Green Tea Production
The finest are handmade during the spring season in China and Japan. Green teas are often referred to as non-fermented or unfermented teas. The intent is to preserve the healthy and natural elements of the fresh leaves. The traditional method of processing green teas involves withering (though not always), heating, rolling and drying. After picking, the fresh leaves are spread out on bamboo trays and exposed to sunlight or warm air for one to two hours. Then the leaves are heated to prevent oxidation and preserve freshness. Finally, the leaves are rolled into various shapes and then dried. The rolling also helps regulate the release of natural oils and flavor during steeping. In China, green teas are often panfired in very large woks and then rolled by hand into various styles: twisted, flat, curly or balled. In Japan, the plucked leaves are quickly steamed on a bamboo tray over water or in a steaming machine, making them easier to shape. The leaves are then rolled by hand or machine before being dried.