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Name: Steven R. Jones; Link: http://teaarts.blogspot.com/
名字:瓊斯史迪芬Steven R. Jones, 網址: http://teaarts.blogspot.com/


Comprehensive Introduction to Tea Studies 綜合研論茶學 (中英文茶之術語)

第十三屆國際無我茶會 , 國際茶文化節 , 論文集
Proceedings of the 13th International Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony and Tea Culture Festival
Pub.:  天仁茶藝文化基金會 Ten Ren Tea Arts and Culture Foundation
Date:  2011.05
ISBN:  978-986-84204-2-7

Comprehensive Introduction to Tea Studies (including Chinese-English Tea Terminology)
綜合研論茶學 (中英文茶之術語)
By:  Steven R. Jones 作者:  瓊斯‧史迪芬

Comprehensive Introduction to Tea Studies
(including Chinese-English Tea Terminology)
綜合研論茶學 (中英文茶之術語)


By:  Steven R. Jones
(Lu-Yu Tea Culture Institute, Tea Culture Dept. Tenfu Tea College)
作者:  瓊斯史迪芬 (陸羽茶藝中心 . 天福茶學院茶文化系 )

Chinese Translation:  Chang, Li-Hsiang 中文翻譯:  張麗香

Feb. 17, 2011

時代在前進, 新舊永遠在堆移之中, 本文深討綜合研論茶學(中英文茶之術語) 每一時代都有其新的面貌, 在這篇文章中茶學專業英文以最基本的課程來描述, 此外使用圖片、列表、圖表和數位方式而成為一種具有時代性的一大特色, 正如所有科目總有許多側面和因素,意謂我們應從多方面來學習英文語言,呈現新的時代精神, 都具有非常重要的意義。茶之所以多元化而其中是因最佳播種生長的環境、研究等等, 才能蘊育出繁盛的茶業文化。

Keywords Tea Studies Education茶教育;Tea English Translation茶英譯;Tea Culture茶文化;


In this essay we will give a description of the basic curriculum for “Specialized English for Tea Studies”. As with all subjects there are always many sides and factors, we will come from a native English speaker aspect. Many of the ideas discussed can be used directly by native English speakers and also as a learning of tea from an English learning experience for foreign speakers.  We will see how each part of tea studies builds on the terminology of the previous sections. Also the use of pictures, lists, charts, and figures should help give a graphical representation of concepts covered.  While this paper does not address in detail agriculture, we should remember that the tea leaf begins life as a seed or cutting and there are many craftsmen that tend to and harvest the tea; and without them we would never have the chance to experience such excellent teas.

Below is the content list of this paper as well as the basic curriculum organization of the “Specialized English for Tea” course taught at the “Tenfu Tea College天福茶學院” and the “Lu-Yu Tea Culture Institute陸羽茶藝中心”.  But in this paper we only briefly introduce the topics and also have connected the topics to integrate more of the various fields of Tea Studies than just the Department of Tea Culture.


第一    茶葉生產加工Tea Production and Processing Technology

第二    泡茶原理、品茶、茶食品加工 Brewing Principles, Tea Tasting and Tea Foods Processing Technology

第三    茶陶瓷藝術設計 Tea Ceramic Arts and Design

第四    茶文化 Tea Cultures

第五    茶化學、茶與健康 Tea Chemistry, Tea and Health

第六  茶會、茶之市場行銷、茶之旅遊管理Tea Functions, Tea Marketing Management, and Tea Tourism Management

第七    辭彙表Lexicon Index

Tea Production and Processing Technology
( 茶樹裁培、采青、初制、茶葉精製、加工、包裝、茶之分類與識別 )

Now let’s first look at the beginning of the tea leaf journey after the important growing process and from the point of harvesting is where we will start.  In this first section on specialized English for tea studies, we will use some terms from botany and the field of black tea and to some extent green tea.  Comparing all the teas, black tea has the most English information including terminology.  We start with learning about tea fundamentals from a scientific aspect, with topics of growing, harvesting, making, and classifying teas. 


Tea Types Defined by the Degree of Fermentation and Post Fermentation
including the determining primary processes
non fermentation: harvesting-  fixation -rolling-shaping- drying
partial fermentation:  harvesting -withering (indoors and outdoors)- fermentation- fixing - rolling- drying-(optional roasting)
full fermentation: harvesting- withering -rolling (twisting, orthodox, or CTC)-  fermentation- drying
post fermentation:

piling: harvesting- sun fixation - sun drying -  rolling - piling- shaping (compress or loose) - sun drying - (usually aging)

non piling: harvesting - fixation - rolling - shaping (compress or loose) - sun drying - (usually aging)

