Green Tea is one of the most popular teas in the world. It refers to the beverages made from the tea leaves or buds, which is not being fermented, but fixing and drying processed. The color of the finished tea leaves and the brewed tea liquor is preserved from the green color of the fresh tea leaves. The health benefits of green tea are so many, it can prevent cancer, reduce fat and lose weight, and it can also reduce the nicotine damage it receives from smoking. The green tea caffeine is about 15 mg per 8 ounce tea which is equivalent to the double amount of decaf coffee.
The processing of green tea is divided into three steps: fixing, rolling and drying. Fixing is the key method. Fresh green tea leaves through the fixing process, basically physical and chemical changes are made by the action of heat under the condition of no enzyme influence, thereby forming the quality characteristics of green tea.
Fixation plays a decisive role in the quality of green tea. Through high temperature, the properties of enzymes in fresh tea leaves are destroyed, and the oxidation of polyphenols is stopped to prevent the leaves from reddening. At the same time, part of the water in the leaves is evaporated and leaves are softened that create conditions for the formation of rolling. As the water evaporates, the low-boiling aromatic substances with grassy scents in the fresh leaves volatilize and disappear, thereby improving the aroma of the green tea leaves.
Because of the different effects of mechanical or manual manipulation during the drying process, the tea forms long-shaped, round-shaped, flat fan-shaped, needle-shaped, or spiral-shaped, so it is divided into long-shaped fried green tea and round-shaped fried Green tea, flat-shaped fried green tea, and so on.
baking fixation is dried in a drying cage. Most of the baked green tea after reprocessing and refining is used as an ingredient for flower tea blending. The aroma is generally not as high as fried green tea, only a few famous baked green teas are excellent. Its shape can also be divided into strip-shaped tea, sliced-shaped tea, needle-shaped tea and so on. The baked strip-shaped green tea is produced in the most main tea producing areas all over the country; the sliced-shaped teas are mainly produced in Anhui and Zhejiang Province.
sun-dried green tea is dried in daylight. It is mainly distributed in Hunan, Hubei, Guangdong, Guangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou and other provinces with a small amount of production. The best quality of sun-dried green tea is made with Yunnan big leaf tea, called Yunnan green tea, in Chinese "Dian Qing".
steam fixing is the ancient fixing method in China that destroy the enzyme activity in fresh leaves by steam, forming the "three green" quality which has characteristics of dark green in dry tea leaves, light green in tea liquor and cyan green in brewed tea leaves, but the aroma is more sullen and grassy, and the astringency is heavier. It’s not as brisk as the fried green tea.
Rolling is a process in which green tea shapes. By utilizing the actions of external force to break and lighten the leaves, roll into a strip and reduce the volume to facilitate future brewing. At the same time, part of the tea juice squeezed and adhered to the surface of the leaves, which also played an important role in improving the concentration of tea taste.
The process of rolling is divided into cold and hot. The cold rolling, that is, rolling the green tea leaves after cooling from previous fixing process; on the contrary, hot rolling is rolled immediately after fixing process. The young leaves for best green tea should use cold rolling to keep the green tea leaves in the bright yellow-green. The old leaves should use hot rolling to facilitate the tightness of the strips and reduce the breakage.
the purpose of drying is to evaporate water, and organize the shape for fully developing the fragrance of tea. There are three drying methods which are fry-drying, bake-drying and sun-drying. The drying process of green tea is generally bake-dried first and then fry-dried. Because of the water content in tea leaves is still very rich after rolling. If it is dried directly, it will form blocky pieces in the pot of the frying machine, and the tea juice will easily stick to the pot. Therefore, the tea is first dried to reduce the water content to meet the requirements of frying.
Types of green tea: