Tea (rec.drink.tea) Discussion relating to tea, the world's second most consumed beverage (after water), made by infusing or boiling the leaves of the tea plant (C. sinensis or close relatives) in water.

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Default Can Black Tea Just Be Black Tea?

Chinese vendors are having a discussion over translating the Chinese
tea type "black tea" into English. For so long, what Chinese call "red
tea" has always been called "black tea" in the West. Now, when they
want to market black tea, ie., post-fermented tea, they don't know
exactly what to call it.

Some suggested using the word "dark tea". But others in China don't
like the idea; since it doesn't fully describe the color black, and
has too many other connotations.

I tried looking for synonyms for "black" but none seem to be suitable.

Are there any alternatives? What would be an acceptable name to
describe "Chinese black tea" in the West?
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"niisonge" > wrote in message
...
> Chinese vendors are having a discussion over translating the Chinese
> tea type "black tea" into English. For so long, what Chinese call "red
> tea" has always been called "black tea" in the West. Now, when they
> want to market black tea, ie., post-fermented tea, they don't know
> exactly what to call it.
>
> Some suggested using the word "dark tea". But others in China don't
> like the idea; since it doesn't fully describe the color black, and
> has too many other connotations.
>
> I tried looking for synonyms for "black" but none seem to be suitable.
>
> Are there any alternatives? What would be an acceptable name to
> describe "Chinese black tea" in the West?


What is wrong with "Chinese black tea"?


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Default Can Black Tea Just Be Black Tea?

niisonge wrote:
> Chinese vendors are having a discussion over translating the Chinese
> tea type "black tea" into English. For so long, what Chinese call "red
> tea" has always been called "black tea" in the West. Now, when they
> want to market black tea, ie., post-fermented tea, they don't know
> exactly what to call it.
>
> Some suggested using the word "dark tea". But others in China don't
> like the idea; since it doesn't fully describe the color black, and
> has too many other connotations.


I wouldn't use dark either.


> I tried looking for synonyms for "black" but none seem to be suitable.
>
> Are there any alternatives? What would be an acceptable name to
> describe "Chinese black tea" in the West?


The only somewhat fitting synonym I find is 'sable'. According to
wikipedia it is 'Archaic or literary English for black' and also the
color black in heraldry.

The only other possibility I can think of is not to use a color, but
something along the line of 'aged tea'. But then it may be
misinterpreted as old and stale tea.


Greetings,
Stefan

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Why not call it red tea since we dont use the term. You think we will
know the difference from a black. The infusion is more bloody red
than any English black blend can make. The puer groups say ripe or
cooked just as often as shu but consistently use sheng. I attend Puer
tastings once a month. We consistently use the term fermented for
shu,liuan,liubao,jupu because it sounds so healthy.

Jim

On Dec 17, 5:07 am, niisonge > wrote:
> Chinese vendors are having a discussion over translating the Chinese
> tea type "black tea" into English. For so long, what Chinese call "red
> tea" has always been called "black tea" in the West. Now, when they
> want to market black tea, ie., post-fermented tea, they don't know
> exactly what to call it.
>
> Some suggested using the word "dark tea". But others in China don't
> like the idea; since it doesn't fully describe the color black, and
> has too many other connotations.
>
> I tried looking for synonyms for "black" but none seem to be suitable.
>
> Are there any alternatives? What would be an acceptable name to
> describe "Chinese black tea" in the West?

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> The only other possibility I can think of is not to use a color, but
> something along the line of 'aged tea'. But then it may be
> misinterpreted as old and stale tea.


Well, I'll give them sable, and see what they think. I also suggested
post-fermented. You're right about aged. They don't want a name with a
negative connotation. That's why they didn't like "dark".


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Default Can Black Tea Just Be Black Tea?

> For post-fermented tea ? Brown tea. Let them use western naming
> according to the colour of the liquor.
> If they don't want to adopt western naming, just let them struggle
> with naming in western market. Simple as that.


Brown tea ... I'll see how that goes. How about Grey tea?

As for naming in the western market, there is also the option to
reclaim the name "black tea". But let's see how that goes.
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niisonge > writes:

> > The only other possibility I can think of is not to use a color, but
> > something along the line of 'aged tea'. But then it may be
> > misinterpreted as old and stale tea.

>
> Well, I'll give them sable, and see what they think. I also suggested
> post-fermented. You're right about aged. They don't want a name with a
> negative connotation. That's why they didn't like "dark".


I think "post-fermented" has the advantages of being accurate and
unambiguous. Using color terms in English will always leave doubt
about what exactly you're talking about. Regarding "aged", not all
post-fermented teas are stored until they're old.

/Lew
---
Lew Perin /
http://www.panix.com/~perin/babelcarp.html
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I dont know why we couldnt change WoDui to 'woody'. Ive seen that
used several times to describe the taste. I would say Ottawa Heap but
some would say that disparages our neighbor to the North.

