A guide to the various terms used within this website.

Steeping: Extraction of the soluble components of a material by immersion in an appropriate liquid solvent. Tea is often prepared by steeping the leaves of the Camellia sinensis in hot water, allowing the desired compounds to leach out and infuse the water.

 

Decocting: Extraction of the soluble components of a material by boiling in an appropriate liquid solvent. Herbal infusions are often prepared by simmering the organic material prior to consumption.

 

Tea: Strictly the beverage derived by steeping the products of the Camellia sinensis in water, it is also commonly used to refer to any beverage prepared by combination of boiling water and organic material.

 

Tea Brick: Blocks of tea leaves formed by compressing them in molds to form various shapes. Previously accepted widely as a form of currency in China, Tibet, Mongolia and Central Asia.

 

Tisane: Herbal infusions made from anything other than the leaves of the Camellia sinensis e.g ginseng or ginger.

 

Cold Brewing: A method of preparing tea without the cooking that usually occurs when hot water is applied to the tea leaves, it differs from the normal process by the addition of cold water immediately before or after the hot and a much longer steeping cycle of several hours usually accomplished with the aid of a refrigerator.

 

Enzymatic Oxidation: Also known as fermentation by the tea industry, it is the breakdown of the organic chlorophyll within the tea leaves themselves . Can be stopped by heating the tea leaves, which deactivates the enzymes responsible in a process called kill-green.

 

Pearls: Also known as Boba, pearls are commonly large balls of tapioca added to Bubble Tea to add both a chewy contrast and texture. Can be made from a variety of alternatives including jelly, aloe, taro, sago and nata de coco.

 

Mouthfeel: The way a food product feels inside a person's mouth. Categories include viscosity, texture, wetness and weight.