Friday, July 17, 2009

2008 TOST - Jade Oolong's indoor withering & oxidizing (10/25/2008)

Indoor Withering: After Solar Withering, the tea leaves are moved to the indoor withering room (Modern factory equipped Air-con to control temperature) and lightly placed on bamboo plates for storing. Each plate with tea leaves spreaded about 5-10 mm thick. One hour later, the leaves are shaken and stirred 2-3 times by hand, and then replaced on racks for storing. After about 1-2 hours, as the fresh leaf's aroma becomes noticeable, the leaves are shaken and stirred more heavily 5-6 times for a second round, and replaced for storing. After another 1-2 hours the leaf begins to present the fragrant aroma, and is ready for a third round of shake a stir approximately 10-12 times more forcefully by hand. The leaves are again stored on racks for about 1-2 hours. Finally, the leaves are placed in a bamboo tumbling machine ffor 24-30 minutes, to stir and also evenly mix the withered and lightly oxidized leaves...and then allow the leaves to cool down for 1-3 hours before panning. (**Per Master Huang: Every tea master might have minor different steps and practices to control the indoor withering and oxidizing...
that makes the difference in the quality.) One thing is for sure: Whoever experiences the whole process of indoor withering will never forget how amazingly the leaf has gone through and the natual aroma is created...While we left the tea plant, the whole village near by simply filled with lusciuos aroma in air we breathed...unforgetable experience!

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