The Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part3: L-theanine to Photosynthesis


As an avid tea drinker, you probably know what L-theanine and photosynthesis are and how they come to play in matcha. There are some matcha tea curiosities in this list that you might be interested in, like the name for the food served in during the matcha tea ceremony. 

Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 1: Andon to Cooling

Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 2: Cultivar to Kusenaoshi

Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 4: Polyphenols to Tencha

Glossary of Tea Terminology, Part 5: Tencha to Zairai


it is an amino acid naturally occurring in green tea. It has been linked to mental stimulation specifically calmness, concentration and mental focus.

Machine picking

the modern way of harvesting tea which started in 1950. Tea leaves are harvested using handheld plucking machine operated by two people or a motorized tea harvester driven by one person


a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. Its powdered form and special method of shading makes it unique from other kinds of tea, and imbues it with more antioxidants, the most in any kind of tea


the last step in matcha processing when tencha leaves are ground into fine, silky powder 1-4 microns in size on stone mills

Motorized tea harvester

a machine that is driven to pluck tea. It similar to an elevated combine harvester used for harvesting tea in large estates. It can easily cover 5 hectares of tea bushes in a day.


the second harvest of tea during the rainy season. It is less smooth, mellow and subtler than the first harvest.


the second tea harvest of the year. Harvested during the summer season


a type of wagashi. It is dry confectionary best taken with the thinner preparation of matcha, usucha


a type of wagashi. It is unbaked cake eaten with matcha during the Japanese tea ceremony. It includes sweet buns and dumplings best served with a bowl of koicha matcha

ORAC value/ORAC score

an acronym for 'Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity' , the ORAC value is a method developed by scientists at the National Institute of Health and Agin (NIH) to measure antioxidant capacity of different foods. The ORAC value of matcha tea is 138,000 per 100g, the EGCG in matcha has 3 times more than any other green teas.

Organic farming

this refers to the method of tea farming where only organic fertilizers are used on tea bushes. Less than 1% of the tea in Japan is through organic farming.

Organic tea farms

farms that are cultivated using organic fertilizers. Tea from these kind of farms constitutes only 1% of Japan's tea


a hand picking technique. The picker pulls and snaps the buds between their thumb and forefinger. This method keeps the damage to a minimum and produces extra fine tea, However, this method is slow and the extra care given to the leaves brings down productivity as a picker can only harvest 10 kg a day.


a natural biological process where oxygen is taken in. In the context of tea, it causes the following to happen: alteration of the flavor (becoming bitter), darkening of the leaf color and altering the leaves' chemical composition


the process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Photosynthesis in plants generally involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct.