Randy: Can I get you something?

Second Jive Dude: ‘S’mofo butter layin’ me to da’ BONE! Jackin’ me up… tight me!

Randy: I’m sorry, I don’t understand.

First Jive Dude: Cutty say ‘e can’t HANG!

Jive Lady (Who happens to be Mrs. Cleaver for the 1950’s show “Leave it to Beaver”): Oh stewardess! I speak jive.

Randy: Oh, good.

Jive Lady: He said that he’s in great pain and he wants to know if you can help him.

Sometimes it is hard to understand what people are talking about. You understand what each individual word means, but when used in context it sounds totally foreign to you. Like Jive, tea has its own set of terminology which can seem intimidating to beginners.

Because of this I have created a basic guide of terms people use when they prepare tea.

The first term is steeping

Steeping – Steeping what happens after you place your tea in hot water. It is similar to the concept of soaking. So if someone asked you how long you steeped your tea for, they are basically asking how long you soaked your tea.


Steep time – This is how long you should steep your tea for. So if someone says that a tea has a steep time of 4 minutes, that means that the tea should be removed from the hot water 4 minutes from the time you poured your hot water over the tea.


You are left with an infusion

Infusion – After you steep your tea, you have completed one infusion. In order to create a cup of tea, you must infuse the tea and water together, and that process is achieved through steeping.


Multiple infusions – If you save the tea after you remove it from the water, you can repeat the steeping process all over again. Every time you use the tea, you create another infusion. So the first time you steep the tea, it is called your first infusion.


The second time you steep your tea, it is the second infusion and so on. All these infusions mean you can steep the tea multiple times, or have multiple fusions

To sum it up
In order to make a cup of tea, you must steep the tea in water.  After a certain period of time elapses (steep time), you remove the tea from the water. This entire process is called an infusion. If you keep re-steeping the tea, you are left with multiple infusions. While I can’t teach you Jive, as long you know these basic terms you won’t need a translator when people talk about steeping tea.



Quote taken from the movie Airplane!

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2 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. This is my first posterous post! Sorry for the shoddy design!

  2. Thank you for sharing your tea knowledge with those of us not as yet knowing the nuances of tea and the taking of tea.

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