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Glossary of Tea Vocabulary

Cultivar- A varietal of tea contingent upon human cultivation.

Green Tea- An un-oxidized tea.

Hei Cha- Hei cha, also known as black tea is also known as Shou Puer or any type of tea that goes through similar processing.

Red Tea- Any fully oxidized tea. Western tea culture refers to these types of teas as black tea.

Kill Green- A term used to describe the process of de-naturing enzymes responsible for oxidizing.

Oolong Tea- A semi-oxidized tea. Oolongs are generally oxidized at 18-80%.

Oxidation- A chemical process that turns leaves and produce brown. With tea, it normally starts when maceration and shaping begins. The more a tea is oxidized, the more it is chemically broken down. This, coupled with withering, creates more volatile aromas and flavors.

Puer- Tea made from broad-based varietals found in and around the Xishuangbanna Jungle of Southern Yunnan. Puer can be found in two distinct styles-  Shou and Sheng.

Sheng- Sheng or "raw", refers to one of two types of puer processing. This type of tea does not go through a fermentation cycle.

Shou- Shou or "force ripened", refers to one of two types of puer processing, where the leaves undergo fermentation.

Taiwan Tea Research and Extension Station- A tea research center in Tauyuan County's Yangmei. The center was created by the Japanese during their occupation of Taiwan in the 1940's. The TRES is the leading authority on Taiwan tea research and production.

Terroir- The characteristics associated with agriculture in different regions. These characteristics include: soil, altitude, climate, and other human controlled elements, such as the decision to plant certain varietals/cultivars in certain areas.

Varietal- A type of tea not contingent upon human interaction. Some varietals evolve on their own due to changes in soil and climate.

White Tea- A lightly oxidized tea. White tea production originated in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces. However, white tea can be found in most tea producing countries.

Wither- A necessary step in tea production. The point of withering is to cut the moisture content of the leaf, promoting the breakdown of cell walls, thus creating aromatic and flavor volatiles.