An A-Z of Tea – Miscellaneous Edition

More tea and tea info here! (Photo source: The English Tea Store)
More tea and tea info here! (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

I’ve gone through the alphabet according to tea a few times already, including The A-Z of Tea Types, The (Almost) A – Z of Tea Producers, and The A-Z of Tea Terms, but it seemed like a good time to take another shot at it, taking a look at some topics that might have fallen through the cracks.

I used this already, but I never waste an opportunity to sing the praises of my favorite tea, a full-bodied black tea grown in northeastern India.

Don’t overdo it. Heavier teas, like black, puerh and strong oolongs might be okay with water brought to a brief and light boil but don’t even think about using boiling water for green, yellow, white or the lighter oolongs.

Another carryover, but this one can actually do double duty. China is the birthplace of tea and tea culture and to this day is still the world’s top producer of tea. But of course there’s the other meaning of the word, the china that’s a component used to make fine teaware.

Can you use tea to conduct a duel? As a matter of fact you can. How does it work? Read my take recently posted on this blog here or visit the Web site for The Honourable Association of Tea Duellists for all the gory details.

Short for epigallocatechin-3-gallate, a compound that’s often mentioned when it comes to studies on tea’s potential health benefits.

Fortune, Robert
The so-called Indiana Jones of tea, Fortune traveled extensively in China in the nineteenth century, engaged in a bit of tea espionage and wrote about his adventures in a few books.

Or gizmos, if you prefer the other “G” word. There’s something about tea that seems to bring out the gadget makers, to the point where I’ve begun writing a regular monthly feature on the topic.

High Mountain Oolong
Would you believe that this is a type of oolong tea grown high in the mountains? There’s a little more to it than that and you can read about it here.

Though the stereotype of the Irish is of a people who like their strong drink, they’re actually among the world’s most avid tea drinkers and they’ve even got their own tea blend – Irish Breakfast.

Johnson, Samuel
One of the great literary figures of yesteryear and a particularly avid tea fan and defender.

An offbeat type of beverage frequently made with tea and a fermented lump of something resembling yeast.

Lipton, Sir Thomas 
An important pioneer in the mass marketing of tea and probably still the most recognizable name in all of tea.


If you’re from the UK and various other points around the globe you might prefer milk in your tea. If you’re from North Africa, mint in your heavily sweetened green tea is likely a must.

New Tea
Most green tea lovers probably know new tea better by its Japanese name – Shincha. It’s the name given to the first tea from the spring harvest.

Orange Pekoe
Not really a type of tea, but one of those arcane and somewhat confusing tea grading terms that linger on to this day.

PG Tips
One of the UK’s most popular brands, helped in no small part by their popular ad campaigns featuring live monkeys and monkey puppets.

Queen Victoria
Apparently the Queen was a fan of a type of Taiwanese tea that became quite popular in her day, in spite of the fact that the leaves of the so-called Bragger’s Tea had been damaged by insects.

If you’re not resteeping the leaves of most varieties of tea (with the possible exception of black) then you’re missing out. Try it.

Ties in nicely with our “B” word. If you want a good cup of tea, don’t overheat your water and don’t steep the tea too long.

One of the other great tea firms of all time, this one got its start in London more than three hundred years ago and is still going strong.

Not a type of tea, mind you, but rather a Japanese term for a type of taste to go with the better known ones like sweet, sour, bitter, and salt. Apparently green tea’s a pretty good fit into this category.

I’m obviously hard up for “V” words but to get the most value out of your tea, see “R”.

Where would tea be without it? For the best cup of tea possible be sure to start with the best possible quality of water.

I’ve got nothing for “X”. Put on the teakettle and listen to some xylophone music.

Yak Butter
What could this possibly have to do with tea? Think Tibet, where they mix it with it with strong black tea to make a decidedly unique drink.


There aren’t quite a zillion varieties of tea but there are probably more than you could shake a stick at. For more goodness from the letter “Z” consider zisha, which is another name for a type of clay used to make Yixing teapots.

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