An Introduction to the Types of Tea Processing

An Introduction to the Types of Tea Processing





Tea Processing
A lot of people tend to believe that different kinds of tea are taken from different kinds of tea plants, but oolong, black and green teas actually all come from the same evergreen plant, Carnellia sinensis. The mere difference would lie in the plant's processing. Some common terms of processing include withering, oxidation, firing or drying, and rolling. Here is an introduction to the types of tea processing out there.


During this introduction to the types of tea processing, the leaves that are newly picked will be spread thinly to dry first; this is called withering. If the climate isn't suitable, heated air will also be forced onto the leaves. The goal here would be to lower the overall water content, and once the process is over, the leaves have to be pliable so they can be rolled.

After the withering process, the leaves get rolled and twisted to break up the leaf cells either by hand or with machines. Shaking is sometimes done, too. During rolling, oils get released to give the tea a distinctive smell. The released juices stay on the leaves and a chemical change occurs shortly thereafter.

During oxidation, oxygen gets absorbed. This process starts after the leaf membranes break during rolling. Because of oxidation, the leaves become bright copper and this process chooses whether the tea will be oolong, black or green.

During firing or drying, the leaves are evenly and properly dried without getting burned. This stops the process of oxidation. The end of the tea processing depends on what kind of tea you are making, but for now, this concludes the introduction to the types of tea processing. Keep in mind that oolong and black tea end quite similarly, though, while green tea is the very shortest process of them all.