The strength of the tea depends on how you process the tea leaves. This is true regardless if it’s a strong-flavored green tea or a gentler tea. If you grew your own tea bush, it’s time to make your own tea at home. The easiest way to make green tea is by following these steps.
How Is Green Tea Made?
Harvest Tea Leaves
First, select the leaves to be harvested. You will notice a new ‘flush,’ which is a collection of young leaves in the spring and summer. These are the best for tea making and most sought-after by tea growers. To make a small collection of soft leaves, pick the two youngest leaves from each branch and the bud.
Steam Green Tea Leaves
Heat the leaves by steaming. You can steam them using a steamer or a colander. Once the water has boiled, place the colander on top of the boiling water and steam for about 1-2 minutes. The leaves should begin to turn olive green and wilt. Steaming leaves should not be done at high temperatures. To ensure that they don’t get burned, you need to watch their colour and ‘crunch’ them in the cloth. The temperature of the bundle should not be too high so that they are difficult to handle. If they feel limp, you will know when it is time to move on.
Shape The Tea Leaves
Now you have a limp, olive-green ball of leaves. It is soft to the touch and easy to knead. If you don’t want to knead the leaf, you can use a sushi mat. You can also roll the leaves in your hands, making them narrower and more flavorful.
Your enzymes will react with the waxy outer layer to make caffeine. You can make caffeine-free tea by removing the wax from the leaves before steaming.
Oxidation Tea Process
The chemical process of oxidation can be easily observed by looking at the colour of a dried tealeaf. The less oxidized a leaf is, the greener it will be. The tea leaf oxidizes like a banana cut turning brown.
The least oxidized teas are white and green, as shown in the infusion and the light colour of the leaves. The most oxidized teas are black teas (as shown in the dark leaf colour and the deep crimson-brown infusion).
Dry The Tea Leaves
Drying By Pan Frying
To dry the leaves, place them in a large pan and toss them constantly. Make sure they don’t get burned with your hands. A warm oven is a good choice for anyone who doesn’t have experience in this type of cooking.
Drying By Oven Baking
If you are using an oven, place the rolled leaves onto a baking tray and bake at 100C for 10-12 mins. Turn them halfway through. Be careful not to burn the leaves. Let them cool off and dry out further.
Enjoy Your Cup Of Homemade Tea
That’s it, the tea production process is complete – you’ve made Green Tea! Put the kettle on and look forward to your first homegrown/ homemade cup of tea. Green tea doesn’t need to be hot however, so allow the water to cool for 3-4 minutes before brewing up.
How To Store Your Homemade Tea?
You’ve successfully made Green Tea. You can now enjoy your first cup of home-grown or homemade tea. You don’t have to make green tea hot. Let the water cool down for at least 3-4 minutes before you start brewing.
For Oolong Tea, place the fresh-picked leaves and buds on a tray. Let them sit in the sun for 24hrs. After that, let them wilt or ‘wither’. Then follow the instructions for Green Tea Production.
How is Black Tea Made
Roll the leaves immediately after they are picked and let dry in the sun for 3 days. Follow the same steps for Green Tea Production. You will notice a stronger taste and darker color in the final brew due to the oxidation of the leaves.