In the above table (see Fig1) we have listed the types of fermentation and the major processes involved to make various teas. The non-fermented teas consist of green tea and yellow tea.  The partial fermentation is white teas and oolong teas or celadon tea.  Full fermentation is how black tea is made.  The post-fermentation can be the simple process of aging or the process of piling which is microbial fermentation this is how dark Puer tea and dark tea are made.  This classifying and listing by sequence shows the terms for processing of tea.  Below we have expanded the processes.  For the process of “harvesting” we use the raw tea product identified as “fresh leaves”.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Taking the terms from tea processing and using the classification by color and creating a flow chart (see Fig2); we can see clearly in Chinese and English the major steps involved.  The classification of tea using the color system is not perfect, for example yellow tea is not really yellow or oolong tea is not really celadon in color.  Yet the logical pattern is that tea turns relatively from green to black (actually dark brown) depending on the degree of fermentation.  In making the flow chart, attention is taken to the alignment grouping of processes to make the chart with fewer lines as opposed to more lines.  For example all teas go through the drying step last, so therefore we have only one drying box on the right side of the flow chart.  Side-by-side translation of terms makes it easy for learning and easy to see errors in the sequences, a chart also is good for a reference in group discussions.  In Fig2 only the primary steps are listed, there is no mention of the secondary processing such as the roasting, scenting or aging process, these processes can be added to the teas after the initial drying process.  The primary processes determine what kind of tea is the final end product (i.e. a finished green tea that is additionally roasted will not change to a black or an oolong)

Brewing Principles, Tea Tasting and Tea Foods Processing Technology

Tea brewing is an art, and involves understanding the different varieties of tea, characteristics, and the parameters for making a good cup of tea.  We also need to understand the different ways to enjoy the liquid tea through the methods of steeping, whisking, and boiling; also some knowledge of the material properties of the brewing vessel, like understanding its heat conductivity. We will look at tea steeping, traditionally and commonly known as tea brewing.  Also brewing takes trial and error, which means lots of practice.

What does brewing mean?

If we translated this directly from Chinese by word-for-word it would be  “soak”, but in the English language and tea culture we already have a word which is “brew” even though the tea leaf is usually soaked and not cooked, yet we all understand this as the way of making tea called “tea brewing”.

Gongfu or Kungfu?

The difference of “gong” and “kung”, sometimes in Chinese writings they will use these words interchangeably, but we try to distinguish in English the difference of the two terms to avoid confusion between the  Kungfu 功夫 (use this one when referring to martial arts武術), and Gongfu 工夫 (use this one for tea terminology茶之術語). In tea studies with the term kungfu we are referring to the martial arts and with gongfu we are talking about its aspect to tea.  An example is “Gongfu Tea Ceremony 工夫茶”, which is a style of tea brewing like the Wuyi Tea Ceremony or Wuyi tea brewing method, with a teapot, small porcelain cups, and usually with an oolong tea.  Remember that there also is a tea named gongfu, as in Gongfu Black Tea which is a type of black tea.  While Gongfu Tea Ceremony originated using oolong tea, any tea can be used with the goal of make an excellent cup of tea from the first to the last brew.  Below is an example that can be used in the classroom for tea appreciation.

An example of attending a Gongfu Tea Ceremony
– Gongfu Tea 工夫茶, skillfully making tea, to bring out the best of the tea's character and essence. To elegantly brew the best we can, with the goal of simplicity.
During the Gongfu Tea tasting workshop:
Everyone will be given a cup, please use the same cup during the tasting.
Caution Hot!, take care when handling and drinking the hot tea.
Avoid drinking on an empty stomach, eating some snacks help digest the tea.
Tea masters will brew teas and tea participants will evaluate teas by tea tasting and appreciation.
Tea Drinking Appreciation, from the tea liquid: color, aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel. Try to describe the characteristics of the teas, using comparison and contrast. Remember enjoy the tea and savor the tea slowly. 
Participants can alternate being brewers, while everyone tastes teas made by others and gives and receives feedback through discussion, notes should also be taken for future reference.  This is a great hands-on practice and tasting experience.  In this following section of tea brewing we need terms for the brewing steps, movements, and the different types of brewing methods.

Lu-Yu Small Pot Tea Laws:(24 Rules)
prepare tea ware備具
prepare cups備杯

from still to ready position
divide tea分茶
prepare water備水
serve tea by cups端杯奉茶
warm pot溫壺
second infusion沖第二道茶
prepare tea備茶
serve tea by pitcher持盅奉茶(additional rounds can be made by steps 18 and19a )
recognize tea識茶

supply snacks or water (not necessary)
appreciate tea賞茶
take out brewed leaves去渣
warm pitcher溫盅
appreciate leaves (not necessary) 賞葉底
put in tea置茶
rinse pot涮壺
smell fragrance聞香
return to seat歸位
first infusion沖第一道茶
rinse pitcher清盅
collect cups收杯
warm cups燙杯
pour tea倒茶

When making and serving tea, preparation is essential and should be done fluidly and not rushed.  In the above steps (see Fig3), the tea making process is mapped out, one should realize that the above is not just limited to a teapot, but also a cover bowl or whisking spout bowl can be used.  We have divided the procedure down to twenty-four main steps.  This chart can be given to students for reference of the basic tea brewing sequence.  Also additional rounds or brews can be made from step18 and step19a.  Man does not live on tea alone, let’s look at tea foods. 