Jim

On Dec 17, 8:32 am, Lewis Perin > wrote:
> niisonge > writes:
> > > The only other possibility I can think of is not to use a color, but
> > > something along the line of 'aged tea'. But then it may be
> > > misinterpreted as old and stale tea.

>
> > Well, I'll give them sable, and see what they think. I also suggested
> > post-fermented. You're right about aged. They don't want a name with a
> > negative connotation. That's why they didn't like "dark".

>
> I think "post-fermented" has the advantages of being accurate and
> unambiguous. Using color terms in English will always leave doubt
> about what exactly you're talking about. Regarding "aged", not all
> post-fermented teas are stored until they're old.
>
> /Lew
> ---
> Lew Perin /


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> I think "post-fermented" has the advantages of being accurate and
> unambiguous. *Using color terms in English will always leave doubt
> about what exactly you're talking about. *

That's exactly right, I tried several synonyms for black and re-
translated them to Chinese - and none of them really worked. In
Chinese there are lots of synonyms for black that will work perfectly
well, however.

> Regarding "aged", not all post-fermented teas are stored until they're old.

Also very true.

One person suggested since the word tea is borrowed from Chinese into
English, why not borrow the word "hei" to mean black. Then 黑茶 could
become:
Hei cha
or
Hei tea

How about it?
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On Dec 17, 7:07*am, niisonge > wrote:
> Chinese vendors are having a discussion over translating the Chinese
> tea type "black tea" into English. For so long, what Chinese call "red
> tea" has always been called "black tea" in the West. Now, when they
> want to market black tea, ie., post-fermented tea, they don't know
> exactly what to call it.
>
> Some suggested using the word "dark tea". But others in China don't
> like the idea; since it doesn't fully describe the color black, and
> has too many other connotations.
>
> I tried looking for synonyms for "black" but none seem to be suitable.
>
> Are there any alternatives? What would be an acceptable name to
> describe "Chinese black tea" in the West?


Just to offer my opinion, stick with "Black Tea" or "Chinese Black
Tea" I have read all the suggestions, and the only one I would
consider would be "sable" but the average American non-connesiuer
will have no idea nor care about fancy or esoteric names like "post-
fermented" many people don't even know that tea goes through a
fermentation process and fermentation is seen negatively here. We
don't advertise foods with the word fermented like in other countries
so you wouldn't want to use it in a food/drink context here.

While "black" may not be the best work for the Chinese, it is the
perfect and one of the longest held American tea terms. I've had to
explain hundreds of times that "Orange Pekoe" does not contain orange
(the fruit) as many here believe it indicates. Simple is best.

- Dominic


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> While "black" may not be the best work for the Chinese, it is the
> perfect and one of the longest held American tea terms. I've had to
> explain hundreds of times that "Orange Pekoe" does not contain orange
> (the fruit) as many here believe it indicates. Simple is best.


Ah... but that is precisely the problem. Perhaps I should have worded
the question better:
Can Red Tea be Black Tea?

In Chinese, what we call "black tea" in the west is called "red tea"
or "hong cha" 衣
But in Chinese, there is also the tea category "black tea" or "hei
cha" ڲ衣So because red tea" has been so long known as "black tea" in
the West, what are Chinese to do to translate the term "hei cha"
meaning black tea into English, when that word is already taken over
by another tea category. This is the problem right now.




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> We don't advertise foods with the word fermented like in other
> countries so you wouldn't want to use it in a food/drink context here.


You have a good point there. Mention "food processing" and "China" in
the same sentence and it raises up all kinds of flags and alarm bells.
Scrap post-fermented then, I guess.


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Here's the link in Chinese to the article that prompted this
discussion in the first place:

http://www.chanertea.com%2Ftrends.asp%3Fid%3D235

I suppose the question they really want to know, is what are all you
cool tea peeps/tea connoisseurs willing to accept as the English for
"hei cha".

Proposed suggestions include:
1. hei cha
2. dark tea
3. fu tea (note: a new name meaning "happiness")
4. return to original, direct chinese tranlation: black tea
5. don't know/care

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niisonge > writes:

> > We don't advertise foods with the word fermented like in other
> > countries so you wouldn't want to use it in a food/drink context here.

>
> You have a good point there. Mention "food processing" and "China" in
> the same sentence and it raises up all kinds of flags and alarm bells.
> Scrap post-fermented then, I guess.


So is the goal here to get uninformed people excited about something
they can be persuaded to swallow only until they learn what it really
is? I hope not, because there are lots of things in life I find more
interesting.

On second thought, if there's little regard for truth, then we could
get really creative. How about Immortality Tea? Virility Tea?
Wealth Tea? Oral Roberts's Oriental Secret? (Dead people can't sue,
can they?)

