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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.




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