Loose Leaf shapes

For general/other topics related to tea.

Apr 29th, '13, 16:09
Posts: 152
Joined: Jan 13th, '13

Loose Leaf shapes

by thirst » Apr 29th, '13, 16:09

I was going over the names of various loose leaf shapes in The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook again and got stumped comprehending lots of the differences (e.g. what's the difference between strip-style and open-twist?).

So I have attempted to make my own plain language classification system which is probably totally incomplete/unhelpful/mis-informational/whatever. Still, I'd be happy to hear corrections and thoughts about how to improve it : )

Without further ado:

# Intactness

# Length

# Width
Narrow-broad (the Anji Bai Cha on the Canton Tea Co site looks very long and thin; I thought these were naturally tight buds (see below) first, until I read somewhere that the tea is shaped to this form)

# Direction
Straight (e.g. Long Jing)
Winding (e.g. Yun Wu or Bao Zhong)
Curled back (e.g. Bi Luo Chun)
Ball-rolled (e.g. jasmine pearls)
Semi-ball-rolled (e.g. Tie Guan Yin)

# Openness
Open (e.g. Bai Mu Dan, some oolongs)
Folded shut (with buds; is this a thing? e.g. Jun Shan Yin Zhen)
Naturally tightly rolled (with buds; is this a thing? e.g. An Ji Bai Cha)
Shaped/tightened (see below)

# Shaping
Mostly kept as is (e.g. An Ji Bai Cha)
Flattened (e.g. Long Jing, Tai Ping Hou Kui)
Spiral-twisted (e.g. many green and black teas and oolongs)
Rolled parallel to length (is this a thing? e.g. Lu An Gua Pian)

# Color
Evenness amongst leafs (e.g. not so even amongst Bai Mu Dan and some oolongs)

# Misc
Downyness (e.g. Bai Hao Yin Zhen)