Premium versus lower quality tea?

quality green teaPremium quality teas are distinguished via the care taken in cultivating and harvesting, the skill of the producer processing the tea and storage after production.

1. Plants and Harvesting

  • Plant quality, the right plants growing in the conditions best suited for these plants is a crucial factor in the quality of the end tea products. The conditions include sun shine, rain fall, altitude of the plantation and the soil conditions.
  • Correct harvesting season and technique.  Leaves need to be  picked at the optimal time of the each year under the right weather conditions. This crucial element of timing of the harvest and processing can be  a matter of hours. Working during the harvest seasons is often 24hrs around the clock.Chinese tea hand processing

2. Skill and experience of tea processing

The art of tea making has been fine tuned and passed down by many generation of tea farmers, and often kept in the families as intellectual properties in China - “Manual production reflects tradition and outstanding craftsmanship”.

The details are down to the most minute, for example:

  1. The white teas processed under the natural conditions are of much higher value than the one processed under man made conditions such as electric ovens. To produce the top quality Silver Needle white tea, every single stage is carefully controlled, monitored and adjusted, if the sun is too strong, they are withered in the shade; if the weather is cloudy, they are withered in the open. The teas are processed at night by the tea masters with all conditions carefully and skillfully controlled, charcoal strength, drying temperature, drying time, turn over time etc. 

  2. At the family production of the most prestige Bi Luo Chun green tea, Dong Ting Bi Lou Chun, only the most senior and experienced family member handles the processing of the most valuable pre-Qing-Ming crop. 

3. Fresh tea and its packaging

premium Chinese teaTea is a very sensitive product. Even the top quality teas deteriorate rapidly when exposed to:

  • light
  • high temperature
  • moisture
  • foreign odour

At Valley Green Tea, we use the latest packaging technique to avoid the above tea damaging factors: high quality foil vacuum bags to package tea in small quantity of 10-25gms; refrigeration when appropriate, such as green teas, Tie Guan Yin oolong tea and jasmine teas