A brew– The liquid contents of a teapot.

After taste-Is a term to describe the finish or residual taste left in the mouth after swallowing a tea. The qualities may be ; sweet or spicy, smoky, light, heavy or long lasting.

Agony of the leaves– Is a phrase to describe the agony of the tea leaves once boiling water is added so the unfurling of rolled and twisted tea leaves during steeping or brewing time.

Alternate – Is a term used in Shelley referring to alternating panels of color and a different color or pattern in china teacups.

Ancient tea – tea harvested from old tea trees, usually pu’er. It can be both freshly harvested and aged.

Aynsley is a fine bone china brand from Stoke On Trent England founded in 1775 and closed in 2014. they were manufacturers of bone china tableware, giftware and commemorative items.

Asian style teapots are small and traditionally, made to brew single servings of tea. They do come also in a variety of sizes and shapes, and plain or decorative. 

Artisan tea – hand-made loose leaf tea. In broader sense it includes all higher quality loose leaf tea that was made even partially with hand, and sometimes even other higher quality loose leaf teas.

Art deco – Is the time period in the 1920’s-30’s characterized by high quality craftsmanship, inventive forms, colorful and flashy geometric shapes and machine made, mass produced wares.  Shelley art deco shapes were Mode, Vogue, Eve and Regent

Aroma – The sweet fragrance produced from the dry or infused tea leaf.

Assam– A black tea grown and sourced from the Northeast India region called Assam. The tea is a malty and strong with a full-bodied rich, flavour.

At home set – refers to as “tea and toast” set, with an an oval shaped saucer or dish with a ridged indentation on one end to place the base of a teacup, while the remainder holds the toast, biscuits or other items served with tea.

Astringency – A feeling of dryness in the mouth caused by some teas.

Aroma – fragrance of dry leaf, wet leaf and infusion


Backstamps – refers to trademarks, the company name and symbol stamps applied to the underside or back side of china and pottery to distinguish it from all other manufacturers.

Baggy a word to describe an undesirable taint in teas withered on inferior hessian or stored in sacks.

Bakey- a term to describe an unpleasant characteristic noticeable in the liquors of teas which have had too higher temperatures during processing.

Bancha or Ichibancha is the first picking of new leaf shoots of the year. The second tea harvesting is called Nibancha and thirdly Sanbancha based on the order in which it is picked. 

Japanese tea that has been cured in baskets by firing or drying.

Black Tea – The traditional tea used for tea with milk and sugar from English Breakfast to Irish Breakfast Assam to Earl Grey. Black tea is fully oxidised which gives it its dark appearance. Black tea contains the highest amount of caffeine of all teas.

Bergamot– Oil extract from the bergamot orange used to flavour a black tea to make Earl Grey tea

Billy– Our Australian tea made over a camp fire in a billy can ( metal straight sided pot with wire handle.

Bite-A very brisk and “alive” tea liquor. A desirable trait

Biscuity– A term that tea tasters use with Assam teas that have been well fired, but not too much.

Blend– A mixture of two or more teas from different origins to make a particular and unique flavoured tea.

Blend is a term to describe the mix of different types of tea. Many teas—including English Breakfast and Earl Grey—are not a single variety but are blends of different teas. The blending is done by the tea taster who decides the ratio of each different tea leaf are required to produce the flavour of the blend.

Blue tea is another term for oolong tea, based on the bluish hues of dried oolong tea leaves.  

Body is the term to describe the strength of the tea compared to the viscosity or weight on the tongue. A tea with good body has both fullness and strength, as opposed to being thin and weak.

Border trim – is a repeating design or line of color applied at or near the base, lip or break in panel.  More decorative designs were typically print transfers.

Bouquet means the characteristics of smell or fragrance experienced when one sniffs the teas.  

Breakfast Set is a tea set for one person; includes cup, saucer, 6” plate, 8” plate, fruit bowl, covered muffin dish, egg cup, 6” coffee pot, and cream and sugar.

Breakfast teas are strong black tea blends made to accompany a hearty, English-style breakfast to go well with milk. Types would be Chai- sweet, and flavoured with spices, Earl Grey flavoured with bergamot oranges, English Breakfast is a base of Keemun with other black teas, Irish Breakfast a malty Assam blend and Orange Pekoe a Ceylon black tea. Breakfast teas are more robust than afternoon tea blends and are based on the old British tea-drinking tradition.

Bubble Tea is a sweet, cold, black or green tea drink created in 1983 in Taiwan. It is basically tea and tapioca

Butter Tea is a tea served in Tibet, then in India, where boiled tea is mixed with salt and soda, strained into an urn containing butter and dried ground cereal sometimes barley then churned and served in a basin. Often a lump of butter is added when serving. The result is more like a soup than a conventional cup of tea. It is said they drink this rich Tea for strength and to combat altitude issues.

