Just as there are some teas out there with downright strange names, partly because of language differences and partly as a way to compete in a crowded marketplace, for the same reasons there are some really cool tea names.
Nothing seems to point out cultural differences like food names. We want our foods and beverages to be called by names we find appealing. So coming up with some totally cool names for teas attracts customers.
A few examples of cool names thought up by imaginative tea vendors:
- “Oriental Treasure”
- “Bossa Nova”
- “Eternal Sunshine”
- “Lover’s Lane”
- “Golden Sunrise”
- “Night of the Iguana Chocolate Chai”
Guess what is in each one. (Answers at end of this article.)
In addition to the cool tea vendor names, there are ones that have been in use for centuries. Some examples of Chinese tea names in this category are shown here (with my own sort of “off kilter” explanations):
Feng Huang Shui Xian = Water Fairy — No, that’s not a fairy made of water or a Camelot-like Lady of the Lake with a magic Excalibur sword rising from the fluid depths. The leaves do tend to flit fairy-like in the water as they steep, a gentle dance ’tween water and plant.
Liu An Gua Pian = Melon Slice — Golfers all know how bad a slice can be, when your ball veers left so much you often find yourself in the “rough” part of the course. Well, this isn’t that kind of slice, at least I don’t think it is. Nothing is more refreshing sometimes than a nice, cool, ripe-to-perfection slice of melon. The very name of this tea brings that scent and taste to mind.
Nan Jing Yu Hua = Rain Flower — You know how clean the air smells after a refreshing rain. Actually, it’s due to the positive ions generated by that rain. Couple that fresh air scent with the fragrance of flowers (which ones are not specified) to give yourself an idea of this tea’s aroma.
Lu Shan Yun Wu = Cloud & Fog — Cloudy tea is often thought to be a bad thing, but tea that’s both cloudy and foggy is a total mystery. Quite frankly, it’s a subject I can’t see through very well.
Tian Shan Lu Ya = Green Sprout — A beautiful sight to any gardener is that first green sprout, rising up from the soil after seeds have been planted or appearing on the tree branches as the Winter chill is replaced by the increasing warmth of Spring. The very name of this tea conjures such images.
Gee, these all have names from nature. Actually, that’s a very “natural” thing, since, well, tea comes from a plant (Camellia Sinensis) which is a pretty natural thing, being part of nature, naturally!
Some Darjeelings have names of gems: Ruby, Diamond, Emerald. Brilliant! A Japanese tea we tested awhile back was “Sencha of the Summer Sun” — what a cool image this conjures.
Just a few things to keep in mind when you see some of these names on tea labels or in the tea shops.
Answer to the question at the beginning of this article
What those coolly-named teas have in them:
- “Oriental Treasure” — White tea
- “Bossa Nova” — Oolong tea with hazelnut and vanilla
- “Eternal Sunshine” — Black pu-erh tea with orange peel, freeze-dried raspberries, cornflower blossoms, and unspecified flavoring
- “Lover’s Lane” — Dragonwell green tea, orange slices, lavender buds and rose buds
- “Golden Sunrise” — Blooming Tea made of white tea leaves and marigold petals
- “Night of the Iguana Chocolate Chai” — Black Assam tea with white chocolate, caramel, ginger, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper
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