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    We visit the tea processing steps

    Posted April 28, 2011

    In March 2011 we visited the organic tea gardens of our white tea and bailin gongfu black tea supplier in Fujian.
    At that time it was early spring, so the tea was only just starting it's Spring growth.  We decided to head back there again in April, to check out the farm when the tea was harvested and also to look at their processing, which wasn't in action on our earlier trip.

    The organic tea garden in April in Fujian

    The difference now was amazing, with everything green and growing.

     

    The organic tea garden in March in Fujian

    tea trees in April

    pick white tea by hand

    White tea can only be picked by hand, especially for Silver Needle, because it is only made up of the new, fragile, tea leaf buds.  It takes over 60,000 buds to make 500g (a bit over 1lb) of Silver Needle tea!

     

    pick Silver tea by hand

    A happy and hardworking woman in the tea garden

    The tea you drink from us may have been picked by this happy, hardworking woman.  She has been working at the farm for over 8 years!

     

    A woman is picking white tea

    They are picking white tea by hand

    The tea pickers are everywhere.  Much of the tea the company makes must be picked only within a very short time, only when the weather complies, to ensure the buds are not too old, too dry or too wet.  So when the time is right, there are a swarm of people picking the tea.

     

    First step wither white tea in the sun

    First step wither them in the sun

    The first step after the buds and leaves are picked is to wither them in the sun.

     

    Further withered in the dark storeroom

    After sun withering, the tea is taken to a warmed, dark storeroom where it is further withered.

     

    The person puts the tea to dry

    After withering, the tea is taken into their brand new processing area for drying.

     

     The area is for drying tea

    The staff there constantly monitor ever step in the processing.  The amount of attention to detail and the cleanliness of the area was amazing.

     

    The tea is blended automatically

     They are checking the tea via metal detection system

    Here is a special section in the processing plant where they check the tea to make sure the teas don't contain any metal element.

     

     They are selecting tea by hand

    In this room a team of people sort through the dried tea by hand, to select the correct buds and leaves for each tea.

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