Bone China is a porcelain with added bone ash added for durability it is thinner and the glaze is smoother than porcelain china. The glaze, however, is not as durable as porcelain china since it is softer. “Bone china” starts the same way as porcelain china but includes an extra ingredient, bone ash. Bone ash also gives the body of the plate a unique milky white color.

Brick tea– The Darjeeling tea leaves are condensed after being steamed and made into bricks. The tea is shaved and boiled with butter and salt to prepare a ‘Tibetan style Tea’ or ‘Bhote Chiya’ in Nepal

Briskness – Is the tea’s ability to make your mouth pucker, sometimes called astringency.

Broken Orange Pekoe– The size of tea leaf comprising the smaller leaves and tips.

Builders Tea or also builder’s brew, is a British English colloquial term for a strong cup of tea from the name of inexpensive tea commonly drunk by labourers taking a break.

Burleigh Ware -Was established in 1851 as Burleigh Pottery a pottery manufacturer in Middleport, Stoke-on-Trent UK. They make traditionally shaped and patterned domestic earthenware of high quality. For example the famous Blue and white calico design.

Bone China is a type of soft-paste porcelain that is composed of bone ash, feldspathic material, and kaolin. It has been defined as ware with a translucent body containing a minimum of 30% of phosphate derived from animal bone and calculated calcium phosphate. Developed by English potter Josiah Spode, bone china is known for its high levels of whiteness and translucency, and very high mechanical strength and chip resistance. Its high strength allows it to be produced in thinner cross-sections than other types of porcelain.


Cambric Tea is -a very weak tea infusion with a lots of milk and sugar, often given to children and invalids.  

Chasen – Japanese bamboo tea whish used for preparing matcha

Camellia Assamica – is another type of tea plant. There are two types of tea plants that all tea is made from. The names of these plants reflect their origins: Camellia sinensis (or chinensis, meaning Chinese in origin) and Camellia assamica, meaning Assam in origin, or indigenous to the Assam area of India. Assamica is an offshoot of Sinensis, transported to India where the extremely hot climate caused the shrub to grow into a tree that grows up to 30 to 40 feet high unpruned. It is kept pruned at three feet to five feet for convenient plucking of the tender leaves.

Chawan – Japanese tea bowl for drinking matcha tea

Chinese tea tray – a tray usually made of bamboo used in gong fu tea brewing, with a compartment for waste water

Chintz – is an all-over design usually of a repeating floral arrangement which covers at least one surface of a peice of and often based on chintz fabric designs.

Caddy – Is a canister, jar or tin for the safe storage of Tea. It comes from the Chinese or Malayan word ‘catty’ A term to describe the weight of one pound of tea. Long ago tea caddies had a lock and key because tea was such a luxury.

Caffeine– A component in tea that is stimulating and energising. A cup of tea averages 40 milligrams of caffeine versus approximately 110 in a cup of coffee.

Catechins – the antioxidant polyphenols in tea useful for health.

Camellia sinensis the Botanical name of the tea bush.

Caravan tea was tea taken by camel from China to Russia before modern transportation.

Ceylon is the old name of Sri Lanka where tea is grown.

Chanoyu is the Japanese tea ceremony or ritual.

Ceramics comes from the Greek word “keramos” meaning potter’s clay; it refers to clay products made permanent by the application of heat

China This term was originally used by the British for all ceramic imports from China and European imitations of it. Today, it implies a translucent white claybody covered with a glaze that is fired to a temperature lower than that to which the claybody is fired. 

Cloning is the use of cuttings from old tea bushes to grow new plants

Colour refers to the brewed liquor as determined by country, district, varietal, harvest conditions, processing methods and preparation. For example, black tea tends to be reddish, oolong brown to greenish-yellow, green tea is pale green and white tea sometimes has a nice pinkish hue.

Congou is a general term to describe all Chinese black teas regardless of the area in which they are grown and made.

Cornish Cream Tea is a tea with scones where the jam is added to the scone before the cream.

Celebration Tea – An afternoon tea service where a cake is served for a special occasion.

Ceylon Tea -Teas that are cultivated in Sri Lanka.

Cha – The indigenous and the native term for Tea used by Indians and Chinese

Chai– Indian Tea also called “masala chai” or spiced tea – it is a strong black tea brewed with milk, sugar, and spices.

China Oolong-A select blend of superior large leaf teas from China. 

Chocolate Teapot. It’s no secret that chocolate melts when heated. So you’ll certainly agree with us, a teapot made up of chocolate is completely useless! So if something is as good as a chocolate teapot, it’s useless.

Chamomile Tea is a popular herbal tisane or herbal infusion made from the flower heads of a plant that is a member of the sunflower family. It has been used in folk medicine as a remedy for stomach ache and to induce sleep or bring calmness. It is caffeine-free and has a yellow colour.

Creamer– A small jug for milk that usually belongs to a tea set comprising Cups and saucers, sugar bowl and jug ie. a creamer

Cream Tea – An English expression for a simple tea of tea, scones, cream, marmalade or lemon curd.

