Tea Processing

 
The basic tea processing goes
 through these following steps:

1. Heating/pan frying
2. Rolling/shaping
3. Drying


The end product of the tea
in the teacup
takes on the personality
of the person who processes
the tea leaves.


There are  two methods to processing
tea - hand processing and machine processing.
Hand processing has inconsistencies
 and the machine processing
has the ability to maintain
the consistency of  the end product.
There are slight variations depending
 on the types of tea that is being
 processed to achieve the end product.

See Production chart




1.Heating -  to de-enzyme
 
To prevent the green tea leaves from
 turning black, the enzyme that
is present and responsible
 for this oxidation, has to go through
an initial heating process.
To achieve green tea there must
be no oxidation in its
 early stages of processing.
The tea is usually pan fried
or roasted to achieve the right aroma,
 as too little or uneven heating
will cause this aroma to be lost.
Too much heat or over heating
will yield a burnt flavor.


2. Rolling or shaping
 
Rolling or shaping the tea leaf is about
timing and experience.
This part of the processing enables
 the tea leaf to attain a deeper flavor.
This is where the hard work is because knowing when to roll the leaves entails knowing how
soft the leaves have to be between
 step 1 and step 2.
The rolling or shaping process
 helps to distribute the moisture
 evenly and prevents the tea leaves
from prematurely drying out.
Failing to achieve this  will lead
to burns and powdering 
of the tea leaves.


3. Drying
 
This is the final part in removing
the moisture  out of the tea leaves,
as there are different moisture levels
 at different areas of the tea leaves.
This process has to be done evenly.
Uneven drying will cause
 the tea leaves to taste
 and smell musty and rancid.