Decoding the World of Organic Green Tea Tasting: A Guide by Vertus Tea VERTUS TEA

Decoding the World of Organic Green Tea Tasting: A Guide by Vertus Tea

Organic green tea is not just a beverage; it's an experience that tantalizes your taste buds and awakens your senses. The art of tea tasting involves a unique language, often referred to as the "tea taster's jargon." In this guide brought to you by Vertus Tea, we delve into the enchanting world of tasting organic green tea. From the appearance of the leaves to the flavor notes that dance on your palate, join us in unraveling the mysteries behind every sip.

Understanding the Visual Delight

The journey of tea tasting begins with your eyes. The appearance of the tea leaves can reveal a lot about their quality and processing.

  • Leaf Shape: When exploring organic green tea, observe the shape of the leaves. They should be whole and consistent, a testament to careful plucking and processing.
  • Color Spectrum: The color of the leaves can vary from vibrant green to deep emerald. This spectrum often signifies the tea's freshness and the region it hails from.
  • Brewed Elegance: Once infused, pay attention to the leaves' unfurling. This visual transformation indicates the tea's processing and how well it's been handled.

Aroma: The Prelude to Flavor

The aroma of organic green tea is a prelude to the symphony of flavors that await you.

  • Dry Leaf Aroma: Inhale deeply as you open the tea leaves. You might encounter grassy, floral, or even nutty notes. Vertus Tea's commitment to organic quality ensures a pure and untainted fragrance.
  • Wet Leaf Aroma: After steeping, the leaves release a new bouquet. Observe how the scent evolves, giving hints about the taste you're about to experience.

Tasting the Elixir

The pinnacle of tea tasting lies in the flavors that grace your palate.

  • First Sip: Let the organic green tea dance on your tongue. Notice the initial taste that greets you. It could be vegetal, sweet, or even slightly astringent.
  • Body and Texture: Consider the body of the tea - is it light or full-bodied? Pay attention to the texture as well. Does it coat your mouth or glide smoothly?
  • Flavor Layers: Like a story unfolding, organic green tea's flavors reveal themselves in layers. The first sip might introduce you to grassy notes, followed by floral undertones or a delicate hint of umami.
  • Aftertaste: The lingering taste after you've swallowed is the aftertaste. Does it linger pleasantly or abruptly fade away? This can indicate the tea's quality and complexity.

Vertus Tea's Distinctive Experience

When engaging in the art of tea tasting with Vertus organic green tea, you're embarking on a sensory journey that combines tradition and innovation.

Exploring More: For a deeper understanding of the organic tea experience, read our blog on "The Journey of Vertus Organic Green Tea".



  • BLACK: A black appearance is desirable, preferably with "bloom".
  • BLOOM : A sign of good manufacture and sorting. A "sheen" which has not been removed by over-handling or over-sorting.
  • BOLD : Leaves that are too large for the grade—used for both Orthodox and CTC manufactured teas
  • CASE-HARDENED: Hardened outside but soft inside, caused by quick and hard fire - not good quality
  • CHUNKY: A very large Broken grade in Orthodox manufactured tea, usually used to describe tips.
  • CLEAN: Devoid of fibre or stalk, denoting a well-made tea
  • CURLY: Well-rolled and curled whole leaf in Orthodox manufacture
  • EVEN : Same-sized leaves, usually denotes good sorting
  • FLAKY: Open and flat leaves, light-weight - avoided by packers and blenders
  • GOLDEN TIP: Pubescent buds - most sought after for best quality Assam Orthodox teas from the famous second flush harvest
  • GRAINY : Describes the grain-like, even-sized leaves in CTC teas
  • GRAPE NUTTY: Usually used to describe CTC teas that are not completely smooth 
  • GREY : Rough handling during sorting, caused by abrasion which is undesirable
  • GRITTY : Used for CTC teas that feel sharp and jagged to touch
  • LEAFY : Light-weight and low density, normally caused by open and flaky leaves
  • MUSTY : Tea affected by mildew, a white fungus that can grow on tea leaves
  • MUSHY: Usually denoting high-moisture content in tea, normally a sign of bad packing and/or storage
  • OPEN : Not well-twisted or well-rolled
  • PALE TIPS : The paler colour of tips as compared to Golden tips, and hence, less valuable
  • STALK & FIBRE: Denotes poor plucking, usually consisting of stems and rough leaves, resulting in inferior-quality of tea 
  • STYLISH: Well-made, well-rolled, even and neat leaves
  • TIP: The bud of the bush, silvery or golden in appearance, it is highly desirable in Orthodox grades, and denotes fine plucking
  • TWISTED: Highly appreciated in Orthodox whole leaf grade, signifying excellent rolling - also known as well-made or well-rolled
  • WHISKERY : Long fibre, best avoided
  • WIRY: Thin and delicate, well-twisted Orthodox whole leaf that is most sought after