Crush, Tear, Curl (CTC)-These are the teas which are sent through rollers which tear and break the leaf after it has been withered. Typically, they are stronger and have a shorter steep time. 

Cuppa- A simple everyday cup of tea for at any time.

Camellia Sinensis var assamica – tea variety mostly used in India, especially for Assam black tea

Camellia Sinensis var sinensis – tea variety mostly used in China and Japan, especially for white, green and oolong tea

Coppery is the colour of the tea, like a new penny, resulting from good manufacturing.


Decaf tea – tea with zero or less than 2-3 mg of caffeine per cup

Dark Tea – Chinese tea type also called fermented tea. Flavor is achieved through natural or artificial fermentation. The most popular type is Pu Erh.

Darjeeling– A tea growing area in the foothills of the Himalayas in north-eastern India where the most expensive and exclusive tea is grown – termed to be the champagne of Tea.

Devonshire Tea- The Australian cream tea consisting of Scones jam and cream with tea.

Delicate describes the fragile, mellow or subtle flavour of tea.

Dessert tea is a blend to be enjoyed after a meal with the natural sweetness from the addition of coco husks, coconut slivers, cinnamon and other spices – licorice root or dried fruits. Milk and sugar can be added but the teas have enough flavour to be enjoyed without extra ingredient.

Dust– Is the smallest and the lowest grade of tea commonly used in teabags

Duos a set of cup and saucer in fine china

Darjeeling is a province in Northern India that produces world renound black teas.

Dimbula is a district in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) that produces full bodied black teas.

Dragon Well, Tea or long jing in Chinese, is the most famous Chinese green tea. It is a pan-fired green tea that is flat-fried by hand in large woks to produce leaves shaped like the blade of a sword. It is named after the Dragon’s Well, a landmark in Hangzhou, where the tea originated.

Devon Tea is an English cream tea where the cream is added to the scone first and the jam on top.


Earl Grey– Is a black tea that has bergamot orange oil added for fragrance and flavour.

European style teapots are often large where multiple cups can be brewed at one time but teapots come in a myriad of styles, shapes and sizes and can be plain, regal, handpainted, charming, fancy, elegant, or silly.  

Earthenware A type of claybody usually associated with low-fired ceramics. Earthenware tends to be more porous than higher fired clays. The relatively low physical hardness of both the clay and the glaze tend to make earthenware less durable then higher fired claybodies and less appropriate a choice for functional pieces.

EGCG – the most important and abundant catechin in green tea

Estate- An area or farm where tea is grown is an Estate.

English Breakfast Tea is a blend of Tea originally applied to China Congou tea in the US In the UK it was associated with a blend of teas from India and Sri Lanka and today it is used to include blends of black teas that make a full-bodied strong flavored colourful tea regardless of origin. For example Twinings English Breakfast Tea.


Farmer size – the largest size of cup and saucer about one-third larger than a teacup.

Fair Trade is a program run by Trans Fair International intended to provide growers with a fair price for their teas.

Form follows function is a philosophy of design that is used to determine the design characteristics of a piece produced for a particular purpose. The design or form of the piece is defined by the intended use in balance with aesthetic considerations, instead of being defined purely by aesthetics. If the function is less than acceptable, then that form must be corrected when used for subsequent pieces, even when the corrections remove aesthetically pleasing aspects of a piece. For example, a teapot may have a beautifully spiraled spout that is dribbles. Under this principle, the design of the teapot must be modified so that it functions correctly. 

Fine Bone China – Is determined by the total amount of bone ash included in the raw materials. High quality fine bone china contains at least 30% bone ash, enabling thin, walled pieces to be made with a more delicate appearance and translucency compared to porcelain, and allowing for greater chip resistance and durability. Fine bone china is thinner and lighter in weight than porcelain. It also has warmer hues, whereas porcelain tends to be brighter.

Fine China Collection– A collection of china often passed down through families from mother to daughter or grandparents. In the past cups saucers and plates were collected for special occasion tea parties and remain today a sort after item for high tea and afternoon tea or simply for display in the home.

Flavour – A term to describe the taste of the tea liquor and it is affected by its terroir: altitude, soil composition, aspect, hours of sunlight, rainfall and humidity, among other factors. The same rootstock will produce different tea flavour and quality when grown in different places. The elevation of the land where the Camellia Sinensis plants are grown will also make a difference to flavour- whether the plants are low-, medium-, or high-grown.  The higher the altitude, the thinner and cleaner the air and the closer to the sun the tea plants are. Once purchased storage is important to maintain the flavour of tea.

Full bodied – term often used with strong black teas that have a thicker texture and usually goes well with milk, for example Irish Breakfast

First Flush refers to the timing of the tea harvest.

