The following are some basic tea tasting terms.

Astringency: A live, pungent sensation on the tongue and gums. Astringency is not to be confused with bitterness, which is undesirable. Astringency gives tea its refreshing quality.

Body: The tactile impression of thickness, or viscosity in the mouth. Teas may feel light-, medium-, or full-bodied. Bouquet: A complex flowery or perfumy aroma. Brisk: A lively flavor found in high quality tea, as opposed to flat.

Character: The aroma and flavor that can be associated with country, region, district, or even garden of origin.

Citrusy: A lemon, grapefruit, or orange rind flavor.

Complex: A flavor or aroma with many dimensions, as opposed to simple.

Fruity: A sweet, fruity flavor, such as peaches, apricots, grapes or currants.

Malty: A sweet, malted barley flavor.

Pungent: Astringent with a good combination of briskness and strength.

Self-Drinking: Term applied to tea that has good quality and flavor balance, and does not need blending.

Smoky: Ranging from subtle aromas of wood smoke or ash, to a very strong scent of smoke.

Toasty: A pleasant baked or biscuity aroma.

Vegetal: A general characteristic of green teas, ranging from grassy to herbaceous to seaweed.