The Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 2: Cultivar to Kusenaoshi


Do you know what ‘kusenaoshi’ is and what is has to do with tea? Part 2 of our glossary of tea terminology covers everything from cultivars to kusenaoshi. This will add to your tea knowledge and brush up on some areas that you’re confused about.


Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 1: Andon to Cooling

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


Cultivar

a portmanteau of the words 'cultivated' and variety', are plants selected from naturally occurring species which are bred to enhance or maintain a particular set of desirable traits

Direct shading technique

a method of shading matcha by wrapping the tea bush itself in thick black netting

Drying

the last step in the preliminary processing of tea after cooling. The leaves are dried in the tencha-ro then cut and sifted for tencha

EGCG

in full, epigallocatechin 3-O-gallate. It is a powerful antioxidant responsible for matcha tea's cosmetic benefits.

Eisai Myosan

a Japanese monk in the 12 century who was traditionally been credited as the one who introduced matcha to Japan when he bought seeds of tea from China but this has not been proven. However, the spread of the medicinal effects of tea is rightly attributed to him

Flush

tea jargon for 'harvest'

Gokou

a Kyoto cultivar famed for the creaminess and distinctive aroma of its resulting matcha powder.

Golden Week

a collection of four national holidays within seven days starting from the 29th of April to early May

Gyokuro

a type of shaded tea that undergoes 20 days of shading

Hand picking

the traditional way of harvesting tea that involves a lot of manual labor. This is a labor-intensive task which adds to matcha's premium price

Handheld plucking machine

a machine for plucking tea, with an appearance similar to a hedge trimmer that can be operated by two persons. They run it over the top of the bush while walking down its length. The leaves are trimmed by a blade and directed to a bad attached to the machine by a blower.

Honcha

it means 'real tea'

Horii Chojiro

invented the Tencha-ro in 1924. Then successor of the Horii Shichimeien brand of tea in Uji prefecture

Ichibancha

the first tea harvest of the year. Also called the 'spring harvest'. Traditionally picked on the 88th day of the traditional Japanese calendar which falls around the 1st or 2nd of May. For years, it has been considered the best day to start the spring harvest.

Jikagise

the traditional name of the direct shading method

Kabusecha

the name of sencha tea when it undergoes one week of shading

Kakitsumi

a hand picking technique. This employs the same finger positions as oritsumi, but the leaves are pulled rather then snapped off. This method is not suitable for young leaves, but the yield is greater per picker at 15-20 kg a day.

Kokitsumi

a hand picking technique. Kokitsumi is a rough way of picking the leaves that is more productive, but the quality is not the best.

Konacha

the tea made from sorted specks, tiny leaves and leaf dust during processing.

Kukicha

tea made from the separated twigs after aracha passes through the toh-mi

Kusenaoshi

this is a whisk keeper. Storing in the chasen in it will help preserve its shape longer