Twinings Glossary


An unpleasant characteristic noticeable in the liquors of teas which have been subjected to higher than desirable temperatures during processing.


A Japanese tea made from coarse leaves, usually from the last plucking. This tea is generally consumed domestically.

Bedford, Anna, 7th Duchess of

(see Duchess of Bedford)


A four-metre high citrus tree (Citrus bergamia) grown in southern Italy that produces a bitter, orange-like fruit. The fruit is not eaten fresh, but can be made into marmalades and liqueurs. Bergamot oil is the key aromatic ingredient of the famous Earl Grey blend of tea.

Billy tea

A style of tea originally brewed by the early Australian settlers, so named after the billy (can) in which the beverage is made.


A desirable trait usually referring to a well fired Assam.


A very brisk and "alive" tea liquor. A desirable trait.

Black tea

The world's most commonly produced tea, originally developed in China. Black tea is processed in four stages: withering, rolling, oxidation, and drying. Of the three major tea types (black, oolong, and green), black tea undergoes the longest process of oxidation.

Blechynden, Richard

The man who inadvertently invented iced tea. Blechynden was an expatriate Englishman with a tea stall at the 1904 St Louis World Fair. His hot tea was not selling in the hot weather, so he added ice cubes as a last resort.


A mixture of teas from several different origins to achieve a certain flavour profile. Most branded teas in the United States use 20 or more origins to achieve their desired taste.


Sixth century Indian Buddhist monk who, according to Indian and Japanese myth, discovered tea. Bodhidharma was born near Madras and traveled to China in 520, where he met the emperor.


Describes a tea liquor possessing fullness and strength.

Boston Tea Party

An act of defiance by American patriots against the Tea Act of 1773. In December of that year, a group of colonists boarded British ships in Boston harbour and tossed 342 chests of East India Company tea into the water. Their action hastened the approach of the American War of Independence.

Braganza, Catherine of

(see Catherine of Braganza)

Brick tea

(see compressed tea)


A lively tea, usually with a red liquor. Brightness is an indication of the amount of light that is reflected off the surface of the liquor. It is seen as desirable and suggests a good quality tea. Brightness is not related to the colour of the liquor.


Describes a live taste as opposed to flat or soft. Briskness describes a tea which has a freshness and intensity of flavour - possesses some bite.

Broken Orange Pekoe

A size of leaf comprising the smaller tea leaves and tips. BOP grades would be medium sized tea leaves.

Brown tea

(see oolong tea)

Bruce, Charles

Charles Bruce and his brother, Robert, were employees of the East India Company. They persuaded the Company to grow the native variety of tea plant, Camellia sinensis var assamica, in India instead of the Chinese variety, Camellia sinensis. The trials were a success which launched the Indian tea industry.

Bruce, Robert

(see Bruce, Charles)


A degree worse than bakey. A taint caused by extreme over drying in manufacturing. It can sometimes resemble a heavy cocoa character.