Tea Processing Procedures

Tea Processing Procedures in The Classic of Tea

Steaming: Before processing, the fresh tea leaves should be soaked in water and rinsed. Then, they are steamed in a steamer to get rid of the dust and reduce their harsh taste.

Smashing: The steamed tea leaves should be pressed to get rid of its juice and the astringent taste. Then, they are smashed in a ceramic basin.

Mould beating and pressing: Different shapes of moulds turn out different shapes of lump tea. Pressing should be done on a stone platform. Put an apron on the platform, pour the tea paste into the mould, put the mould on the apron, and beat it continuously to make it compact and solid. After the formation, pull up the apron and take out the tea lump.

Baking: The lump tea should be baked immediately after formation against deterioration. Stringing up: The baked lump tea is stringed up with an awl and bamboo strips.

Packing: The finished lump tea should be packed for storage timely and correctly. The packed tea is normally placed in a container called Yu, which has a wooden framework, a bamboo-splint wall and covered with paper, and a brazier containing burnt charcoal ash in the center to keep the tea dry. During the plum rain season in the area south of the Yangtze River, people use open fire to get rid of dampness.