Formosa oolong – any oolong tea grown in Taiwan, but the term usually describes more oxidized dark oolongs

Furstenberg is a German porcelain manufacturer founded in 1747 by the Duke of Brunswick, and now it is one of the leaders of the industry.


Garland – is a decorative style of teacups and fine china that has leaves, vines and other items which appear to be hanging from the top or side edges of the china piece.

Gaiwan – Chinese tea vessel similar shaped as a cup with a lid

Gyokuro is a prized Japanese green tea with a rich taste and pleasing to the eye from the Uji district. The tea is made with special care and handling at every stage of its growth so shaded which increases the chlorophyll content plus it is hand- fired.

Grading Tea needs the same attention to quality and detail as diamonds. The grading system ensures tea leaves are sifted and searched through to ensure the highest quality. We look at leaf size, shape and colour and more. ‘Special’ refers to the better quality and ‘common’ refers to lower quality grading 1-7.

Green tea – unoxidized type of tea made by steaming or pan-frying to stop the oxidation and preserve nutrients, color and flavor.Probably the original tea to be imported into the UK, Green Tea is gently heated as soon as the leaves

Gunpowder – This type of Green tea has been rolled into pellets and dried in a hot tumbler making a charred vegetable flavor.


Herbal Infusion is a herbal tisane or herbal beverage not a tea

High tea in England relates to a meal served late afternoon to early evening as a mixture of afternoon tea and dinner.  The meal is a main dish sometimes with a desert served with bread and butter, cakes and teas.  

High Tea  In Australia is a special occasion tea enjoyed with friends as a luxury afternoon tea in an historic venue or hotel. Champagne and a selection of teas with a three tiered cake stand of scones jam and cream, delicate pastries and savoury sandwiches. Often as a pre wedding outing for groups or a special treat.

High tea in working class Britain for farming and working class in the past was the main meal of the day and was a hearty meat based meal with tea, bread and butter and cake.

Hot water is an expression used in the Japanese tea ceremony chanoyu (“hot water for tea”) an important cultural ritual and activity around the preparation and presentation of matcha — a powdered green tea. iIt is all about aesthetics and connecting with the guests on a spiritual level.

Handkerchief Tea is a very fine tipped tea grown in Taiwan, which gets its name from the large silk handkerchiefs that Chinese tea growers used to collect their leaves.

Hard describes the pungent flavour that is a sort after quality in tea especially Assam teas.

Harsh is a term to describe a bitter, rough taste due to the tea leaf being under-withered during processing.

Heavy is a thick strong coloured tea liquor that has limited briskness and astringency.


Irish Cup  A not-quite-straight-sided cup with a slightly rolled rim for easier sipping. Great for a hearty cuppa

Instant Tea was developed in the 1930’s and in the 50’s, instant tea was produced by extracting the tea solids from the leaf and then drying them to make a powdered form of tea.

Infuser is a removable basket with holes that fits down into the teapot and holds tea leaves for brewing.  It’s removed at the end of brewing to keep the tea from becoming bitter. Part of this teapot’s convenience is that when you remove the infuser, you also remove the leaves, making the pot easy to clean.

Iced Tea is popular in the USA and originated in 1904 at the World’s Fair in St. Louis. The story goes that due to the hot weather no one was interested in the tea samples from a visiting tea merchant so to increase sales, he asked a nearby ice cream vendor for some ice to cool off the hot tea, and the American iced tea tradition was born. In the USA bottled Iced tea makes up 80% of the tea consumption in the country. Iced tea is made twice as strong and should be brewed double strength, so double the tea and the same amount of water steeped for the same time.


Japanese Tea In Japan there are eight tea types – bancha, genmaicha, guricha, gyokuro, houjicha, kukicha, matcha and mecha.

Jasmine:  A tea made from fragrant green Pouchong tea with Jasmine flowers adde used to scent the tea. The finest Chinese Jasmine is called Yin Hao and Chun Hao. Formosa Jasmines use Pouchong tea as a base. Pouchong is allowed to wither for a longer period of time (than Green) before it is fired so is a tea between Green and Oolong.

Jug a vessel for liquids with a spout but no lid with many uses.


Kukicha is a form of tea made from the twigs and stems from tea plants.  Kukicha can been green or roasted and has a pleasant taste but lower quality to other loose leaf teas. 

Kyusu – Japanese teapot, often with a side handle

Kenya produces fine black teas in Africa.

Keemun: Chinese black tea from central China, characteristically hand rolled and fired.

Kettle – A vessel either electric or free standing used on the stove top to boil water to make tea. Sometimes called a Tea kettle.

Kombucha is a sugary fermented drink made with real tea and bacteria


Lady Grey Tea is a tea blend created by Twinings, Lady Grey tea has a base of Earl Grey tea with added lemon and Seville orange oils. It is a good tea to make in a glass teapot because the blue cornflower petals known as bachelor’s buttons in this blend have a beautiful appearance and a subtle clove flavour.