/Lew
---
Lew Perin /
http://www.panix.com/~perin/babelcarp.html
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> So is the goal here to get uninformed people excited about something
> they can be persuaded to swallow only until they learn what it really
> is? *I hope not, because there are lots of things in life I find more
> interesting.


Nothing wrong with post-fermentation per se, except when you actually
have to explain the term precisely and what's involved, I'm just
saying, that might put people off in the West. The tea might be
totally safe and of excellent quality, but I think people would think
it's unsafe, if you make things too complicated.


> On second thought, if there's little regard for truth, then we could
> get really creative.


I'm not saying hide the truth, I'm thinking about the name, and what
people might associate the tea with.


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On Dec 17, 12:04*pm, niisonge > wrote:
> Here's the link in Chinese to the article that prompted this
> discussion in the first place:
>
> http://www.chanertea.com%2Ftrends.asp%3Fid%3D235
>
> I suppose the question they really want to know, is what are all you
> cool tea peeps/tea connoisseurs willing to accept as the English for
> "hei cha".
>
> Proposed suggestions include:
> 1. hei cha
> 2. dark tea
> 3. fu tea (note: a new name meaning "happiness")
> 4. return to original, direct chinese tranlation: black tea
> 5. don't know/care


Honestly, I say you should use the term "Hei Cha" as-is in such cases.
It's better than some made up name, and has history and tradition.
Otherwise stick to Black Tea or if necessary begin to use Red Tea in
cases where it fits. I just know that "Red Tea" might conjure images
of Rooibos, or some other type of tisane. People have access to the
Internet and if they are interested they will look into it. I know a
few people who have bought a box of Pu-Erh teabags from the grocery
shelf but then came to me when they didn't like it and wanted to know
if I knew of it... when I ask why they bought it, almost invariably
they say "it sounded exotic."

- Dominic
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> Honestly, I say you should use the term "Hei Cha" as-is in such cases.
> It's better than some made up name, and has history and tradition.


Ok, does everyone agree on "Hei Cha"?

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Youre back to square one. It wont be lost on some unscrupulous vendor
hei cha means black tea in Chinese. That is the stuff he sells at a
cheaper price. Im more of a fermented fan dropping the post. Some
consumer will wonder about pre fermentation. You cant really say it
is mao cha. If that consumer ever wonders what happens to sheng over
the long hall tell them it matures or ages.

Jim

On Dec 17, 12:09 pm, niisonge > wrote:
> > Honestly, I say you should use the term "Hei Cha" as-is in such cases.
> > It's better than some made up name, and has history and tradition.

>
> Ok, does everyone agree on "Hei Cha"?

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niisonge > writes:

> > Honestly, I say you should use the term "Hei Cha" as-is in such cases.
> > It's better than some made up name, and has history and tradition.

>
> Ok, does everyone agree on "Hei Cha"?


It's OK by me. It doesn't distort reality, and, while it's opaque to
most Westerners, so was Oolong alias Wulong once upon a time.

/Lew
---
Lew Perin /
http://www.panix.com/~perin/babelcarp.html
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niisonge,

I was going to suggest "heicha" before reading the rest of the postings. I
guess we are all great minds! After reading the rest, I still think this is
the best choice. As already mentioned, it has the advantage of being the (or
at least "an") actual Chinese term,

I know one US vendor who is already using "dark tea" - I believe most or all
of what he is calling that is fu tea.

Trying to re-claim "black tea" is totally a lost cause, and would only breed
confusion.

I thought "fu tea" was a specific kind of heicha
(http://www.generationtea.com/store/p...e6c0d34727a2c),
so I wouldn't think that would be a good generic name.

D.

"niisonge" > wrote in message
...
> Here's the link in Chinese to the article that prompted this
> discussion in the first place:
>
> http://www.chanertea.com%2Ftrends.asp%3Fid%3D235
>
> I suppose the question they really want to know, is what are all you
> cool tea peeps/tea connoisseurs willing to accept as the English for
> "hei cha".
>
> Proposed suggestions include:
> 1. hei cha
> 2. dark tea
> 3. fu tea (note: a new name meaning "happiness")
> 4. return to original, direct chinese tranlation: black tea
> 5. don't know/care
>





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On 2009-12-17, niisonge > wrote:
>> For post-fermented tea ? Brown tea. Let them use western naming
>> according to the colour of the liquor.
>> If they don't want to adopt western naming, just let them struggle
>> with naming in western market. Simple as that.

>
> Brown tea ... I'll see how that goes. How about Grey tea?
>
> As for naming in the western market, there is also the option to
> reclaim the name "black tea". But let's see how that goes.


I think that's too potentially confusing. For puer, at least, I think
just calling it puer is best, especially since at what point sheng puer
is considered hei cha is, AFAIK, still up for debate.

