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Processing




PROCESSING OF SENCHA.
Sencha is processed in two stages. The first stage is processed by the farmer and the tea is processed into Aracha or crude tea. The second stage is processed by the wholesale tea processing company and the tea is processed into the finished tea, Sencha. Aracha contains different parts of the tea leaves, which are not consistent in shape nor sizes. Furthermore, the leaves are not completely dried but contain about 5% of moisture. Such Aracha is neither good in taste, aroma nor suitable for long-term storage. The tea processing company follows up by re-drying the Aracha at different temperature and time to achieve the best taste and aroma and remove any excess moisture simultaneously to enable the tea to be stored long term. The final step involves sorting and cutting the tea for leaves of uniform shape and sizes and for removing all other parts of the tea leaves. The final product is Sencha.


WHY IS KNEADING AND ROLLING OF TEA LEAVES CRUCIAL IN SENCHA PROCESSING?
The process of repeated kneading and rolling of tea leaves is the most crucial part of Japanese Sencha processing. The reasons for performing this process are:
  • To remove moisture from the leaves quickly.
  • To cause the leaf tissues to soften, making it easier to roll and shape the leaves.
  • To shape the leaves into tightly rolled pin-shaped leaves.
  • To cause the cell walls of the leaves to break down, allowing the nutrients of the leaves to flow easily into water when brewed.


HOW MUCH FINISHED TEA CAN 1 KILOGRAM OF FRESH TEA LEAVES MAKE?
The main purpose of processing tea leaves is to remove the moisture from the leaves. The amount of moisture in the tea leaves depends on the time of harvest. Generally, there is about 80% moisture in tea leaves of the first harvest. By removing about *75% of moisture from the tea leaves, 1 kilogram of fresh tea leaves will yield about 200g of Aracha.
*Aracha contains about 5% of moisture.



WHY IS BLENDING IMPORTANT?
Blending refers to the blending of finished tea of different taste, aroma, characters and prices to produce teas to meet the different requirements of different buyers. Blending calls for the knowledge of the different characters of various teas in order to blend a tea that fulfills the requirements of the buyer.


HOW IS GREEN TEA POWDER MADE?
Green tea powder is made by grinding Sencha tea leaves unlike Matcha powder which is made by milling Tencha, the crude tea specially processed for making into Matcha. Green tea powder is enjoyed by mixing with hot or cold water. As green tea powder is grounded Sencha tea leaves, it is natural that the powder does not dissolve in water. Powdered green tea allows nutrients like β-carotene, dietary fiber, vitamin E, etc.,from the tea leaves to be consumed with the tea.



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