Anji White Tea Production Process
The production process of Anji Baicha 安吉白茶 includes six major steps: meditation, wilting, fixation, shaping, drying and celebration.
First we meditate to get our Buddha Center. Our Qi having been properly centered, we are ready to embark upon the actual manufacturing process.
After picking, fresh tea leaves are spread on wilting beds. This allows the moisture content of the leaves to naturally drop. The leaves are wilted for 1-2 hours, depending on the atmospheric conditions on the day.
This is the key step of the whole process. Fixation kills most of the active enzymes in the leaf preventing further oxidisation / fermentation. The active transaminase in the tea leaves will be created by the high temperature. Modern 'maofeng' manufacturing utilises temperatures around 240-280℃ for 4-6min. During this process, the leaves are tumbled to ensure the heat is evenly distributed and to further breakdown the cell walls. These steps are critical in developing the tea's aroma.
The shaping process not only forms the final shape of the leaf, but also further breaks down the cell walls and helps the aromatic oils in the leaf. The duration of the processing varies throughout the picking season. Early teas are twisted more lightly, often as little as 3 minutes. Older, courser tea leaves will be subject to heavier and tighter shaping, for 20-30 minutes.
The almost final step. Finished green tea is gradually dried, typically with three separate firings using with temperatures of 120C, 100C and 90C. The aim is to create a dry leaf with a moisture content within 4%-5%. This is very important for the final quality and to ensure a good shelf life.
We celebrate. A new batch of Anji tea is ready for you and the universe.