After tasting Lu Shan Yun Wu (Lu Mountain Cloud Mist) from a tea chum’s family farm in Zhejiang we just had to offer this tea to our customers. Lu Shan Cloud Mist Green Tea is well known tea throughout China and the world.
The taste of the tea is sweet, thick with an umami after-taste that filters back into mouth from the throat. A very comfortable green tea with little harshness and lots if viscosity which gives the an expansive feeling in the mouth.
The processing style of this tea is light oxidation achieved by:
1. Picking 鲜叶采摘 – Picking early in the morning when the air is cool.
2. Kill-Green 杀青 – Placing 350-400 grams of fresh leaves into a wok and frying at a temperature of 150-160C. This process must be done with bare hands to preserve the integrity of the leaves and making sure they don’t clump. Typically 6 to 7 minutes of frying is done to finish the “kill-green” process.
3. Shaking Loose 抖散 – To reduce water content in the leaves, lower the temperature quickly, and prevent yellowing of the leaves the just fried leaves are shook and scattered on a mat about 10 times. This is done entirely by hand in accomplished in a few minutes.
4. Rolling 揉捻 – The leaves are put into a bamboo tray and the still warm leaves are kneaded by hand. They are not kneaded against bamboo as is with Pu-erh. After the tea is rolled into clumps and left for a few minutes the clumps are pulled apart allowing the leaves to breathe again. Then the leaves are returned to the wok for a second round of frying. During the second frying the leaves are massaged between the hands to bring out their straight needle like shape. During this second frying the hairs of the tea leaves and buds are brought out and emphasized. This is known as “提毫”. When the leaves achieve a 80% water content the frying is finished and the yellowed or other burnt of discolored leaves are removed by hand.
5. First Dry 初干 – This is done in a dry wok, pressing the leaves into the wok at a low temperature of about 80C. When this is done the water content will be reduced to 30-35%.
6. Shaping 搓条 – This is done by hand traditionally. The tea is less pliable than before but not yet dry and brittle, the tea is either placed in the palm of the hand and pressed into a flat surface, or pressed into the palm of the opposing hand. This can also be done by machine with similar results. When this process is concluded the shape of the tea is there and the water content has further diminished.
7. Final Drying 再干 – This is typically done by putting the tea in bamboo holders and then have warm dry air at a temperature of 75-80C continuously passing through the tea in the holders. Typically after 20 minutes this process is complete and the tea leaves have reached a stable “dry” state with about 6% water content. The tea is then allowed an additional few hours exposed to normal air and then it can be packaged and sealed.