Tea harvesting:differentiate the grades of teas
Eager to learn more about tea harvesting?.. .Here we go...
GENERAL TEA PRODUCTION...
* More than 30 countries currently cultivate tea plants
* ~ 2.5 millions tons of dried tea each year
* 1/5 of production are Green tea
* less than 4/5 are Black tea
* ~2% are Oolong (or Wu Long)
HARVESTING TEA LEAVES: FIRST STEP TO PERFECTION
* Young girls pick tea leaves by hand
* Leaves picked by machines have lower quality
* Tea leaves are picked twice a day (sometimes 3 if need more production)
* each harvesting is called Flush
* best quality tea: only buds and very few young leaves
* the more leaves (less buds), the lower quality
* the best tea is very early in the morning or before sun set
* Green tea that has mostly buds is high quality
* timing between plucking and processing is crucial.
* the method of picking is make the thumb and the middle finger meets ( looks similar to a head of a peacock!)
GENERAL TEA PROCESSING: THE LOTTERY OF TEA TYPES
* Tea leaves are selected after tea harveting
* tea proccessig: goal to maintain as much freshness as possible
* Steam leaves to kill enzyme that decompose the leaves
* leaves are dried to remove the moisture
* different time period of steaming and drying applied to different tea types
* Processed leaves are selected by size
* Biggest leaves = best teas
* Smaller leaves = lower quality
* the dust that remains = used in tea bag.
From tea harvesting back to the Tea Plant main page.