Kyle Stewart, co-owner of the Cultured Cup recently visited China and in this blog series he will share some of his fascinating experiences.
One of the most famous green teas in China is Dragonwell (longjing). Our tea tour attended a competition where several dozen tea makers shaped the leaves by pressing them with their hands against a hot wok. A few skillful and brave souls didn't use gloves!
1. Contestants shaping tea leaves in hot woks. Although there were only two women participating, one drew the most attention with her graceful moves and she was one of the winners!
2. Contestant adding tender tea leaves to a hot wok to shape (flatten) the tea leaves and prevent oxidation (browning the leaves).
3. Pressing (carefully) with one hand the tender tea leaves against the hot wok. This creates the characteristic flatness of Dragonwell green tea.