After the dry leaf, the tea taster normally takes a quick look at the infused leaves - gently pressing them with his fingers, and occasionally, sniffing them. Unlikely as it may sound, to a professional tea taster, the infused leaves reveal a comprehensive insight into where the tea was grown, when it was harvested, how it was plucked and how it was manufactured. 


AROMA: Smell or scent denoting the character of the tea - usually further classified as vegetal, sweet, nutty, toasty, etc. Also, sometimes referred to as ‘nose’

  • BISCUIT: A fresh aroma, toasty and sweet, often found in a well fired Assam teas
  • BRIGHT: A vibrant and lively appearance indicating a well-made tea 
  • COPPERY: Indicates an excellent ‘bloom’ and a sure sign the tea is from peak summer/second flush harvest in Assam - particularly sought after for second flush CTC teas
  • DULL: Undesirable lacking brightness, normally associated with poor manufacture or high water content in the leaf
  • DARK: A dark colour normally due to poor leaf quality
  • GREEN: Undesirable in Black teas, this is due to either immature leaves or under oxidization or in some cases due to bad rolling in Orthodox teas 
  • MIXED: Indicates poor tea of differently coloured leaves - not desired
  • TARRY: A distinct but undesirable smoky aroma - indicative of faulty firing due to high temperature or bad materials used to fire the dryer

Finally, the tea taster will take a long, loud slurp of the liquor. He will swish and swirl it in his mouth a few times before spitting it out. In those few moments, he would have noted the taste, astringency and flavor notes of the tea, which he would then describe.


  • ASTRINGENCY: The puckish feeling that you get when you drink good wine - causes dryness in the mouth. Not to be confused with bitterness or pungency!
  • BAGGY: An external taint usually due to unlined Hessian or Jute bags used in packing
  • BODY: Robust and full liquor as opposed to thin liquor
  • BAKEY: Overfired causing more than desired moisture to be removed
  • BRIGHT: High desirable quality that can come only from good manufacturing
  • BURNT: Excessively baked in the dryer 
  • COARSE: Opposite to brisk teas, these are generally secondary CTC dust teas
  • CREAMY: Teas with a distinct layer of precipitate after cooling - a sign of good tea
  • FLAT : No briskness or strength, normally due to aging
  • FLAVORY : Excellent flavour, highly desirable in high-elevation teas and particularly teas from Darjeeling
  • FRUITY :  Over oxidized or over fermented, usually to be avoided, except in the case of summer flush teas from Darjeeling, where a fruity character is highly desirable
  • GONE OFF: Teas that are flat, normally due to being old and acquiring undesirably high levels of moisture
  • GREEN: Teas with unpleasant ‘rawness’ caused by under-withering or under oxidization
  • HARSH: Unpleasant taste from immature tea or tea made from coarse leaves or due to wrong oxidation and drying
  • MOULDY: Heavy tea with a clear moldy smell, either damaged by water or gone off due to age
  • PUNGENT: Typical of good quality teas from Assam with balanced astringency, briskness, brightness and strength, similar to Lapsang Souchong tea from China
  • SMOKEY: Teas with distinct smoke flavor, usually not desired except in cases where teas are deliberately smoked over pine or cedar wood fire to create a distinct woody smokey note
  • STRENGTH: Robust and malty cup with good thickness and texture
  • THIN : Lacking in body, caused by bad manufacturing
  • WILD : Undesirable character typically found in end-season teas

So, the next time you prepare a cup of black tea, take a moment to observe and appreciate the intriguing nuances offered by the dry leaf, allowing yourself to savor the complexities in every sip.


Tasting organic green tea is an adventure that connects you to nature and culture, stimulating your senses and soothing your soul. With every sip of Vertus Tea's carefully crafted brew, you're experiencing the culmination of expertise, passion, and the finest organic leaves. Unravel the enchanting language of tea through your palate, one flavorful note at a time.

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