With a history that spans over 4,000 years it is unsurprising that the making of green tea differs based on country, culture and tradition in which it is produced. There’s a vast multitude of green tea varieties produced in China and Japan. Sri Lanka too produces green tea but in much smaller quantities in comparison.

Green tea is not allowed to oxidise, and is unfermented. Leaves are plucked and immediately steamed or pan-fried (baked), rolled and fired. This kills the fermentation enzymes so no fermentation takes place. The tea retains its bright green colour and fresh, crisp taste.

Dilmah offers a selection of green teas, with respect to the age-old traditions of this venerated herb and its natural goodness, from some of the most exclusive tea cultures in the world.

 

Green Tea by Dilmah

Dilmah Tea Gardens

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Plucking fresh leaves

The process of tea manufacture begins with the tea leaves because the quality of the leaf determines the quality of the tea. In Sri Lanka plucking is done by hand while in other countries which predominantly manufacture green tea it happens by hand or with the help of a machine.

 

Sorting / Cleaning

The quality of the leaf determines the quality of the tea. Therefore, the carefully plucked leaves are sorted once more at the point of weighing ensuring that there are no coarse mature leaves and twigs that could affect the taste of tea.

 

Withering

The fresh leaves are often withered to reduce moisture content and to make the leaf pliable. In green tea manufacture this process is also called fanning or humidifying.

 

Steaming / Pan-frying

The withered leaves are steamed or pan-fried based on the style of tea being manufactured. For example Sencha green tea which comes from Japan is steamed while Chinese green teas are pan-fried. This process gives green tea its unique flavour.

 

Rolling / Shaping

The tea leaves are gently rolled or shaped in a distinctive manner based on the style of green tea produced.

 

Firing (Drying)

The firing or drying deactivates the enzymes in the leaves that could possibly cause any fermentation. In case of Chinese green teas this is done either by exposing the leaves to the sunlight or by applying warm air to the leaves and them pan-firing them. Any natural enhancements to the tea take place at this stage. For example jasmine petals or flowers are added to the tea during drying.

 

Sifting and Grading

The tea proceeds straight from the dryer to be sifted and graded. Tea particles are separated by their shapes and sizes by sifting through a series of progressively finer meshes. The main grades are Leaf and Broken grades with the former being made of larger and longer particles which yield a lighter liquor and the latter, smaller particles which produce darker and stronger liquors.