This is how much tea I managed to pick yesterday in the 95 degree heat. Doesn’t look like much but it will be a few pounds of green tea. I work carefully in the fields, working in slow motion and drink water constantly. My tea growth has been very slow this year and I am now getting a pretty good flush. I am hoping to make my 300 pounds this year that I will need but I may not.
I dry my tea in the sun in a “dry pen” whereas everyone else I know dries tea in an oven. I have dried tea in the oven but I thought it gave it a metallic taste so I use the sun like the Chinese taught me. When I pick the leaves for the green tea, we first pan fry it to kill the esterase then I roll it in the tea roller. I roll green tea a bit lighter than I do the black and Oolong teas. If I put it right out in the sun, it will “sun tan” a bit, which is oxidizing a little bit. I do this on purpose. I like a little boldness in my green (approaching pouchong). If I let it cool over night in the AC, it will not “sun tan.” I’ll actually do about half of my green teas that way and then blend them together.
I experiment with tea like this all the time. I am what you call an artesian tea maker as opposed to a commercial tea maker. I do it much more for the fun and interest of it rather that to make money. Believe me, if making money was my goal I would be doing things completely differently. I do not advertise, or put my tea in any shops, tea houses, stores or restaurants. Although there are a few friends who sell my tea but they come here and get it. I have the potential to cover the fields around my in tea bushes in one year but I do not do that. I have fun with the leaves.
Remember, we do tea tours here every day. We do them only once a day at 1:00. You have to have an appointment. I like three or less so we can ride around in the golf cart. I will keep you in the shade. You will learn lots about tea and I will show you what ever I am making at the time. Tours are $10 (CASH) each and if you want to buy cup size teabags they too are another $10. Loose leaf bags are $15 for 7 oz green or black tea. Want a pound? We can help you with that too.
Come on down and see us!