Chinese tea production

Chinese tea production

The history of tea in china can be traced back to Three Thousand years ago. Tea had been used for the “Offer Sacrifices” to Gods or the ancestors.

A new Chinese tea plant must grow for five years before its leaves can be picked and, at 30 years of age, it will be too old to be productive. The trunk of the old plant must then be cut off to force new stems to grow out of the roots in the coming year. By repeated rehabilitation in this way, a plant may serve for about l00 years .

For the fertilization of tea gardens, Soya-bean cakes or other varieties of organic manure are generally used, and seldom chemical fertilizers. When pests are discovered, the affected plants will be removed to prevent their spread, and also to avoid the use of pesticides.

The season of Chinese tea picking depends on local climate and varies from area to area. On the shores of West Lake in Hangzhou, where the famous green tea Longjing (Dragon Well) comes from, picking starts from the end of March and lasts through October, altogether 20-30 times from the same plants at intervals of seven to ten days. With a longer interval, the quality of the tea will deteriorate.

The new leaves must be parched in Chinese tea cauldrons. This work , which used to be done manually, has been largely mechanized. Top-grade Dragon Well tea, however, still has to be stir-parched by hand, doing only 250 grams every half hour. The tea-cauldrons are heated electrically to a temperature of about 25oC or 74oF. It takes four pounds of fresh leaves to produce one pound of parched tea.

How Oolong Tea is produced

Manual production method supported by tradition and craftsmanship.
The production of delicious oolong tea requires time-honored tradition and outstanding craftsmanship. Tea leaves are picked on the morning of a clear day. They should be picked in units consisting of one bud and three leaves and exposed to the sun. This is the first stage. The second stage is to dry them indoors to promote fermentation. The most crucial part in the production of oolong tea is when to stop fermentation. As oolong tea is fermented to some extent, it is called semi-fermented tea.

Experience is required to identify the best time to stop the fermentation, which is when the leaves are 30% red and 70% green. After this, they are rubbed repeatedly to generate good flavor, aroma, and texture. Then they are dried using charcoal. At the final stage, a tea master grades the quality according to the flavor and characteristics of each batch. China’s Fujian Chaye Jin Chukou Gongsi (Tea Import and Export Corporation and Fujian Tea Association) exports oolong tea to Japan.

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