As far as other post-fermented teas, I don't think there's a huge demand
for them here, and presumably the people who want them know what to call
them.

--
Multi-lingual forum for Chinese and Japanese tea and teawa
http://teadrunk.org/

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> I was going to suggest "heicha" before reading the rest of the postings. I
> guess we are all great minds! After reading the rest, I still think this is
> the best choice. As already mentioned, it has the advantage of being the (or
> at least "an") actual Chinese term,


That's right. I suggested they use the term "hei cha". Or at least
"hei tea". Add a new word to the English lexicon. I'm sure there will
be more about this discussion later. Let's see what they have to say
in China.

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> As far as other post-fermented teas, I don't think there's a huge demand
> for them here, and presumably the people who want them know what to call
> them.


Yeah, they want to market Hunan hei cha", they just haven't decided
how to best describe the tea category yet.

On another note, it seems "fermented tea" as opposed to "oxidized tea"
is just a touchy subject in China as it is here.
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Why is that. The difference is apparent.

Jim

On Dec 17, 8:29 pm, niisonge > wrote
>
> On another note, it seems "fermented tea" as opposed to "oxidized tea"
> is just a touchy subject in China as it is here.


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although it's a bit late: 'chinese black tea' i think, the same way i
make distincions between chinese and japanese green tea.

i'm thinking in spanish, and 'jeicha' (we don't have the english h
pronunciation) doesn't sound serious to me. anyway here we mostly have
english or french franchises, so maybe this kind of tea won't reach
here...
here red tea is both rooibos and puerh, depending on the day. and
couriously there are some places (cafeteras) that changed the black
english average teabags for puerh teabags, and there is no choice for
other kinds...
(just a comment from the periphery)

kind regards,
bonifacio barrio hijosa
http://worldoftea.iespana.es/


On Dec 17, 2:07*pm, niisonge > wrote:
> Chinese vendors are having a discussion over translating the Chinese
> tea type "black tea" into English. For so long, what Chinese call "red
> tea" has always been called "black tea" in the West. Now, when they
> want to market black tea, ie., post-fermented tea, they don't know
> exactly what to call it.
>
> Some suggested using the word "dark tea". But others in China don't
> like the idea; since it doesn't fully describe the color black, and
> has too many other connotations.
>
> I tried looking for synonyms for "black" but none seem to be suitable.
>
> Are there any alternatives? What would be an acceptable name to
> describe "Chinese black tea" in the West?




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> Why is that. *The difference is apparent.

In China, they always say (in books, and common speech) "fermented
tea" as opposed to "oxidized tea". But tea teachers are quick to point
out the difference between real fermentation and the process of
oxidation that tea goes under.

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When I look at the Chinese pages Ive always wondered why sometimes
they incorrectly use fermented and red tea seemingly in the same
sentence when they should use oxidized. I like the word. I think it
gives the correct connotation that something is happening at the
microbe level. It is used in the culinary West to describe what
happens to certain food products like wine and cheese. Everybody
understands yeast.

Jim

On Dec 18, 11:30 am, niisonge > wrote:
> > Why is that. The difference is apparent.

>
> In China, they always say (in books, and common speech) "fermented
> tea" as opposed to "oxidized tea". But tea teachers are quick to point
> out the difference between real fermentation and the process of
> oxidation that tea goes under.

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> > In China, they always say (in books, and common speech) "fermented
> > tea" as opposed to "oxidized tea". But tea teachers are quick to point
> > out the difference between real fermentation and the process of
> > oxidation that tea goes under.- Hide quoted text -


Yeah, I like the term fermented better than oxidized. Fermented is a
good food word. Oxidized has negative connotations with food. Potatoes
get oxidized. Apples get oxidized. Ferment is better, IMO.
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You really have me chasing my tea tail now. I thought you initially
meant the Chinese were using the term fermentation incorrectly when
they meant oxidized. Now youre saying they use it interchangeably
with oxidized. Slicing a potato or apple will change oxidized colors
in a short time. Given enough time it will ferment like moonshine
mash or hard apple cider.

Jim

On Dec 19, 3:28 pm, niisonge > wrote:
> > > In China, they always say (in books, and common speech) "fermented
> > > tea" as opposed to "oxidized tea". But tea teachers are quick to point
> > > out the difference between real fermentation and the process of
> > > oxidation that tea goes under.- Hide quoted text -

>
> Yeah, I like the term fermented better than oxidized. Fermented is a
> good food word. Oxidized has negative connotations with food. Potatoes
> get oxidized. Apples get oxidized. Ferment is better, IMO.

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> Now youre saying they use it interchangeably
> with oxidized.


Yeah, when it comes to tea, they do use ferment do use ferment and
oxidized somehwat interchangeably, as a way to describe fermentation.
But...when talking about tea types, they exclusively use ferment and/
or degree of "fermentation".
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