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Discover How We Make Zhengshantang Black Tea

-The making process of loose leaf Chinese black tea-

It is often said that "high mountains and clouds make good tea".Our spring tea grows in this Wuyi Mountain, where the mountains are high and the mist is shrouded.The tea tree absorbs the essence of heaven and earth, after time precipitation,and then tempered by the ingenuity of the tea maker,Finally presenting the aura of this cup of tea.

The making of Zhengshantang Black tea

Picking - Withering - Rolling - Fermentation -  Drying

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Picking

The picking quality of fresh leaves is an important factor in determining the quality of tea. The buds in spring are the freshest and the tea has the highest amino acid content. Therefore, our black tea is picked only once a year, and only spring tea is picked. And in order to ensure that every umami taste can be preserved, Lapsang spring tea must be picked and made on the same day. No picking on rainy days, no picking when the dew is still wet, to control the quality of fresh leaves from the source. The ultimate quality control is the expectation and love of tea makers and tea lovers for this cup of spring tea.

Withering

The purpose of withering is to let the tea lose a certain amount of water and make the leaves softer. After the water is lost, the substances contained in the tea will also change. The smell of green grass gradually disappeared. There are various ways of withering, including natural withering, artificial withering, and sunlight withering. In fact, the Wuyi Tongmu area has high humidity, low temperature, and a lot of rain. Although it is the best environment for the growth of tea trees, it is not the best place for natural withering. Therefore, in order to overcome the influence of climate, Lapsang spring tea is mainly artificially withered, supplemented by sunlight withering. Under this method, the tea wither fully, the content of soluble nitrogen and caffeine is high, the theaflavins is also high, so quality is better.

Rolling

Kneading is to use the method of kneading and twisting to shrink the tea leaves and roll them into strips. There are three processes in the kneading process: initial kneading, unblocking, and manual re-kneading. The purpose is to destroy tea cells, accelerate the enzymatic oxidation of polyphenolic compounds, improve the quality of tea, and create a beautiful appearance. At the same time, when kneading, the tea juice will be gathered on the surface, and the concentration of tea soup will be increased when brewing.

Fermentation

The oxidation of polyphenolic compounds gradually increased with the beginning of rolling. This oxidation process is called "fermentation". Fermentation is the key process to form the quality characteristics of black tea color, aroma and taste. The precise control of temperature, humidity, oxygen, time, and weight is an important condition for completing this process. After years of research, Zheng Shan Tang found that suspended heating and oxygenation fermentation is the most suitable method.Hang the tea leaves indoors 2/3 of the ground, and dig a hole in the middle of the tea basket to ventilate up and down.Take advantage of the difference in temperature and humidity between upper, middle and lower to provide good conditions for fermentation.

Drying

Drying is the last step in black tea processing. Use high temperature to destroy enzyme activity and stop oxidation. At the same time, evaporate the water, fix the shape of the tea, ensure the quality and at the same time emit grass flavor, and further enhance the tea fragrance. The activity of polyphenol oxidase begins to decline above 40°C, and the enzyme protein completely loses its activity above 80°C. Therefore, it is necessary to use high temperature and quick drying method to eliminate damp heat when drying. The temperature is low and the aroma is impure. When the temperature is high, the aromatic substances are lost. It is a test of the craftsmanship of the tea maker.

However, this tea has not yet been made. After the tea is made, it needs to go through five professional tea evaluations in succession. Jiang Yuanxun, the 24th generation inheritor of Lapsang Souchong, personally confirms the quality of each evaluation, and finally a cup of Lapsang Chuncha can be made. A little more time and less rigor will have an irreparable impact on the taste and aroma of tea. The century-old tea-making process is vividly displayed at this moment. The natural beauty left by Wuyi mountains and rivers has been passed down from generation to generation in the hands of Zhengshan tea people.