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Art of Tea
The Tea Making Process

Have you ever wondered how tea leaves from trees turn into the tea you drink? Tea processing involves several steps that can vary depending on the type of tea being produced. However, there are some common steps involved in the processing of most types of tea.

These steps include:

Withering: The freshly harvested tea leaves are spread out and allowed to wither, usually by exposure to air. This process reduces the moisture content of the leaves and makes them more pliable.
Rolling: The withered tea leaves are then rolled by hand or machine, which breaks down the cell walls and releases the tea juices. Rolling also helps to shape the tea leaves into the desired form.

  1. Oxidation: Depending on the type of tea, the rolled leaves are either allowed to oxidize or are immediately heated to stop the oxidation process. Oxidation is the process that turns the tea leaves from green to brown and develops the characteristic flavors and aromas of each tea type.
  1. Drying: After oxidation, the tea leaves are dried to remove any remaining moisture. This is typically done by spreading the leaves out on large trays and exposing them to hot air.
  1. Packaging: Once the tea has been sorted and graded, it is typically packaged in tea bags or loose-leaf form, and then shipped to tea retailers or wholesalers.
  1. The specific steps and techniques involved in tea processing can vary depending on the type of tea being produced. For example, green tea is not oxidized, while black tea is fully oxidized, and oolong tea is partially oxidized. Each type of tea requires its unique processing techniques to achieve the desired flavor, aroma, and appearance.

The history of tea can be traced back to the 12th century but the concept of tea processing was not fully developed until the

Ming Dynasty (1300s-1600s). With the introduction of fixation, roasting, and fermentation techniques, a variety of tea were

invented, including Oolong. According to an old Chinese tale, Oolong tea was discovered by chance.