How to Process Green Tea

Chinese people started to drink green tea since the Zhou Dynasty, which has a history over 3,000 years. Do you know how green tea is produced, Let’s try to find out.

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.

Select: remove yellow leaves and other debris

Steamed or Pan Fried

This step is the crucial technique for quality.  Shaqing has four important goals: 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; give off grassy smell in order to release the aroma; evaporate part of the water in the fresh leaves to soft the leaves and enhance toughness to make the next step rolling easier; promote the transformation of inclusions, and promote the formation of green tea.

Steamed tea
Steamed tea

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

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.



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

Pan Fried
Pan Fried

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 Brewing Chinese Top Grade Dragon Well Green Tea

  • 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 green tea liquor somewhat yellow, why is that?

    Thank you.Hope you will help me

    • TeaVivre

      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

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

  • Hello,it’s a fantastic article.i also having small tea plantation at my 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

      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, which may for reference.

      Hope this would somehow help you.

  • 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

      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.

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

    • TeaVivre

      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.

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

    • TeaVivre

      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.

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

  • 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

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

  • im emailing from kenya with interest to know how to make green tea as an enterprise from picked tea.i would be interested if you become my guide.please email me all relevant details

  • How does one make green tea for putting in a can or other package?

    • TeaVivre

      Thank you for your inquiry. Generally speaking, after a series of tea production procedures the green tea leaves are finally packed by professional skilled workers using different containers, such as cans, packages and what not.

      Hope this can help you. If you have any other question, please feel free to tell us.

  • Couldn’t one just harvest the leaves from the plant and dry them and use them – same as you do with other herbs?
    Why steaming/heating and then drying?

    • TeaVivre

      Hello Heike, making tea is not so simple as we think. It is much more complex than we introduced in this article. The steaming process, as well as other process, is aiming to change some substance in the leaf, adjust the tea leaf’s nature, so that the final product – tea – you drink can be so different from the fresh tea leaves on tea trees. These process determine the tea’s character, taste and aroma type. That’s why there are so many distinctive kinds of green teas, because they are processed with differrent steaming/heating method.

  • I like it

  • I also want to learn hand processed green tea.

  • Sir i want to start a plant of green tea in Assam India.i need the assistance and detail project report regarding this

    • TeaVivre

      Hi Kaushik, in fact the planting and making of green tea varies from different tree species and different kinds of green tea. The making process we introduced in the article is just the general procedures. The specific process which tea manufactueres are using is not disclosed to the public. If you want to plant a green tea tree, we suggest that you can ask the tea farm about how to plant the tea trees.

  • my aunties have tea field in Darzo village of Mizoram..I even helped them one time picking the I am very interested in making green tea on my own, from these home made,with the simplest method yet good taste n containing the good qualities that green tea has.. could you please tell me how to do this

    • TeaVivre

      Dear Tete, it is interesting for making the green tea by yourself. But there is a ulmost important thing for making good quality teas, that the maker must be very skillful. It requires years of practices and experiences. Though the making process of each kind of green tea is much the same, as we introduced in the article above, the maker’s experience would significantly infulence the result. Yet it is fun to try this on your own. You can just follow the process this article introduced : )

  • Dear Sir/Madam,
    I have 2 tea plants in my garden, I just wonder if I can pick the 2 leaves and bud, wash it, put in a cup, pour hot water then drink it.
    Look forward to receiving your info.

    Thank you,

    • TeaVivre

      I suggest you do not drink the tea leaves which was just picked from the plants. Because the leaves which haven’t been processed by the steps mentioned in this article don’t have the tea flavor and also not good for health.

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