Lapsang Souchong is a Chinese tea dried over smoking pine needles.

Lung Ching or Longjing is also known as Dragon Well tea. 

Limoges is a city in southwest-central France. It’s known for its decorated porcelain. Limoges is hard-paste porcelain produced by factories in and around the city of Limoges, France beginning in the late 18th century, it does not refer to a particular manufacturer. Limoges today is the premier manufacturing city of porcelain in France that was established in the 19th century.M

Lapsang Souchong is a  Black tea from China which is fired and dried over a smoky pine wood fire to give its typical smoky flavor.

Lennox is a contemporary tableware fine china brand founded in 1889 with a vision to set the highest standards for quality, artistry and beauty. Lennox has a rich history of craftsmanship to modern day over 130 years.

L-theanine – an amino-acid responsible for the sweet savory flavor

Lid is an essential part of a teapot. The tea is covered while steeping and retains all its flavors and aromas.  The lid also keeps the water at a more even temperature, that makes the tea stay hot.

Lip – The top edge or rim of a cup or bowl, often decorated with a special trim color or border design.

Lemon Tea is a hot tea served with a slice of lemon, often referred to as the the Russian style whereas tea and milk is an English style.


Malawi is an African tea producer whose teas are mainly used for blending purposes as they add colour and flavour.

Matcha is the powdered green tea from Japan used in the Japanese tea ceremony.

Meat Tea is another term for the English High tea.

Malty is a slightly over-fired tea, sometimes pleasing and sought afte

Meissen is the oldest porcelain manufactory in Europe, founded in 1710 by King Augustus the Strong, High end artistic traditions built the beginning of the design language for European porcelain. The archival work of the company have the large majority of Meissen’s original models so to this day, they are able to reproduce centuries-old figures true to the original.

Minton china began in 1793 when Thomas Minton (1765–1836) founded his pottery factory in Stoke-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, England as “Thomas Minton and Sons”, they produced earthenware. He formed a partnership, Minton & Poulson, in 1796, with Joseph Poulson. Minton is famous for its production of bone china, which was affordable for ordinary people. The Minton factory was the most popular supply source in the 19th century of dinnerware made to order for embassies and for heads of state. Minton continues today as part of the Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton Group.  Minton’s was the only English china factory of the 19th century to use a Sèvres process called pâte-sur-pâte (ie: painted decoration in white clay slip instead of enamel before glazing).

Mother – The person who pours the Tea is called Mother “Shall I be mother?”

Mint tea is synonymous with the Arab nations just as much as afternoon tea is in the U.K. It is drunk all day and made very sweet. It is traditionally made with gunpowder green tea or other strong Chinese tea with a large amount of fresh spearmint leaves and sugar added to the pot. The hot tea is then served in a glass. The Arabic word for mint tea is touareg or tuareg. Mint tea is considered good for health and to aid in heartburn and digestion.

Morning set – is a china set containing 2 teacups and saucers, one sugar basin, one cream jug, one small plate and one teapot 

MZ Austria is the wording on a mark used by Moritz Zdekauer on porcelains made at his works in Altrolau, Austria, from 1884 to 1909 under the name Altrolau Porcelain Factories from 1909 to 1945.

Mug brewing – describes brewing tea by adding tea leaves in a mug, pouring in water and drinking without removing the leaves


Nilgiri is a district in the hills of southern India that produces excellent black teas.


Oolong: A type of tea typically showed by lesser infusion and larger leaf styles. This tea is characteristically understood as a lightly fermented tea, between green and black tea on a variety.

Orange Pekoe: Refers to size of leaf and not quality or flavor, this term refers to a larger-size grade of whole leaf teas.

Orange Pekoe – main tea grade, mostly with Indian and Ceylon black tea, usually contains first few leaves and no buds

Orthodox Tea – tea made using traditional methods, usually Indian or Sri Lankan tea


Paragon China, established 1903.

Pattern number – the number applied to the bottom of a china piece, usually near the trademark, which refers to the pattern design or name recorded in the original pattern book.  Sometimes it is the only information separating one pattern from another; some patterns have only a number, no name.

Pan-Fired is a type of Japanese tea that is steamed then rolled in iron cauldrons over charcoal fires.

Peak is the high point of a cupping experience – when the liquor enters the mouth and its body, flavour and astringency make themselves fully felt in combination.

Pekoe is a small bud that grows at the tip of each stem of the tea plant, curled over on itself, forming what the Chinese call pak-ho or pekoe. During the imperial harvest, only this bud and the leaf next to it are plucked (“two leaves and a bud”). The quality of the harvest is determined by the number of leaves next to the pekoe that are plucked. The more leaves in the mix, the lower the quality of the harvest.

Pekoe Souchong
The third leaf from the tip.  Larger and more course than the newer shoots.

Plain white period – during WWII and for several years afterwards, the manufacture of china other than plain white or ivory colouring for England’s domestic sales was prohibited.

