Green Tea

Green Tea 绿茶 Lü Cha

Depending on the kind and quality of the tea bushes, two leaves and a bud, one leaf and the bud or only the bud are plucked and laid out in the shade indoors and/or outside for a short time to lose some of their moisture. The leaf material is heated up strongly then. This process is called Sha Qing in Chinese, which means “killing the green”, and deactivates all the enzymes in the leaves, thus preventing any oxidation and fermentation for a certain time. It can be done in four different ways: drying in the sun, steaming (water steam), baking (with hot air) and roasting (in the wok). When the leaves are cooled out they are formed and dried. The very most green teas are plucked during spring (March/April), but there are also harvests during summer. Green tea is the oldest way of tea production, in the form of leaf tea however it only dates back to the 12th century – before that, leaves were steamed and pressed. Roasting and baking has been known since the 16th century. In Japan tea production started in the 12th century, and still today the old steaming method is used. Green teas always have a very present tart and slightly bitter note to them, and especially cheaper qualities can turn over the really bitter end of the taste spectrum.