THE ART OF TEA-MAKING
CREATING HARMONY IN A CUP
The art of tea-making evolved throughout thousands of years in China. The very first thing you need to know about tea is this basic fact:
All tea is made from the same plant – Camellia sinensis.
Chinese traditional tea making—an art form of limitless state.
What makes all the tea different is due to a single factor: cure. This is why tea-making is such a prized art form, as deep and vast and expansive as the ocean itself.
What Are The Major Types Of Tea?
In the world of tea, knowing the answer to this question — how many types of tea are there? — will give you a lot of street cred.
The answer is simple: six. In Chinese tea-speak, this is referred to as “tea soup.” Tea has long been the subject of admiration from poets and scholars in China:
“Its elixir is like the sweetest dew of heaven”
– Lu Yu, tea sage and author of “Chajing” or “Classic of Tea”
White tea, or “Bai Cha” 白茶
The most subtle of all teas. White tea is the least processed of all tea types.
Yellow tea, or “Huang Cha” or “Hwa Cha” 黃茶 或 花茶
Also known as Scented tea. This is simply tea varietals infused with flowers. Jasmine Green tea and Rose Black tea are examples.
Green tea, or “Lu Cha” 綠茶
Green tea carries a refreshing taste, ranging from clean to grassy. Green tea is famous for its health benefits, although all teas have various health benefits.
Oolong tea, or “Wu Nong Cha” 烏龍茶
Black tea, or “Hong Cha” 红茶
A fully fermented tea, Black tea is also an invention of Wuyi Shan. The crown jewel of tea for Westerners from the 16th through mid-19th centuries. Read more about this legendary tea here.
Puer tea, 普洱茶 或 黑茶
Also spelled Pu’er or Puerh, this exemplifies the category called “hei cha,” meaning Dark tea. A fermented tea, Puer is considered “old tea” and is packed with health benefits
Good People Make Good Tea
This is no surprise. If we learned anything from the origin of tea in China, we know that tea-making was a chosen path to attain purity in heart and in mind.
Historically, the Chinese culture reveres tea, not only as a beverage that nourishes the body and enlightens the spirit. Tea has a greater power:
Tea Brings Harmony To The World.
茶 和 天 下
Through the hands of tea-makers, tea infuses herself into the human spirit.
This Is The “Tea Spirit.”
The Art Of Creating Harmony In A Cup
“How is tea made?” This question baffled the minds of prominent scientists all over Europe from the 17th through the mid-19th centuries. Many famous botanists and plant hunters had smuggled tea seeds from China to crack this simple question. But one man finally unlocked the secret by the mid-1850s. Now you can do this in a nanosecond with Google.
15 Steps Of Chinese Traditional Tea-Making
Ever since the Europeans started sipping tea, they were fascinated with the Chinese tradition of tea-making. Here is an account of the 15 major processes for tea to arrive from China to the West, from cultivation to processing to distribution. Of course, these steps vary depending on the types of tea being made and the region in which the tea is produced.
Tea-making is labor intensive, a process filled with interlocking and sequential steps. Once the tea leaves are picked, there is no stopping as the tea leaves are to be processed properly, step by step. Tea-makers work around the clock for weeks or even months on end to process tea leaves during harvest time, with very little sleep.
- Cultivating: Farming and working the fields.
- Sowing: Planting the tea seeds.
- Irrigating: Watering the seeds which grow into seedlings and then into tea plants.
- Picking: Plucking the tea leaves. Read more about how to pick tea.
- Selecting: Removing all the impurities from the choice parts.
- Withering: Spreading out the leaves for natural drying.
- Shake Green: Shaking the leaves. This is an extra step to make Oolong tea. Find out why this step is important.
- Stirred Green: Wok-frying the leaves to stop the oxidation process.
- Kneading: Rolling the withered tea leaves.
- Drying: Drying the tea leaves.
- Sieving: Cleaning the tea leaves from impurities.
- Packing: Packing the tea leaves into bamboo baskets.
- Selling: Taking tea to sales agents in town.
- Packaging: Packaging tea for shipment in a warehouse.
- Shipping: Loading tea chests for exporting into various European countries.