Teas, Seasons, Food Flavors, Colors
Tea Type
green tea
black tea
roasted oolong tea
dark tea or Puer tea

(Note: the above (see Fig4) is a possibility arrangement not a required set of rules)

Another field in Tea Studies is Tea Foods Production and Processing, tea foods either gourmet or simple snacks are an important part of Tea Arts.  Tea foods can complement the tea as well as the tea can complement the foods.  In the chart above (see Fig4) we have made a comparison of tea, flavors, seasons, and colors.  There are more varieties of foods than there are teas; and the skills of manufacturing high quality tasting foods are no easy task.  But matching foods and teas is the important factor as well as adding complementary tastes that will create a tasty product.  Many food items are seasonal and are not made year around, hygiene, proper packaging and freshness are required. As the major part of the curriculum is foods production and together with tea studies core classes make for a complete program for the various needs of high quality tea foods. By understanding the different characteristics of tea, the tea ingredients can be studied and selected to complement the particular tea food being created.

Some examples of tea snacks are:  Almond Green Tea Snacks, Green Tea Almond Flavored Mini Crispies, Green Tea Cookies/Shortbread, Green Tea Flavored Caramel Milk Candy, Green Tea Flavored Mini Pie, Jinxuan Dried Preserved Tomatoes, Tea Flavored Dried Preserved Dates, Pineapple Cakes, Moon Cakes, as well as others.  Example Product names, are“綠茶金桔 Preserved Kumquats with Green Tea” and “綠茶蕃茄Preserved Tomatoes with Green Tea”, and having a well translated“營養標示 Nutrition Labeling”, excellent quality tea foods are made with only real tea.

茶陶瓷藝術設計 Tea Ceramic Arts and Design
( 茶具名稱與功能 )

Here we need to look toward the field of pottery or ceramic arts.  Pottery is the art of the ceramist, and pottery is the tools of the tea master.  Clays are the building blocks of pottery, and we need an understanding of ceramic and material property fundamentals, as well as the production of these materials.  Most of the tea produced comes from a handful of countries, but tea ware comes from all over the world and we need to take this into account when deciding how to translating.  Also tea ware is usually made of ceramic material, but we also have other materials including metals, and woods.  We create this part of the tea studies lexicon from a ceramic artist and craftsman view, using their terminology.  This is an important area to expand tea terminology because this can open needed communication between the brewers and the makers of tea ware.  The main goal of the ceramic artist is to improve tea ware and create tea ware that is functional and convenient for the tea brewer.

The Raw Materials of Ceramics

Clays are derived for rock and sediments of different densities and are sometimes aged, for example “kaolinite高嶺石,化學成分:Al2Si2O5(OH)4” is a clay with the components of aluminum oxide and silicon oxide.  Famous from “Jingdezhen 景德鎮”, kaolinite is also known as china clay, white clay, or kaolin.  However there are other clay materials such as, “Yixing宜興” has sandy clays which are somewhat more coarse than the clays of Taiwan’s “Yingge鶯歌”, the latter which are finer and more malleable and suitable for hand throwing.

The Manufacturing Processes (basic process):

Mixing the clays
The raw materials are sometimes attained as dry powders and mixed then water is added, some clays are also aged, proper percentage of water is important for the shaping process, slurry of course has more water than clays that are for hand shaping. 

Slip casting
Slip casting slurry mixtures are added to two-piece plaster molds which absorb moisture and are allowed to dry to shape.  After opening the plaster mold the piece is cleaned of rough edges or any seams left from the mold.

De-airing and kneading
The plug mill is used to chop clay and de-airs the clay lumps that can be then hand shape.

Shaping and forming
This depends on the type of clay and the consistency.  For liquid mixtures slip molds are used.  There are machine methods for example jiggering, some hand methods are pinch, thrown, and paddle methods are used to shape the clay body.  After the shaping then the clay is allowed to dry to a whitehard body.

Dried undecorated greenware or whitehard clay pieces are still slightly wet and can be glazed or painted and then can be fired.  Sometimes heated dryers are used to remove moisture during the drying process.

Glazing and decorative painting
After the pieces have been dried, they are ready for glazing. The pieces may be entirely covered in one color of glaze by being run under a flow of glaze that completely coats each piece, or the pieces may be sprayed or dipped in glaze. Hand painted pieces may be more decoratively glaze painted; some pieces have decorative decal applied by hand.  The final color is determined by high temperatures and various metallic oxides like:  iron, nickel, vanadium, and for specific colors antimony for yellows, copper for blues, reds, and greens, chrome for greens, and cobalt for blacks.

After pieces are decorated and dried they are ready for firing.  Some pieces are fired more than once, and this allows different layers to be applied and at different temperatures required.  After pieces have been fired they change chemical composition and fuse and become stable and long lasting, and at this stage are considered pottery and ceramics.  The raw materials become stoneware, earthenware, and porcelain works of art.  In the next section we will look at some ceramics that pertain to tea pottery arts.

The Ceramic Artist and the Tea Master

It could be said, the more the tea brewing master knows about the creation and the material science of ceramics, and the more the ceramic artist knows about the use of the tea ware and brewing, the better the design and production of tea ware will evolve.  With the names of tea ware we first look if there is an English name used or something similar, also we could use a Romanized name, (i.e. the Romanized Chinese term gaiwan for cover bowl).  While not complete below is a list of some tea ware used today.