Pouchong is a type of scented Chinese tea derived from the Cantonese method of packing tea in smaller paper packets each of which was supposed to be the product of one tea plant.

Polyphenols are the compounds present in tea that provide the astringency and pungent taste and give the antioxidant value. The polyphenol content is higher in green tea than black tea.

Pruning is the expert selective cutting back of the tea plant, so that it maintains its shape and will help increase the yield.

Porcelain is the durable and strong dinnerware and drinkware for tea Introduced in Europe by Marco Polo after his excursions to China. Porcelain is fired at high temperatures above 2300 F at these high temperatures, the body and the glaze mature together, creating a thick bonding layer. It is strong, durable, white, tough and translucent. Also porcelain has high resistance to chemicals and thermal shock important in tea making and serving. Porcelain derives its modern name from the old Italian Porcellana or cowrie shell because of its resemblance to the translucent surface of the shell.

Pre-Qing Ming tea – the very first harvest of Chinese green tea. 

Pan-Fired is a type of Japanese tea that is steamed then rolled in iron cauldrons over charcoal fires.

Pu’erh – type of Chinese dark or fermented tea grown exclusively in Yunna

Pungent: Tea taster’s reference to a very astringent tea. Rawness: Sour taste.Souchong: Term for large leaf teas procured from the third and fourth leaf of the tea shoot.theaflavins: orange red polyphenols exclusive to fermented teas such as black tea, and produced from the compression of two catechins.

Pop the kettle on is a universal phrase before tea

Pu’erh One of the purest teas we have,

Pillivuyt is one of the oldest French porcelain brands with 200 years of history. A true guardian of its artisanal and industrial know-how. Manufacture located in the heart of Berry. It is recognized in 2009, ” Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant ”. 


Quality is a word to describe ‘cup quality – a combination of the most desirable aspects of a tea or tea blend.


Red Tea – name for Chinese black tea, a literal translation from the Chinese word hong cha

Real Tea – any tea made from the leaves of Camellia sinesisis

Raw Pu’er – Pu’er intended for natural aging or fermentation with distinctive flavor – first brisker and lightly astringent, later sweeter and mellow, with brighter yellow colo

Ripe Pu’erh – Artificially fermented pu’erh with dark red color and usually smaller leaves

Russian tea The name given to a hot tea poured into a glass over a slice of lemon.  Sometimes sugar or honey are added.  

Real Tea is another way to describe black tea with milk that is not herbal tea.

Replacements a website to source missing fine china and porcelain patterns

Registration number – a number registered in the patent office of the country or countries a product is sold in to prevent sale of  inexpensive copies and provide legal rights for the inventor and fines against the product copier, often abbreviated as Rd. followed by the number.

Ring – is the tone given off when gently striking the side of good china

Royal Albert® is a traditional bone china tableware manufacturer from England created in 1904, its roots are found in the Albert Works, built in 1896 and built up a well regarded reputation of producing beautiful china. It is now owned by Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton -WWRD Holdings Ltd, a luxury goods group with a portfolio of lifestyle luxury brands for the tabletop, giftware and home decor.

Royal Copenhagen is a fine china tableware company and make some of the finest and most expensive china in the world.

Royal Doulton is an English ceramic and home accessories manufacturer founded in 1815 and opened a factory in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, in the centre of English pottery and were mainly making a wide range of utilitarian wares mostly stoneware. 1860s Henry Doulton became interested in more artistic wares that continue today as part of WWRD group and produce fine china tableware, glassware and figurines etc. 

Russian tea
The name given to a hot tea poured into a glass over a slice of lemon.  Sometimes sugar or honey are added.  

An African tea producer, whose tea are used for blending purposes. Rwanda tea has a bright coppery color and brisk taste.

Rosy Lee
This comes from cockney rhyming slang – a cup of Rosy Lee = tea.
For ex: Fancy a cup of Rosy?

Rosenthal are German manufacturers of fine porcelain that create products that are unique in their form, function and quality under the brands Rosenthal, Thomas, Versace, Arzberg

Ragged is an uneven badly manufactured and graded tea.

Red Clover Tea has been a valued medicine since ancient times as a detoxification herb or “blood cleanser.” In the 19th century it was valued for treating respiratory problems, colds, flu The tea, gastrointestinal problems and as a cream for alleviating skin inflammations.


A strainer is used inside the teapot at the base of the spout.   The strainer can be built into the ceramic surface with a pattern of small holes, allowing the water to pour through but keeping the tea leaves in the pot. 

Shape – In a similar fashion to automobile manufacturer, each range of china had its own design and dimensions which combine to represent its shape.  There are over 130 Shelley and Wileman back stamped shapes.

Scone – A traditional pastry usually served with strawberry jam and thickened cream.

