What Does Common Mean in Tea Terms?

Tea lovers and connoisseurs often come across various terms and jargon when exploring their passion. One such term frequently encountered in the world of tea is “common.” Understanding what this term means can enhance your appreciation and knowledge of tea. In this article, we will delve into the meaning of “common” in tea terms and explore different subtopics related to it.

A Brief Explanation of Common in Tea Terms

Common, in the context of tea, refers to a specific grade or quality of tea. It is a term used to describe teas that are considered average or ordinary when compared to higher-quality teas. These teas may lack certain characteristics, flavors, or complexities found in more premium varieties. Although the term “common” might seem negative, it simply reflects the average nature of these teas and their position within the tea hierarchy.

Common Tea Grades

Teas are often graded based on their quality, and the common category falls within these grading systems. While specific grading systems can vary across tea-producing regions, the common grade generally represents an average or standard quality tea. Here are a few common tea grades:

  • CTC (Crush, Tear, Curl) – Common grade teas often used for tea bags or blends.
  • FOP (Flowery Orange Pekoe) – A common grade for black teas with longer, wiry leaves.
  • OP (Orange Pekoe) – Common grade for black teas with larger, twisted leaves.
  • BOP (Broken Orange Pekoe) – Common grade for teas with broken leaves, often used in tea bags.

Common Tea Characteristics

Common teas have certain characteristics that differentiate them from higher-grade teas. Understanding these characteristics can help you appreciate them for what they are rather than expecting them to possess qualities found in premium teas. Some common tea characteristics include:

  • Less pronounced aroma
  • Milder flavor profile
  • Simple and straightforward taste
  • Shorter brewing time
  • Lower caffeine content
  • More affordable pricing

Brewing Common Tea

Brewing common teas often requires different techniques compared to premium teas. Here are some tips to make the most out of your common tea:

  1. Water temperature: Generally, common teas can be brewed with boiling water.
  2. Steeping time: Common teas usually require shorter steeping times, around 2-3 minutes.
  3. Teaware: While finer teaware can certainly be used, common teas are often enjoyed in everyday teacups or mugs.

Pairing Common Tea with Food

Common teas can be versatile when it comes to food pairings. Their milder and more approachable flavors complement a wide range of dishes. Consider these pairing ideas:

  • Lighter common teas like green tea or white tea can be paired with delicate pastries, salads, or sushi.
  • Black common teas, such as Earl Grey, go well with biscuits, scones, or savory snacks.
  • Herbal common teas like chamomile or mint can be enjoyed with desserts or after meals as digestive aids.

Common Tea Blends

Common teas often find their way into tea blends. Blending common teas with other ingredients can create unique flavors and enhance their overall appeal. Here are some popular common tea blends:

Tea BlendDescription
English BreakfastA common tea blend combining various black teas to create a robust and rich flavor.
Masala ChaiA common blend of black tea, spices, and milk, offering a warm and aromatic experience.
Jasmine Green TeaA common blend of green tea scented with jasmine blossoms, resulting in a floral and refreshing brew.

Understanding the meaning of “common” in tea terms can offer valuable insights into the world of tea grading and quality. While common teas may not possess the same level of complexity, they can still be enjoyed for their simplicity and versatility. Embrace the common, experiment with brewing techniques, and appreciate the unique qualities each tea grade has to offer. Cheers to your tea journey!