Tea Ware 茶具
tea spoon 茶匙
brewing vessel 沖泡盅
serving tray奉茶盤
tea bowl 茶碗
teacup 茶杯
teapot 茶壺
cup saucer杯托
cover bowl 蓋碗
tea ware 茶器
tea pad 壺墊
thermos 熱水瓶
tea pitcher茶盅
tea jar 茶甕 (tea urn)
lid saucer蓋置
tea cart 茶車
towel tray茶巾盤
water heater煮水器
tea towel 茶巾
water kettle 水壺
tea holder茶荷
tea basin 水盂
tea brush 茶拂
tea caddy (canister) 茶罐
timer 計時器
tea boat 茶船

In the above table (see Fig5) we have some simple yet essential tea equipment necessary for making tea.  This group of words also acts as an inventory check list for the tools of the tea master.  Some of the terms are derived from British tea culture due to England’s long love of tea and beautiful china (porcelain).

茶文化Tea Cultures
( 中國茶史、世界茶文化、茶詩、音樂 )

Tea and People

In this part, we cover tea's effect on people, or should we say people’s imprint on tea?  To explore the world of tea and people, we take what we have learned from sections on tea processing, tea brewing, tea ware, and using this knowledge and applying it for furthering the explanation of the history and culture of tea and its influence on man.  With English translations of Chinese historical records we must check phonics for that era including modern pinyin; spelling rules have changed and sometimes words were misspelled by not understanding the spelling rules of the time.  Hence, here we sometimes have to translate backwards, from the foreign language back to Chinese.  This can be difficult with old documents and deciphering what they were trying to say, for example, some names of Chinese teas have changed including the Chinese and English names.  

While there has been much secrecy about producing tea product, the enjoyment of drinking tea has been more open and very social.  Throughout time China has always been in the fore front creating a better bowl or cup of tea and sharing these aesthetically beautiful and efficient methods with the world.  Below are three ways that tea is made throughout the world today.

Brewing tea through history
The three major methods for drinking tea and the popular time period:
Boiling tea    煮茶    (Tang Dynasty唐代)
Whisking tea 點茶    (Song Dynasty宋代) (still popular in Japan)
Steeping tea   泡茶   (Ming Dynasty明代)

Translating cultural tea terminology

When dealing with countries that also use Chinese characters we should use the phonics of the country of origin, for example translating the Japanese tea masters or Japanese tea terms we should use Japanese based phonics (i.e. Sen no Rikyu千利休).  If we compare the different countries that we have included in our tea culture section in respect to translating, Korea is possibly the most difficult, due to the fact that there is not as much material in English or Chinese to research or compare with. With British tea culture obviously we translate from English to Chinese but if found, we also clarify any gross misrepresentations.  As for any poetry, this is definitely the most difficult to translate, keeping the meaning and trying to make it sound smooth is difficult.  With translational priorities we strive to keep the meaning first as much as possible, yet leave some room for setting the intended tone, as well as keeping in the logical pattern of our tea studies lexicon. 

The translation of classical books are important and translating the particular tea ware is vital to understanding and tracing the history of tea culture, as an example we have a book dated six hundred years ago and we have translated just the topics, which can be used by historians to document and libraries to categorize the information.  Here below is “Tea Manual, 1440”, just one of the many classical writings on tea, we have recorded and translated just the chapter topics which also include tea ware and it can be referenced to other writings like the tea ware of Lu Yu’s “Tea Classic”.

“Tea Manual, 1440” Zhu Quan (Ming. 1378-1448 A.D.)
《茶譜》朱權 (. 1378~1448)

Content below also includes ten tea wares:


1.Selecting Tea品茶

2.Storing Tea收茶

3.Whisking Tea點茶
4.Scenting Tea Method熏香茶法

Ten Tea Wares茶器具: 
5.Tea Brazier茶爐、6.Tea Stove茶灶、 7.Tea Mill茶磨、8.Crushing Roller茶碾、9.Tea Sieve茶羅、10.Tea Stand茶架、 11.Tea Spoon茶匙、12.Tea Whisk茶筅、13.Teacup茶甌、14.Tea Pitcher茶瓶

15.Heating Water Method煎湯法

16.Selecting Water品水

Since there have been several books with the same name of “Tea Manual茶譜” we have used the convention of adding the date to the name for clarity.  The tea book title of Tea Manual written by Zhu Quan in the year 1440 A.D. we call “Tea Manual 1440”.   The “Tea Manual 1440” includes a preface and sixteen chapters while they are ordered differently we can be grouped them by four common topics.

Tea tasting: selecting tea, selecting water, boiling water, and whisking tea.

Tea processing: storing and scenting tea. 

Tea ware: tea brazier, tea stove tea mill, crushing roller, tea sieve, tea stand, tea spoon, tea whisk, teacup, and tea pitcher. 

Note on translation:  Here “tea spoon茶匙” is not the same as a “teaspoon” of British tea culture.

In the above example notice the citation consists of the book name, author, and date, this simple yet vital information is important to the library archivist as well as the tea historians.  We also have listed the topics of the book as well as the tea ware topics with English and Chinese for quick reference of terms.  Again like our previous sections, we want to make it usable to not only to tea studies but other disciplines, for example not all historians are tea masters and not all tea masters are historians, therefore we must pay attention to detail in the translation of the book name, author, and topics by keeping consistent with our tea studies terminology. 

Tea and Music
Music and tea have been long companions and here we take music to be part of tea, and for the musician to learn about tea and to experience music with tea.  A very ancient and one of the first instruments to be used with tea is the “guqin” sometimes referred to in Chinese as just the last part of the word “qin”, yet in English the full term guqin is preferred to avoid confusion.  Below is a brief description to this musical instrument by comparing it to a western musical instrument and using music terms when appropriate. 

Ancient guqins 古琴of just “silk and wood弦與木

While the guqin is unique, the Western zither is similar to the guqin, the guqin has also been called a “lute”; but we will preserve its name as “guqin” this is a direct pinyin spelling of “ 古琴  ”.  The structure of the guqin is simple and complex being made of Chinese parasol wood and strings of twisted silk. The upper board is round and made of a parasol wood “firmiana simplex梧桐” and symbolizes the heavens, the bottom board is flat and made of a wood called “catalpa ovata梓木” and symbolizes earth. The guqin originally had five strings, representing the five elements:  metal, wood, water, fire and earth. The thirteen “studs (hui)”on the surface represent the 13 months of the lunar year including the leap month. The entire length of the qin in Chinese measurements is approximately “3 chi, 6 cun 5 fen 三尺六寸五分“; representing the 365 days of the year. It is in the class of zithers with no bridges and has seven silk strings with thirteen “studs” usually made of mother of pearl. An antique guqin's age can be determined by the snake-like crack pattern called “crack patterns斷紋”.  It can be seen how our lexicon has went on one of many tangents to reach subjects touched by tea in some sort.

Very specific terms and the specialized tea lexicon.

Here we use the term “very specific” instead of rare, uncommon, or obsolete, because what might seem uncommon, to some perhaps is not uncommon at all.  Here we will reveal terms that are not known by many people and rarely written or spoken of therefore these terms are often difficult to find, yet these terms do exist and have a purpose. In multi-language and cross-cultural subject studies we have many orphan terms that are not well established, referenced, or defined.  The larger our tea lexicon becomes the wider the spectrum of topics that we integrate, and the more we can relate in terms of tea studies.  For example the very specific word “literati文人”, is not a common English word, yet the term “scholar” is, the definition of the two are similar but not the same, in the example below literati is the preferred or more correct term, but we also include scholar or maybe we could say Chinese classical scholar, this could give the reader a transitional reference point. 

First let’s explain the following phrase in this style of translation to be clear on what Chinese term is used, we have included the Romanized Chinese:
“Four Arts 四藝 of the Literati文人” are qin, qi, shu, and hua, in general mean,   Musical Instruments, Chess, Calligraphy, and Painting".  And with Chinese classical scholars of the time meant, Guqin, Chess which is actually the game of “Go or Weichi圍棋”, Calligraphy, and Water Color Painting.

Now with reference to the term literati we can know explore the topic, as it pertains to tea see below:

Literati (Scholar) and Tea文人與茶:

To the tea master tea is more than a drink; it is a way to express art.   Below we have a tea arts theme called “Scholar Tea”.  This theme also explains some historic facts of the relationship of tea and the literati as well as their connection to tea ware. (Presentation by Steven R. Jones and Tea Master Chang Li-Hsiang ( 張麗香), along with other cultural events at Confucius Institute at San Diego State University圣地亚哥州立大学孔子学院, California in 2009.)

Below we have a Tea Site Theme that encompasses our term literati:

Literati Tea文人茶(or Scholar Tea) 
When tea savoring swept though China, it became a wonderful substitute for wine. Tea has been a drink that awakens the body first, then the mind, and ultimately the human spirit. Savoring a bowl or cup of tea in solitude or among colleague has often spawned inspiration.  Simple tea drinking is perhaps how these classic literati or scholars got their ideas. It is well known the “Four Arts四藝 of the Literati”. The scholars, scholarly civil servants, or literati of Imperial China, where all schooled in Confucianism known as the School of Literati.  In early China the term refers to the class of people that went through traditional Chinese education. There were sets of Chinese civil service examinations, including Chinese literature and philosophy. Passing the exam was a requirement for many government positions. These individuals were the mandarins, and referred to those who held government positions. Classical Chinese tea, calligraphy, poetry, painting, qin, and “go or weichi圍棋”, were practiced and perfected by this social class.  The Ancient Chinese Literati took pride in their writing instruments and their surroundings. Most of the literati came from the higher class of society, and were also known as collectors of art in the form of stone, wood, lacquer, ivory, horn, metal, jade figurines, as well as their writings that were put on scrolls and displayed as art. These items were set around their place of work like desks, rooms, walls and shelves; and these items were focus points and appreciated over cups of tea, with the scholar’s mind always at work “thinking”. Also the act of brewing tea, admiring the beauty and craftsmanship of the brewing vessels that allow it to infuse into a magnificent liquid and pour in a perfect arc, and filling the air with wonderful scents and flavors, and in all this inspired the literati. Their love for tea ware and their choice of style also influenced the potters of the time.  Many scholars had a connection and passion for nature, so they would have a retreat in the mountains. Here an apprentice would make tea and the literati would savor tea and let the mind wonder and drift through the lore of life. 