Shelley Fine Bone China began in 1860 when the Wileman family, who owned the large pottery works between London and Staffordshire called Foley. They built a second pottery for the purpose of producing fine china with emphasis on improving china quality and building the foreign export part of the business. The company was earlier known as Wileman & Co. which had also traded as The Foley Potteries. Trading as Shelley Pottery from 1925 to the late 1960s.

Scented tea
Green semi fermented or black teas that have been flavored by adding flower petals, fruits spices and/or natural oils.  Examples of these are Jasmine tea, Rose Pouchong, Orange tea, Cinnamon tea or Earl Grey.

Scented tea – tea leaves scented with flowers that can be removed once the process is finished, leaving only the scented pure leaves

Semi-Fermented tea
Tea that has been partially oxidized before being fired and dried.  Most often referred to as Oolong tea, it has the qualities and appearance somewhere in between a green tea and a black tea.  Often yielding a citrus or fruity flavor depending on the masters craft and skill.Smoky tea
Black tea from China and Formosa that has been smoked over a wood fire such as Lapsang Souchong.

Specialty tea
A blend of teas that takes its name from the area in which it is grown; a blend of teas blended for a particular person or event or a blend of teas for a particular time of the day.

Souchong Tea is a large leaf black tea from China, Souchong tea comes from a small bush with leaves allowed to develop to a large size.

Stoneware – is china which is somewhere between porcelain and earthenware but much stronger than either.  It is opaque, intensely hard and non-porous.

Single Origin Tea – tea leaves grown and harvested from one tea farm

Silver Needle – silver needle teas are all white teas made from pure tea buds. They can come from China, India, Sri Lanka and other countries.

Steep – The time for letting the teabag or teapot sit so that it brews. The longer it is left the strong the tea will be.

A storm in a teapot or teacup is a disproportionate reaction to anger, concern, or displeasure over some minor or trivial matter. Also might be a tempest in a teacup, or tempest in a teapot a storm over a trifle or much ado about nothing

Smash the teapot means to resume drinking alcohol after a time of non drinking . The teapot is a likely reference to the “teetotaler” one who does not drink alcohol

Spode– Founded by Josiah Spode in Stoke-on-Trent, England. Spode is an iconic British fine bone china brand with an iconic style and extraordinary history spanning 250 years. The quintessential blue and white dinnerware.


Tannin is the name the tea industry uses for polyphenols contained in tea that give Tea the pungency.

Tarry is the smoky aroma and taste from a smoked black tea such as Lapsang Souchong.

Tasseomancy is the art of reading tea leaves.

Tea is the ubiquitous beverage brewed from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The term tea is also used to describe afternoon tea or any reception or party where tea is served.

  • Tea in Croatian is -caj pronounced chai
  • Tea in Danish is -te
    Tea in Arabic- is chai or shai
  • Tea in Dutch is -thee
  • Tea in English is tea
  • Tea in French is le thé masculine
  • Tea in German is -der Tee
  • Tea in Hebrew is – teh
  • Tea in Greek is-tsai
  • Tea in Italian is – te pronounced teh
  • Tea in Hindi is-chai
  • Tea in Hungarian is -tea or plural -teak
  • Tea in Ireland is -tae pronounced Tay
  • Tea in Polish is -herbata
  • Tea in Romania is -ceai
  • Tea in Sri Lanka is – thé and the word for teapot is actually a Dutch loanword. It is theepot.
  • Tea in Spanish is – el té masculine; pronounced tay
  • Tea in Swedish is- te
  • Tea in Turkish – cay pronounced chai

Tea Bags were originally handmade and hand stitched into a muslin or silk bags. Patents for tea bags date back to 1903. Thomas Sullivan, a tea merchant from New York, is often credited with creating the first commercial tea bag concept in 1908 because he sent tea samples in pouches to commercial customers instead of using expensive tin canisters. The recipients loved them and demanded more tea in bags. The bags were first made of silk, then muslin, then paper. Today though tea bags are often made of inferior tea fannings rather than whole tea leaves.

Tea Chest– A box made of wood and aluminum foil lined inside for shipping tea from plantations.

Tea tree is a tea bush which has been allowed to return to its wild state and grow back into a tree.

Tea taster is an expert able to judge tea leaf and cup quality and all stages of production, brokerage blending and packaging.

Tea plant – The tea plant is called Camellia sinensis and the tea leaves are plucked and dried into the tea that is brewed. The plant is native to China, the largest tea-producing nation. The tea plant grows to a 30 feet, but in cultivation it is pruned to 3-5 feet. The most desirable leaves are those near the growing tip. The best teas are made with only the top two leaves picked for brewing.

Tea Factory is the building where the plucked leaves are manufactured into black, oolong, green or white tea.  

Tea service sometimes called Tea set are all the utensils required  for making and serving Tea. A classic combination is the teapot, milk jug, and sugar bowl

Tea taster is a professional who judges tea quality and flavour at all stages of the tea production.

