Fresh tea leaves should be spread separately right after entering the tea field. Then the heat of sunshine will accelerate the evaporation of the water within the fresh tea leaves to reduce the water content so that chemicals in the cells can proceed with fermentation by enzymes and oxygenation.
After drying in the sunshine, the tea leaves are moved indoors to be shrivelled by being placed still and tossed, in turns for at least ten hours. The tea leaves will ferment and emit natural fragrance and flavor during this stage.
Then the leaves are stir-fried with a high temperature of about 350℃ to stop the activity of the enzymes, thus reduce the fresh tea leaves’ smell and their water content.
The stir-fried leaves are then rolled and ground into rolls, using a rolling machine, to break the cell structure of the leaves. This process keeps tea juice on the leaf surface and retains the astringent taste of the tea.
The leaf rolls are then separated and put into a dryer to evaporate the water content in the leaves’ surface so that they are soft, flexible and not sticky. It is late night already after this process. The leaves are left still until next morning.
This process consists of two actions: the leaves are heated by a heating machine and then wrapped in white cloth in a shape of ball to be rolled and ground by the rolling machine for several minutes. These two actions take turns repeatedly.
The leaves are then separated so that the leaves will not be twisted up with each other.The leaves are dried again using the rotary dryer to reduce the leaves’ water content.
The leaves after the drying process are picked manually to remove the stems. This method increases the value and quality of tea.
The crude tea is then passed through the refining process and the second drying process to reduce the water content to below 4%. Then the tea quality is further improved by the baking process which gives Dongding tea a baking fragrance, sweetness, and a special taste in the throat.
The packaging of tea products should be made after the whole process of tea manufacturing, including the refining, second drying and other necessary processes. The frequency of package opening should be reduced during product packaging; it is better to package tea products at one time, so they are not opened again until customers are about to enjoy them.
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