The Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 1: Andon to Cooling


How much do you know about tea? If you’re scratching your head wondering what ‘andon’ is, then maybe you lack some knowledge in tea trivia, jargon and whatnot, here’s a quick A-Z guide that adds to your tea knowledge and brush up on some areas that you’re confused about.


Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 2: Cultivar to Kusenaoshi

Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 3: L-theanine to Photosynthesis

Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 4: Polyphenols to Tencha

Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 5: Tencha to Zairai



Andon

a 5-chambered machine that blows air to dry the tea leaves after steaming. Its air columns are wrapped in mesh or wire cages.

Aracha

also known as 'farmer's tea' . A crude tea resulting from the preliminary processing (steaming, cooling, drying) of tea leaves

Biodynamic farming

a philosophy adopted in organic tea farming that views the farm as an ecosystem that works in a holistic and integrated manner with its environment. As the pests and bugs reclaim the bushes, Spiders, lizards, mantis, and ladybugs - their natural enemies, eliminate them and protect the tea leaves from damage.

Caffeine

it is a naturally occurring stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee and cacao plants. It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, preventing the onset of tiredness. While matcha has half the caffeine in coffee, it is far more effective and healthy.

Calm alertness

a phenomenon associated with the habit of drinking matcha where one experiences relaxation, enhanced mood, focus and alertness. The amino acid L-theanine is responsible for this

Camelia senensis

a species of evergreen shrub or small tree whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. It is of the genus Camellia

Canopy shading

a method of shading matcha. Tea bushes are enclosed in bamboo frames which are daped with straw mats, burlap or loose rice mats. Additional layers are added over as harvest time draws closer

Catechins

also called 'flavonols' and tannins are some 8,000 kinds of polyphenols. Camelia sinensis produce the most catechins out of any other plant. EGCG is the most abundant catechin in tea and since matcha tea utilizes the entire leaf, it also has the most EGCG concentration. About 60% of the antioxidants in matcha are catechins

Cha-musume

the colorful traditional dress worn by Japanese women during the tea harvest season.

Chasen

a tool in preparing matcha. It is a wooden whisk made of white bamboo used to mix the matcha powder in the bowl. It produces a rich, fine froth that can't be achieved with an electric frother. To create the froth, the chasen should be briskly whisked as if writing the letter 'W'

Chashaku

a tool in preparing matcha. This is a wooden spoon for the powder. One scoop with the chashaku is equivalent to 1 teaspoon

Chawan

in Japanese, it literally means 'tea bowl' used for preparing and drinking tea

Chlorophyll

the green pigmentation present in all plants. It is responsible for the absorption of light to provide energy for photosynthesis.

Cooling

the 2nd step in the preliminary processing of tea after steaming. It cools down the tea and removes moisture on the leaves' surface to ensure it doesn't burn during drying