106 Sun-dried Red Tea

April-May, 2012
Tea plantations north and west of Phongsali
Cultivated tea shrubs, bud and 2-3 young leaves

Red tea* has been produced for centuries in different regions of the world. At the finishing stage, this type of tea is commonly dried with hot air inside a big drier (or drying room). But we decided to make a change, and applied the drying technique used for producing Sheng tea. After the oxidation stage we spread the tea leaves in a thin layer, outdoors, and let it dry under the sun. When the weather is in our favor, sun drying the leaves takes less time and makes the flavor of the finished product richer and more intense.

The raw leaves were collected from the tea plantations near Phongsali. We used them to produce this Tea and also 108 — Classic Red Tea. If you steep both of them, you can compare the differences in the teas that result from sun drying versus hot air drying techniques.

* In Chinese languages and the languages of neighboring countries, the name «red tea» is a description of the color of the liquid. The Western term «black tea» refers to the color of the oxidized leaves. Do not mistake it for rooibos, a South African tisane.

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