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    How to process green tea

    Green tea is the least processed among the six types of Chinese tea.  It undergoes the least amount of oxidation.  The shorter processing gives green tea a lighter flavor than black tea.  Also result in the high catechins content, which is why it is so good for you.
    It mainly has the following three steps:
    Steamed or Pan Fried – Rolling (Rounian) – Drying

    After the tea leaves are picked, it should be thinly spread for 2-3 hours (depend on different teas) in order to reduce the water content. 
    fresh tea leaves

    Select: remove yellow leaves and other debris
    select tea leaves

    Steamed or Pan Fried

    This step is the crucial technique for quality.  Shaqing has four important goals:
    to get the proper color, smell and taste of Green Tea by completely destroying the activity of enzymes in fresh leaves and stop the enzymatic oxidation of polyphenols;
    to give off grassy smell in order to release the aroma;
    to evaporate part of the water in the fresh leaves to soft the leaves and enhance toughness to make the next step rolling easier;
    to promote the transformation of inclusions, and promote the formation of green tea.
    pan firedpan fired

    This kind of electric pan can most contain 400g leaves.
    electric panelectric pan

    Rolling (Rounian)

    The purpose of Rounian is to make the shape tight in order to make the next step drying easier. As well as destructing of leaf tissue to make better quality for easy brewing out the tea liquor.
    rolling tearounian tea


    The drying of the produced tea is responsible for many new flavor compounds particularly.  At the same time improve its appearance.
    drying teadrying tea

    After the above processing steps.  A cup of green liquor, fragrant and sweet light taste tea can be brewed.  Have a look at our articles on how to brew a classic Drangon Well Green Tea.
    brewed green tea

    16 comments to How to process green tea

    • Malith :


      Dear sir,
      Happy to see this pan firing. I also use it and I have some problems
      1.Do we have to wither fresh leaves?
      2.In which stage we added leaves to pan
      3.Do we have to press the leaves while using pan
      4.my green tea liquor somewhat yellow, why is that?

      Thank you.Hope you will help me

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your questions.
      I'm not a professional tea crafter. As a tea seller, i can try to provide the information I know.
      1.Green tea needn't withering.
      2.Tea leaves should be thinly spread for few hours (depend on different teas) in order to reduce the water content to 68%~70%, leaves become soft, issued fragrance. Then we can start add leaves to pan and Shaqing.
      3.It needn't press the tea, but we need stir the leaves when Shaqing.
      4.There are some green teas' soup is light yellow. But sometimes the tea was oxidationed will make the green tea soup became yellow.
      Hope it helps

    • Ka'bre Dennis :


      what products and tools do i need to process raw tea leaves in my own home?

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your question.

      The processes of making green tea are: Steamed, Rolling and Drying.

      Durinng which we need at least a pan, to fire the tea leaves, and a drier to dry the tea leaves.

      Besides, here is an video http://www.teavivre.com/tea-videos/pujiang-tea-factory-green-tea-process-steps-p-20/, about how to process green tea in a factory.

      Hope it is helpful for you.

    • dulan :


      Hello,it's a fantastic article.i also having small tea plantation at my home.so i would like to know at what temperature we frying the leaves and the time we fried? And i also want to know how much time we have to rolled the leaves after frying and how to drying the rolled leaves?(by using fan or what)

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your question.

      Pan Fried requires "high temperature and short time." Generally, we need to raise the leaf temperature to above 80 ℃ within 1 to 2 minutes, and this process would lasted 5-10 minutes, otherwise the leaves will turn red. But it depends on the temperature of pan and the amount of leaves.

      The time for rolling are different according to different type of tea. I can't provide a specific number.
      Usually, rolling need around 5 times, every time need about 30mins. And in this process, we generally need to press the tea after the second time of rolling.

      Finally, to dry tea needs a dryer. But we can also dry green tea leaves in a micro oven, which is quite good for small quantity. If the quantity is too large, then using micro oven will be not so convenient.

      Besides, here is a video for making Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea http://www.teavivre.com/tea-videos/manual-making-method-of-tai-ping-hou-kui-green-tea-p-61/, which may for reference.

      Hope this would somehow help you.

    • Dr M A Bhstti :


      I had requested to know whether the freshly picked leaves can be dried in a a microwave oven? If so how should the best heating would be for one kg fresh leaves.
      Thanks for any advice.

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your question.

      Generally, microwave is good for small amount of tea. If you want to dry 1 kg fresh leaves, I'm afraid you'd better try several times. Here is method for drying in a microwave:

      1: put a paper towel on top of a plate, then spread the tea leaves as evenly as possible.

      2: Place another paper towel on top of the leaves and put the plate inside your microwave. The paper towels will absorb the moisture that’s evaporated from the tea leaves.

      3: Use the microwave for 1 minute and then check if the leaves are dry or not.

      4: Repeat this procedure for 30-second increments until the leaves become dry.

      Hope it helps.

    • Dr M A Bhatti :


      In one of your replies you have used the word STUNNING. What does it mean.

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your question.

      I think that word should be "Sunning", which we called "shài qīng" (晒青:sun-dried green tea)

      Sorry for the mistake and hope it helps.

    • Dr M A Bhatti :


      Can one dry green tea leaves in a micro oven? If the quantity is not too large is for personal use. Thanks.

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your question.

      We can dry green tea leaves in a micro oven, which is quite good for small quantity . However, if the quantity is too large, then using micro oven will be not so convenient. Because the drying process need to be repeated, if you overdo it you’ll burn the leaves. Meanwhile, the required time changes depending on the power of your microwave and the amount of tea leaves.

      Hope it helps.

    • Priyan :


      I highly appreciate your effort. if it's content about drying temperature, it'll be better for refers.

    • Vikugha :


      Dear sir, i would like to know how the steamed and rolled leaves are dried. Are they dried with the help of natural sunlight of artificial heat. Is there any specific way of drying? Please help with some details. Thank you

    • TeaVivre response:


      Hello, there are three kinds of methods to dry the teas. They are baking, Pan frying and sunning.....

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