There are many different ways that tea can be made today but here we will refer to the orthodox process beginning with the hand selection of the small, young leaves, and unopened buds of the tea tree. After a basket is collected, the leaves are sifted and sorted to remove any extra twigs or stems and set out for several hours to “wither” in the sun and soften up before they are rolled. This next step, the rolling, is where you start to see different techniques used in order to create different flavors, and for different types of tea leaves. The leaves may be torn, twisted, rolled or folded and then set out again for a few more hours to expose the leaves’ oils and enzymes to oxigen and to begin extracting flavors. Here again the amount of time exposed will determine the tea’s flavor and complexity. The final step is a quick firing or heating of the leaves to remove any extra moisture and ideally bring the moisture content down to below 3%. Pack it, ship it, buy it, steep it, drink it, enjoy!
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