Now let’s move to another place and time, to the north of Asia, here they also were influenced by China and China’s tea.  Now let us go to this different region using different cultural items; but still enjoying tea.

What is a “samovar茶炊”?

A samovar is used to heat water and has a teapot on top for steeping concentrated tea that hot water will be added to the cups before serving.  Before we leave the section of tea culture, look at the picture above (see Fig6), we can observe just one of the many cultures affected by tea, in this old oil painting we can see two people probably talking and enjoying Russian black tea with a samovar as the centerpiece.  Even though this scene is set several hundred years ago, and we might not be familiar with the samovar, we can see that tea is the major part of socializing life in this picture.  The samovar of the Russian household is always on and ready to serve family members and guests alike.  In translating the term samovar, we do not have this exact object in the English language, the closest thing we have is an urn which still is not universally thought of as a vessel used with tea, as in “tea urn”.  Yet the true Russian word “samovar”, easy to pronounce and spell in English, works perfectly into our tea vocabulary.  The samovar is also called a “Russian urn”.  Tea is still the popular drink for Russians, with porcelain teacups or small glasses with metal holders. The Russian term samovar means “to boil itself”, it is made of metal, and with older samovars they had a separated chamber in the center for hot coals to heat the water, now they are electric. Placed on top of the samovar is a teapot with loose tea leaf and is very concentrated, the pot is made of metal or porcelain.  When serving tea, the concentrated tea from the teapot is added to a teacup, and then located near the bottom of the samovar, hot water is added to the teacup from the spigot.  This type of brewing is what we in tea studies call the concentrated tea method. 

Tea Chemistry, Tea and Health

A chemist knows chemistry and a teaist knows tea, but who knows tea chemistry?

From the first section we began with tea terminology from a science aspect before moving to the arts and culture, and we now come back to science again to explore the science of tea and health aspects.  Tea chemistry from a translation and explanation standpoint is universal and fairly simple due to the fact that chemistry in general has a large specific universal lexicon and is used throughout the world.  A simple example is there are many words for water depending on the language; but the chemical formula “H2O” is the same in all languages and is understood by the global chemist. Many fields of tea do not require the use or understanding of much tea chemistry, yet this does not mean we should neglect it. Obviously chemists understand chemistry, but that does not mean they all know what areas of chemistry is important for tea terminology. Therefore we in the tea field also need to study some chemistry. Here we borrow or use much of the specialized chemistry terminology, and incorporate it in the tea terminology lexicon. From the science of chemistry and our knowledge of tea we can build a scientific tea lexicon part. This is important, because we study tea and understand what is needed from chemistry terminology, such as the chemical process of enzymatic oxidation, as well as the Maillard reaction or browning process. Understanding chemicals and the color of tea. With the basic understanding of tea chemistry and then researching health studies, we can come to some conclusions of human health issues. Most of the tea studies workforce is not scientists or doctors, yet we can study from dependable sources, and with doctors and scientists within the whole tea science community can perform or help in some way with research and education. Many of the students that continue education in tea studies can have a crucial role of sharing credible information on health issues with proper references. For example, one should not drink strong tea in the evening due to the fact that the tea caffeine can interfere with regular sleep, or caffeine can give relief to tension headaches. Teaching people about the benefits of tea, and how tea can be a nutritional and healthy beverage, as opposed to alcohol or sweeten sodas.

Another task is we need to take the tea science and health information and convey it in common terms for the average individual tea drinker and to include beginners, in a way that everyone can understand. Using complicated tea terminology for the promotion of Tea Arts would be unproductive.  An important factor to remember is that as experts in our field we should not mislead people that do depend on us for tea knowledge; also we should check information and expose any myths of tea health science.  Below are just a few example terms explained that were stated in the first section of tea processing, as of today these three terms are still often not understood or mislabeled.

The following is explained as they pertain to tea.

Fermentation發酵: actually “enzymatic oxidation酶氧化”, noticeable change in chemical composition and leaf becomes darker, moisture and heat aid in this process. This is the process that changes raw green tea to oolong tea, white tea, or black tea, depending upon the degree of oxidation.  Oxidation氧化 (enzymatic) is a natural chemical change in the tea leaf that begins after harvesting and accelerates if leaf cells are broken and exposed to oxygen.

Fixation殺青: to rapidly stop the oxidation process through water loss in the raw tea leaf caused by heat. After the fixation process the raw tea leaf is considered dead and does not metabolize and is relatively chemically stable.

Microbial fermentation微生物發酵:  this take place during the piling process, this is initiated after fixation and before the rolling, shaping, and drying.  The tea leaf becomes very dark and has a rich character, and can be aged.  This is not the fermentation or oxidation step of non-dark Puer and non-dark teas.

