Friday, July 17, 2009

2008 TOST - Jade Oolong's solar withering (10/25/2008)

Sunshine plays a very important role in Taiwan Oolong's processing. Per our tea master Jackson Huang, with or without solar withering makes a huge difference in making good oolong tea. Experienced tea master works like a commander in battle field, decides when and what to do according to the leaf's withered status he/she detects. Nowadays, some farmers will install sun-shades for better control. Don't be surprised to see some tea plants even have their sun-shades equipped with remote-control for working closely with the constantly changing sun light and the temperature...
According to Jackson: Solar Withering (sunshine withering): The length of time allowed for withering depends on the strength of the sunlight, and usually lasts for about fifteen minutes up to one hour. When the first leaf has become withered and the second leaf appears dark in color, the leaves are moved indoor to continue the withering process. The purpose of solar withering is to increase the leaf's temperature, which facilitates a chemical change within the leaf, as the moisture level is decreased by approximately 10%.

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