Different styles of tea are created by varying the contours and chemistry of the Camellia sinensis leaf. Prosaically called “processing”, the leaves undergo five phases; some teas not requiring all of them, others requiring a repetition of the steps. Tea is created by
Plucking the leaves
, then allowing them to
, after which they are
to mould their shape and wring out their juices. The leaves are then
, where the cell walls are broken apart after exposure to oxygen and the resulting compounds lend flavor and aroma to the tea leaves. Oxidation is the most crucial process because it defines the class of tea. Lastly, tea leaves are
fired or dried
to create the tea we sip on lazy afternoons.