From the tea field directly to your table
If you are asking how tea is made, our answer is – there are many ways how to do that. However, the simplest method is to let the leaves to be dried in the sun. More complex and standard methods include the following phases:
- Harvest - water content in leaves is up to 80%.
- Withering - the leaves lose their elasticity and are ready for the next phase - rolling. Water content drops below 70%.
- During rolling, the juice is released from the leaves.
- Fermentation (without the presence of bacteria) - this process is similar to the oxidation of fruit in air. Then we continue with heating which stops the fermentation process.
- Drying – the leaves are usually dried with warm air. The water content drops to about 5%.
Every step in this process plays crucial role and it is not recommended to omit it. That is why making tea can be really challenging.
So, if all the teas come from the same plant, how is it possible that they taste and look different?
The difference between the individual teas lies in the process of fermentation:
- Green tea is not fermented at all
- White tea is fermented very slightly
- Yellow tea is also slightly fermented and, in addition, slowly dried. Fun fact- yellow tea is not recognized by Slovak legislative.
- Oolong is partially fermented, additionally treated by heating in a large metal pan (similar to a wok)
- Black tea is completely fermented
- Pu-erh is a multi-fermented tea