Tea terminology can be mind-bogglingly complex. Which is why we bring you Tea A-Z, a guide to deciphering both common and completely bewildering concepts from the world of tea. Let’s dive in!
Japan’s journey into tea was believed to begin in the 9th century when Buddhist monks from China brought this delicate beverage over. At first limited to royalty, tea consumption quickly extended throughout the masses. Today, green tea is a regular part of the Japanese diet, with the majority of Japanese tea production being consumed at home.
Although tea is now grown throughout most of Japan, the three key areas remain Shizuoka, Kagoshima and Mie. Japan is best known for their green tea and matcha. Bancha, the most popular variety within Japan, and Sencha became increasingly popular in the West. Bancha is the basic Japanese green tea, harvested later in the season, and produces a coarser, roasted green. Sencha green tea is created by steaming the leaves before drying and then firing them.
Have you ever wondered how jasmine and tea became one? Well the journey all began in China when the fragrant plant as introduced in 200 AD. However it wasn’t until the fifth century that jasmine was first used to scent tea.
The infusion of jasmine is far from a simple task. The flowers are picked early in the morning while the petals are still closed. One method to create the tea is layering jasmine and green tea, until the tea is fully immersed in the scents and flavors of Jasmine. This process can take hours with the layering process repeated several times until the exact scent and taste are achieved.
Do you want to sound like a tea producer? Use the word Jat to describe the origin of the tea. For example China Jat or India Jat would mean tea from China or tea from India. Jat basically means that the tea is produced from seeds or cuttings from that region.
Suffering from inflammation or bloating? Try brewing up a cup of juniper berry tea. Used as a common healing treatment by Native Americans, juniper berries have been known to help several ailments including gout, congestion, urinary tract infections and arthritis. The fruit from the juniper tree, these berries can be found either in bulk or in tea bag form.
Established in 2005, International Tea Day brings awareness to the tea workers’ contributions to the tea world and their working conditions. It has been observed annually on December 15. However, starting in 2020 it will take place on May 21. But, how exactly should one recognize it? Well, if you’re a business owner I would steer away from using this day as just another marketing opportunity. As someone in the marketing industry, I wanted to offer some other options that businesses, tea related or not, can take into consideration if they would like to honour International Tea Day.
I’ve been updating a spreadsheet on pu’erh prices on release for the past few years in order to get an idea of tea being offered to western consumers and any possible trends. The well-known popular narrative is that fresh pu’erh prices have gone up and this certainly seems true in the data. Last year the prices looked about the same as the previous year. And when and how much the price has gone up depends on how we look at this and there’s a handful of different ways to look at the data and options available (I do three here).