The chemistry of Tea

Now we will look at the chemical profile that determines the distinct tea character.  The chemical composition of fresh tea leaves and processed green tea are very similar.  Green tea contains the organic compound polyphenols, commonly known as catechins, which mostly include flavanols, but also contain flavandiols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids.   The main process responsible for the chemical changes of tea is oxidation; oxidation is the process of polyphenol oxidase-dependent oxidative polymerization.   Due to tea processing the chemical composition of black tea and fresh tea leaves are much different.  Black tea contains bisflavanols, theaflavins, thearubigins, and other oligomers. The theaflavin is significant to the character of black tea. Theaflavins, which give the characteristic color and taste to black tea.   Thearubigens, which are even more extensively oxidized and polymerized, have a wide range of molecular weights, and are less well characterized.  Oolong tea, a partially oxidized tea, contains monomeric catechins, theaflavins, and thearubigins. Some characteristic components, such as epigallocatechin esters, theasinensins, dimeric catechins, and dimeric proanthocyanidins, are also found in oolong teas.  With respect to dark tea and dark Puer tea, piling is the major process creating large chemical composition changes in the tea leaf.  Changes in color, scent, and flavor all can be distinguished and identified.  The microbe varieties, piling method, time period, weather, and type of fresh tea leaf all determine the character of the final product.

Common tea compounds affecting scent, flavor and color, as well as health benefits.

C         Catechin
EGC    Epigallocatechin
EGCG Epigallocatechingallate
GC       Gallocatechin
ECG    Epicatechin gallate
EC       Epicatechin
TFs      Theaflavins
TRs      Thearubigins
TBs      Theabrownins
AA       Antioxidant Activity
VFC    Volatile fragrant compounds
Chlorophyll  C32H30N4Mg
PP        Polyphenols
PPO     Polyphenol Oxidase
POD    Peroxidase

Microbial fermentation, the piling process of Puer tea, what is that?

All Puer teas are made from large leaf Yunnan variety.  Also to be called a Puer tea, it must first go through a series of determined steps which we have discussed in the processing section.  Here let’s take a brief look at the piling process, elements, and microbes that determine the special character of dark Puer tea.  By 1973 the Kunming Tea Factory had created the piling process of dark Puer tea.  For the chemistry of piling to take place the tea leaves need water and with heat will give the suitable hot and humid condition, and the recently sun fixed leaves are piled, covered, left alone, and periodically turned and water is added when necessary, in order to catalyze the oxidation of non-enzymatic polyphenol compounds.  This pile fermentation is done in the presence and action of certain microbes under controlled conditions.  The key effect is to reduce the tea’s natural bitter characteristic and produce a full smooth flavor and texture.   The piling process is due to certain colonies of microbes and it takes thirty to forty days for the desired chemical transformation changes.  There are many parameters and requires extensive knowledge, skill, experience, and hygiene to be done safely and properly, piling involves some decomposition but it is controlled.  Remember many types of microbes are a healthy part of our lives, examples, yogurt, wines, and cheese all have microbe growth, some can be seen like the tiny microbes grouped largely together can be seen in blue cheese.  While the science of tea piling is still being researched and discovered below are some of the microbes involved in the piling process.

黑麯黴Aspergillus niger
灰綠麯黴Aspergillus gloucus
土生麯黴Aspergillus terreus
白麯黴Aspergillus candidus


Another common question is, “Which has more caffeine tea or coffee?”, while we must address the concentration of caffeine, this question also involves the effect differences of the two different sources of caffeine.

In the figure (see Fig7) we can see that while both tea and coffee have caffeine, with coffee the caffeine is stronger acting and with tea it is longer acting, there seems to be some relationship between the tea polyphenols and tea caffeine.  Another point to be made is that the level of caffeine is not so much determined by the type of tea or the process of the tea, but more by the type of fresh tea leaf initially used to produce the tea.  The younger buds and tips have more caffeine and the older the leaf the less the caffeine content.


Tea Functions, Tea Marketing Management, and Tea Tourism Management

In our last section we will begin with tea functions and overview some of the applications of tea, tea functions are activities that may have tea as the theme or the tea function might be a part of a larger function.  In the figure below (see Fig8), it has all the details of who, where, and when, and enough information to explain what will happen.  Actually this is a Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony Public Announcement, but the basic format could be used for any number of tea function situations.  When creating announcements we should also include additional information such as alternative plans (i.e. in case of rain or bad weather conditions), also additional contacts.  In our example we only have one email and one telephone number, which is not enough; this was an indoor class event so no need for alternative bad weather plans and location.

This is clear and explicit, which is important because we want people to know about the event, also it should be translated in the languages of the participants, this type of document is called public announcement.

Producing good tea is important but marketing good tea is just as important.  Besides the obvious of wanting to make a product desirable, marketing can be a way of informing and educating consumers about what kinds of teas are available and explaining the tea’s character as well as simple brewing techniques.  The below example (see Fig9) is for the Tea Description labels on tea packages to inform and help consumers to make choices. 

In the above figure (see Fig9) is the front and back label of a tea box, on the backside is the tea name and also the tea variety, examples of other varieties would be yellow, green, black, scented, spiced, dark, Puer, and such.  Another very important piece of information is the tea character which is where the tea taster and also local culture are used for marketing the tea and giving the prospective consumer an idea of what the tea is like.  Culture is interesting, for example some tea companies have described dark Puer as having a chocolaty taste this has been used to market American consumers, while this description is not universal and this might not be used in the Chinese market place.  This goes to prove that descriptions are relative to the culture and times of the people and not absolutes. 