Tea Garden -is a term to describe a place where tea and light refreshments are served, a tea plantation, or any garden associated with tea. Alfresco London gardens in the 18th century were places where tea, biscuits and cakes were served. Often thought of as a peaceful place for a sit, stroll or social event, the tea garden is a smaller form of a pleasure garden.

Teapot A china, ceramic, pottery, or metal vessel used for brewing and serving hot tea. Originating in Asian cultures many centuries ago. The Teapot was created as a means to infuse the flavours of minced tea leaves with water so it could be served as a beverage. The material first used to make Teapots was unglazed clay, which was cherished for its ability to absorb the flavour of the tea, allowing it to not only be held within the material but to also serve as a way to enhance and strengthen the continuing flavours of the tea as each pot was brewed.

Tea Tea – a way to describe black tea with milk when out at a cafe and given a huge selection of unusual and herbal teas. Pronounced with contrastive stress on the first tea.

Tisane – herbal tea not made from Camellia sinensis

Theanine: Exceptional and special amino acid in tea.

Tuareg Tea -is strong mint tea prepared by Arab people North Africa and the Middle East.

Tulsi Tea – is a herbal tea steeped from the leaves and blossoms of the tulsi basil plant. It is high in antioxidants and has been drunk in India since about 5000 BC to promote wellness and longevity. In India, the tulsi plant is known as the “queen of herbs” and is an important aspect of Ayurvedic medicine taken as a tonic.

Theine is another word for caffeine.

Tisane – Another word to describe a herbal tea.

Tip-The bud leaves on a tea bush

Tea Times

8am – Breakfast tea

11am – “Elevensies” – served with scones, jam and cream.

3-4pm – Afternoon tea – served with biscuits and shortbread

6pm – High tea, also referred to Supper tea – served with meat, cheese, bread, sandwiches, fruit, and sweets.

8pm – Evening tea – served by itself.

Tea culture -is widespread around the world and differs greatly from one country to another by the type of tea they like to drink to the formal and specific rituals of the way tea is made and served plus the aesthetics around tea drinking.

Tea Towel – Thin towel for drying dishes especially fine china as they cannot be put in the dishwasher. These can be very decorative and are often collected.

Tea -is a slang way to say ‘gossip’ according to Urban Dictionary’s definition from 2003 -“gossip or personal information belonging to someone else. To spill the tea

Tea– Tea is also used to describe dinner in England

Tea Lady – A woman whose job in the office was to brew and serve the tea to staff. This job has almost gone except in hospitals and workers have machines or a tea room or they do a coffee run.

Tea set -is a teapot with matching cups, saucers, cake plate and small plates.

Trios– are a set of three items cup, saucer and small cake or sandwich plate.

Tea tray– is a tray for the serving of Tea.

Tip-The bud leaves on a tea bush. 

Tippy -Teas which have white or golden tips which are characteristic of high quality teas. 

Tea Break– is a pause in the work day for a tea or coffee


Umami – umami, or the sixth flavor is a savory flavor recognizable in Japanese teas, especially gyokuro. It’s best extracted with cooler water.

Useful as a chocolate teapot means completely useless as pouring water on chocolate would melt

A high mountain district in Sri Lanka that produces quality teas.


Vintage teas grown in Yunnan province in China, Pu’erhs have a woody, earthy character acquired over an aging and maturing process. The best of these teas can sell for thousands of pounds.

Vegetal – word often used for steamed Japanese tea, that have a very fresh green and herbaceous flavour

Villeroy and Boch is an International tableware brand family-owned since 1748, and is one of the largest producers of premium porcelain and ceramic products worldwide.


Way of Tea -is a Japanese expression for the Japanese tea ceremony, a complex ceremony with the many utensils involved and its specific vocabulary.

Wild tea – tea from a wild tea bush, grown naturally rather than cultivated on tea plantations

Wileman – The name of the Foley area china works originated in 1860 by Henry Wileman,  which later was purchased by  Percy Shelley and renamed to Shelley Potteries in 1910. 

Whole Leaf – usually the highest grade of tea that contains full unbroken leaves and gives a lighter and less astringent brew

Wedgwood -is a quintessential English brand of fine china and porcelain. Perfect for High Tea and afternoon teas. Founded in 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood I (aged just twenty-nine). Today 260 years later Wedgwood are still producing many of the materials he invented, such as Jasper, Queen’s Ware and Black Basalt trading as WWRD – Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton group.

White Tea -One of the purest teas we have and is made from a leaf, which is simply dried but not left to oxidise. This means that the leaves hold the most natural elements of the plant and are rich in antioxidants. Considered the crème de la crème of tea.



Yellow Tea -Among China’s rarest it has a pale yellow liquor, a sweet honeyed flavour and fresh aftertaste.

Yixing is a city in Eastern China near Shanghai renowned for their clay teapots

This glossary is incomplete and will be added to over time as posts are published.