Archive for September, 2013
During this spring season I got the chance to talk to green tea guru Wang Jie from Anhui, China. After talking to him I was so surprised that there is so much behind this popular beverage in China. Read below the interview report.
What is the best season for green teas?
When it comes to tea spring is the most exciting season. During this tea seasons, the farms are harvesting their tea leaves and all farmers prey for the best weather conditions.
As the winter season loses its grasp, tea bushes come to life and start growing slowly their young and tender buds.
How long do farmers let the leaves grow before they are plucked in Spring?
Once you see the first leaves appear, farmers usually let the green leaves grow for about 2-6 weeks. This is quiet a wide range, because it really depends on tea leave type, location and also weather conditions. After letting it grow for a certain period of time, the Chinese green tea buds are then plucked and processed to produce the first flush batch of the year. This flush is what real Chinese tea lovers are waiting for.
What is the most important quality aspect of green tea?
No matter what type of green tea, freshness is particularly important. Therefore, it’s the best to drink them as soon as they reach the market. The season is also an important factor. I prefer Chinese green teas harvested in the spring season, though the autumn season can often yield very nice Chinese teas too. Spring tea leaves are particularly gentle and full of life. Think about it, all that life force that’s trapped in the tea plant for several winter months and is suddenly released with the rays of the spring sun. At last, the best teas are handpicked, sundried, and manually processed with minimal or zero reliance on electrically powered contraptions.
How do you store green tea?
Unless you are buying only small quantities of Chinese tea for direct consumption, you should make sure that you know how to store your it properly. If you are planning to finish the tea within a few months, then you can simply keep it on a shelf. Keep it away from direct sunlight and moisture. If you have green tea that you know will last you awhile, you should package and store it properly as soon as possible. Storing it in a freezer compartment is acceptable for some oolongs, but most Chinese green teas will do just fine at near-zero temperatures.
How to make green tea?
There is no single best way to make tea. Most instructions on tea packaging say that lower water temperature is recommended, but that’s about it. I never look at brewing instructions. Instead, I just experiment with the first few cups. When I feel confident that I know how to make the perfect cup, will I share the green tea to others.
What are the health benefits of green tea?
Actually I have no idea! I don’t drink green for health reasons. I couldn’t care less about all these polyphenols and antioxidants that are mentioned in so many green tea product descriptions. I have to say that I appreciate the invigorating effects of the beverage though, but I drink green tea because I like the taste.