Black, green and white

women's work

Everywhere in the hill country I saw women – not men – picking the tea leaves. At least 16 kilogramm a day, I got told. After seven days the tips of the tea trees had been growing anew and they can be picked again. And again. And again. All year round.

tea picker

But what happens next? To get to know that I visited one of the tea factories along the way. And, of course, inspite of only wanting to look, I ended up buying some green tea.

lovely girl that showed me around

But first I learned. That black, green and white tea comes from the same plant. Camellia sinensis is actually a tree that would grow to a hight of three meters when left undisturbed. But for easier plucking and developing more flavour it is kept short.

three leaves

In the company I went to (Tetley) the first three leaves and the but are harvested. Then, for gaining black tea, the leaves are withered for removing moisture and crushed so they can oxidate/ferment. The damp tea leaves are then rolled and dried. Green tea on the other hand is not fermented. And white tea only consists on the tiny buts that had been drying in the sun.


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