea cupping, with this guide to the who, when, where, why and how of it.

Tea Jars
Tea jars are commonly used to store tea in Asia. Learn about how they are used and which types are available.

Tea Sets
Learn about all the parts of a Western-style tea set, plus what they're usually made of, how they're decorated and more.

Tea Strainers
From bombillas to tea infuser baskets, here's all you need to know about tea strainers.

Wagashi are commonly enjoyed in casual and formal Japanese tea sessions.

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