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The Process of Tea Harvesting

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The Process of Tea Harvesting

2023-10-30 14:44:08

I. Tea Classification:

Camellia sinensis: The primary tea plant species, which includes various cultivars such as Camellia sinensis var. sinensis and Camellia sinensis var. assamica.

Types of tea: Green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea, each with distinct characteristics and processing methods.

II. Growth Cycle:

  1. Germination: Tea seeds are planted in nurseries or directly in the field.
  2. Seedling stage: After a few weeks, the seeds germinate, and the young tea plants begin to grow.
  3. Bush stage: The tea plants develop into bushes, reaching a height of about 1-2 meters.
  4. Pruning: Regular pruning is essential to maintain the shape and health of the tea bushes.
  5. Harvesting: The most crucial stage, where the tea leaves are carefully plucked.

III. Harvesting Seasons:

  1. First Flush: Occurs in early spring, producing delicate and flavorful tea leaves.
  2. Second Flush: Takes place in late spring or early summer, yielding more robust and aromatic tea leaves.
  3. Autumn Flush: Happens in autumn, producing tea leaves with a unique flavor profile.

IV. Tools Used:

  1. Hand plucking: The most common method, where skilled workers selectively pluck the tea leaves by hand.
  2. Shears or scissors: Used for harvesting larger quantities of tea leaves quickly.
  3. Tea harvesting baskets: Workers carry these baskets to collect the plucked leaves.

V. Essential Considerations:

  1. Timing: Harvesting should be done at the right time to ensure the desired flavor and aroma.
  2. Leaf selection: Only the top two leaves and the bud are typically plucked for high-quality tea.
  3. Hygiene: Workers must maintain cleanliness to prevent contamination of the tea leaves.
  4. Weather conditions: Harvesting is usually done on dry days to avoid moisture affecting the tea leaves’ quality.
  5. Storage: Proper storage of harvested tea leaves is crucial to preserve their freshness and flavor.

Conclusion: The process of tea harvesting involves a careful selection of tea leaves at specific stages of growth, using appropriate tools, and adhering to essential considerations. From the classification of tea to the growth cycle, harvesting seasons, and tools used, each step contributes to the quality and flavor of the final tea product. Understanding the intricacies of tea harvesting enhances our appreciation for this ancient and beloved beverage.