An introduction to green tea processing
Green tea is the most popular tea in China and China is the largest producer and exporter of green tea.
Green teas can be divided into 4 categories: steamed, fry-dried, baked-dried and sun-dried.
Almost all of the Japanese green teas use steam to halt the oxidation process. Steam fixing can be traced back to tea sage Lu Yu’s Chajing, the first written work on tea published more than 1200 years ago in China’s Tang Dynasty. For green teas that undergo fixing with steam, we called such types of green as steamed green tea.
Dry heat fixing began to replace steam fixing during China’s Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), while Japan continued to adopt the principle of steam processing to this day.
Dry Heat Fixing
The other three types of green tea are named by how the green tea is dried as their fixing process is more or less the same, using dry heat.
The drying process for fry-dried green tea as the name implies, involves the frying motion in drying the tea leaves either in a pan or a tumbler-like machine.
For bake-dried green tea, the final drying takes place in an oven or bamboo basket where leaves are dried with hot air.
Sun-dried green tea is the oldest form of green tea processing before the invention of human-intervene heating.
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