The process of Puerh tea

By Emma Chang | 25 February 2019 | 0 Comments

1, Fresh tea leaf harvesting
At present, there are hand harvesting and machine plucking. The tea leaves can only harvest the tender part, which can be divided into grades, one bud and one leaf, one bud and two leaves and one bud and three leaves, etc.

2, Withering
After the tea is harvested, it must first be placed in the air to let it loss a part of the water. This process is called withering, in preparation for the next process. Withering is divided into outdoor and indoor.
Withering process: The loss of water must be evaporated from the edge of the leaves or pores through the veins.

3, Fixation
Processing puerh tea, fixate leaf cells with high temperature would stop the fermentation. When the tea loses moisture but is not dried out, fixation tea is used to make the tea lose water evenly, and the high temperature quickly inactivates the enzyme activity to stop the phenol oxidation. Evaporation of a part of the water, which is good for rolling into strips. The normal tea leaves turn from bright green to dark green.

4, Rolling
It is the key process that affects the appearance and taste of Yunnan large leaf tea. Currently there machine rolling and artificially rolling. Break the tea cells to ensure that the tea will be fully leached during brewing. After the tea has been rolled, the volume has basically been reduced by more than half.

5, Drying
Then, it is the drying process, using the heat of the sun's rays and the wind to wither, evaporating most of the water of the fresh leaves. The dried tea leaves are naturally dried in the sun, and the organic matter and active substances in the tea are retained to the utmost extent. The dried tea leaves have the largest cell pores, which is beneficial to generate a large amount of heat during the fermentation process. If the drying is not complete, the tea will be over-fermented and may even be mildewed. If there is no sunlight, it can be back out indoor, but the use of sunlight will have a special fragrance, which is one of the important reasons for the special taste of puerh tea. At this time, it is also known as the "Maocha".

6, Piling
Maocha has become ripe puerh loose tea after being fermented by water spray. The key point of ripe puerh tea is whether the degree of fermentation is moderate.
In the past, maocha became ripe puerh tea after being stored into a natural aging. It requires certain years.
The piling is the biggest difference from the ancient method. This was first invented by Kunming Tea Factory in 1973. The specific process is to spray water on the maocha, so that the tea leaves absorb the water, then pile up to a certain thickness, after that use the principle of damp heat to accelerate the ripening of the tea. In doing so, puerh tea has the characteristics of ancient times puerh tea, smooth, thick and aged aroma in a short time, which greatly shortens the processing time.

7, Screening&Grading
There are manual and machine selection, and the common ones while manual section are taking out the yellow pieces, foreign bodies, and stems. Machine selection is better, you can quickly remove dust, yellow pieces, stems and can also be graded, during the period of static electricity can also remove hair.
8, Compressing
After the assembly, after weighing (called the weight of the tea, such as 357 gram per cake), put into the neifei, after weighing, it is steaming to make the tea soft, after high temperature steaming, compress it according to the need, here it can also be divided into cake type, tuo type, brick type and so on. This is also an important classification of puerh tea.

9, Drying
Drying the tea in the drying oven, the water content is generally less than 13%. If there is no drying room, it can dry naturally.
10, Packaging
Puerh tea is very special in packaging. It is packed with bamboo leaves. In ancient times, it was used to make the tea not damaged during transportation. The effect of heat preservation and moisturization can effectively maintain the moisture in the tea and the warm and humid environment in the heap formed by factors such as microbial growth for a long time, thereby achieving the purpose of promoting endoplasmic changes. The bamboo shoots are breathable, soft and tough, moisture-proof, and pleasantly fragrant. Puerh tea will absorb the natural bamboo aroma ad well.

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