And now for our last section but just as important, tea is global and we need to be tea-travel savvy and aware of where teas are produced and what interests can bring people to the tea towns.  Therefore the travelers will not only learn and see many teas, but will see local culture; we can make tea tourism educational while being fun.  To provide information and access for people to explore new and exciting places with new and exciting teas that they have never experienced before.  While Taiwan has vast tea production in many locations throughout the country; being in the tea tourism industry we need to be educated on the world-wide tea industry demographics as well.  Being at least bilingual is a prerequisite for being in tourism, when giving tours we need a very extensive tea vocabulary that not only we understand but can also explain these terms in simple language when interacting with tour group members.

Tea and tourism, is a global field, by incorporating tea travel to top visiting spots and seeing tea plantations, tea factories, famous tearooms, and tea museums. 

As shown above (see Fig10) the world is full of tea producing areas, all with the possibilities of exciting tea tour itineraries. 

第七辭彙表Lexicon Index

This is the last part and this is the first part we review when updating the Tea Studies program.  The index has two purposes, one is to index the text and the other is a working lexicon and as part of a spreadsheet that can be integrated to other word lists.  Also when adding terms we can revert to the index to see what type of organization we want.  Because the working model is a spreadsheet it is easy to convert to page order, alphabetical term order, or any other parameter cell order.

Below is just an example

Chinese-English Tea Studies Lexicon Index
Page  No.
tea plant (tea tree)

tea plantation (tea estate)

tree type

bush type

It is a wonderful experience teaching at the Tenfu Tea College and Lu-Yu Tea Culture Institute.  I am always being stimulated and astounded by the young hard working minds of the students.  This is the first year of Tenfu Tea College graduates that will go out in the world and help to enlighten others to the world of tea.  I will forever feel a love for the tea college, and every day I see the student body, I know from the ancient tea classic by Lu Yu over 1300 years ago, that tea is old, but the students remind me it is stronger than it has ever been.  I am also grateful to my wife “Chang, Li-Hsiang 張麗香” for her ever present help in every one of my classes. From translating my lectures to teaching the students; without her, our class would be far less than complete. Also much of my knowledge of tea we owe to the tea farmers and workers, without their skill and hard work there would be no tea at all.

--- the end ---


瓊斯史迪芬            Steven R. Jones

網址Blog:    http://teaarts.blogspot.com/   E-mail:  icetea8@gmail.com


福建漳州天福茶學院茶文化系專任教師、講師 Full Lecturer, Department of Tea Culture, Tenfu Tea College, Fujian

台北陸羽茶藝中心講師 Lecturer, Lu-Yu Tea Culture Institute, Taipei

天仁茶藝文化基金會 翻譯人 Writer and translator, Ten Ren Tea Arts and Culture Foundation

福建漳州天福茶博物院 翻譯人 Writer and translator, Tenfu Tea Museum, Zhangzhou, Fujian

著有, 出版著作  Published Works

《茶文化系專業英語》 ( 天福茶學院,2008 ,控制號:zyk0014462)   “Specialized English for Tea”, (2008), Tenfu Tea College, Ctrl No: zyk0014462

《中英文"茶學術語" ( 天福茶學院, 2009 )  “Chinese-English Tea Studies Terminology”, (2009), Tenfu Tea College

《中英文茶學術語》 ( 陸羽茶藝股份有限公司, 2010 )  “Chinese-English Tea Studies Terminology”, (2010), Lu-Yu Tea Culture Institute, Co., Ltd.

茶學經歷Tea Education and Experience

中華國際無我茶會推廣協會 秘書處Secretariat, International Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony Association
天仁茶藝文化基金會和韻茶會 會長Leader, Herin Tea Troupe, Ten Ren Arts and Culture Foundation

國際無我茶會 編譯組Translation Team, International Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony Association
國際無我茶會第5屈茶道老師Tea Master Instructor, 5th Class, Intl Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony Association

陸羽茶藝中心 34 泡茶師Tea Master, 34th Class, Lu-Yu Tea Culture Institute

無我茶會第10屈指 導老師Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony Association, 10th Class, Tea Lore Instructor

慈濟靜思茶道Jing Si Cha Dao, Tea Ceremony Studies Certification at Tzu Chi University Continuing Education Center

士林社區大學茶道藝術社團Tea Arts Society, Taipei Shihlin Community College 

台北市政府社會局老人自費安養中心 茶藝社助教Asst. Instructor, Tea Arts, Ankang Senior Citizens Home, Taipei

陸羽茶藝中心茶藝月刊  英文翻譯Translator, Writer, "Tea Culture Monthly" of the Lu-Yu Tea Culture Institute

台北市茶商業同業公會- 大稻埕找茶趣活動推動小組Education & Heritage Tea Promotion Team, Taipei Tea Merchants Association


第十三屆國際無我茶會 , 國際茶文化節 , 論文集
Proceedings of the 13th International Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony and Tea Culture Festival
Pub.:  天仁茶藝文化基金會 Ten Ren Tea Arts and Culture Foundation
Date:  2011.05
ISBN:  978-986-84204-2-7

Comprehensive Introduction to Tea Studies (including Chinese-English Tea Terminology)
綜合研論茶學 (中英文茶之術語)
By:  Steven R. Jones 作者:  瓊斯‧史迪芬