Kanlo USA

If you are cold, tea will warm you; If you are too heated, it will cool you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are excited, it will calm you...

- Gladstone (1865) Victorian British Prime Minister

Tea Producing Process

Tea Plucking

The tea manufacturing process starts daily around 300,000 estate workers plucking several million tea leaves by hand. This is the first step in the manufacture of quality Ceylon tea. When the tea is plucked by hand, only the bud and the two leaves are plucked, which have the flavour and aroma. In other parts of the world plucking is done by machines. These machines pluck the bud, the young leaf, a lot of coarse leaf and few twigs as well. Coarse leaf and twigs just add bulk and not flavour to the tea.

 

 

Withering/ Wilting

The tea manufacturing process starts daily around 300,000 estate workers plucking several million tea leaves by hand. This is the first step in the manufacture of quality Ceylon tea. When the tea is plucked by hand, only the bud and the two leaves are plucked, which have the flavour and aroma. In other parts of the world plucking is done by machines. These machines pluck the bud, the young leaf, a lot of coarse leaf and few twigs as well. Coarse leaf and twigs just add bulk and not flavour to the tea.

 

 

Bruising

The leaf is then moved to the factory where they are withered using large blowers.

 

 


 

Oxidation / Fermentation

For teas that require oxidation, the leaves are left on their own in a climate-controlled room where they turn progressively darker. This is accompanied by agitation in some cases. In this process the chlorophyll in the leaves is enzymatically broken down, and its tannins are released or transformed. This process is sometimes referred to as "fermentation" in the tea industry. The tea producer may choose when the oxidation should be stopped, which depends on the desired qualities in the final tea as well as the weather conditions (heat and humidity). For light oolong teas this may be anywhere from 5-40% oxidation, in darker oolong teas 60-70%, and in black teas 100% oxidation. Oxidation is highly important in the formation of many taste and aroma compounds, which give a tea its liquor color, strength, and briskness. Depending on the type of tea desired, under or over-oxidation/fermentation can result in grassy flavors, or overly thick winey flavors.

 

Fixation / Kill-green

Kill-green or shāqīng is done to stop the tea leaf oxidation at a desired level. This process is accomplished by moderately heating tea leaves, thus deactivating their oxidative enzymes and removing unwanted scents in the leaves, without damaging the flavour of the tea. Traditionally, the tea leaves are panned in a wok or steamed, but with advancements in technology, kill-green is sometimes done by baking or "panning" in a rolling drum. In some white teas and some black teas such as CTC blacks, kill-green is done simultaneously with drying.

 

 

Sweltering / Yellowing

Unique to yellow teas, warm and damp tea leaves from after kill-green are allowed to be lightly heated in a closed container, which causes the previously green leaves to yellow. The resulting leaves produce a beverage that has a distinctive yellowish-green hue due to transformations of the leaf chlorophyll. Through being sweltered for 6–8 hours at close to human body temperatures, the amino acids and polyphenols in the processed tea leaves undergo chemical changes to give this tea its distinct briskness and mellow taste.

 

 

Rolling / Shaping

The damp tea leaves are then rolled to be formed into wrinkled strips, by hand or using a rolling machine which causes the tea to wrap around itself. This rolling action also causes some of the sap, essential oils, and juices inside the leaves to ooze out, which further enhances the taste of the tea. The strips of tea can then be formed into other shapes, such as being rolled into spirals, kneaded and rolled into pellets, or tied into balls, cones and other elaborate shapes. In many type of oolong, the rolled strips of tea leaf are then rolled to spheres or half spheres and is typically done by placing the damp leaves in large cloth bags, which are then kneaded by hand or machine in a specific manner.

 

 

Drying

Drying is done to "finish" the tea for sale. This can be done in a myriad of ways including panning, sunning, air drying, or baking. However, baking is usually the most common. Great care must be taken to not over-cook the leaves. The drying of the produced tea are responsible for many new flavor compounds particularly important in green teas.

 

 

 

Aging / Curing

While not always required, some teas required additional aging, secondary-fermentation, or baking to reach their drinking potential. For instance, a green tea puerh, prior to curing into a post-fermented tea, is often bitter and harsh in taste, but becomes sweet and mellow through fermentation by age or dampness. Additionally, oolong can benefit from aging if fired over charcoal. Flavored teas are manufactured in this stage by spraying the tea with aromas and flavors or by storing them with their flavorants.

Without careful moisture and temperature control during its manufacture and life thereafter, fungi will grow on tea. This form of fungus causes real fermentation that will contaminate the tea and may render the tea unfit for consumption.

Text Taken From - Wikipedia

 

About Us

Tea boutiques are becoming more popular and now Tribeca has one of its own. Kanlo, which means 'give light to the world, is the first and so far the only tea boutique in the United States devoted primarily to tea from Sri Lanka (former Ceylon).

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