Green Tea "Zhu Ye Qing" or "Bamboo Leaf Green Tea" (from China Tea Book)

Bamboo Leaf Green Tea, originating from Mount Emei in Sichuan Province, is a renowned tea variety that was first created in 1964. It evolved from the tea served by the monks of Wan Nian Temple to their guests. Marshal Chen Yi, after tasting this tea, noticed its resemblance to bamboo leaves and thus named it Bamboo Leaf Green.

Mount Emei City is located on the edge of the Sichuan Basin, characterized by its numerous overlapping peaks and continuous mountain ranges. Covering an area of several hundred square miles, Mount Emei is surrounded by lush forests, with swirling clouds and picturesque scenery, resembling the elegance of a beautiful woman. It is known as the "Most Beautiful Place under Heaven" and is a popular tourist destination. Tea gardens in Mount Emei are located in places such as Wan Nian Temple, Heishui Temple, Qingyin Pavilion, Bailong Cave, and Longdong, nestled amidst the surrounding mountains, with tea trees thriving in misty environments. The average annual temperature is 15.5°C, with an average rainfall of around 1532 millimeters. The soil in the tea gardens is characterized by yellow loamy sandy soil with abundant organic matter, deep soil layers, and a pH between 4.5 and 6.5, providing ideal conditions for tea tree growth.

Suitable tea tree varieties for Bamboo Leaf Green Tea include Fuding Da Bai Cha, Mingshan Tezao 213, Mingxuan 131, and Sichuan Zhongye varieties. The picking standard for Bamboo Leaf Green Tea is the selection of single buds to one bud and one leaf, avoiding diseased, insect-infested, rain-soaked, or dew-soaked leaves.

The processing technique for Bamboo Leaf Green Tea includes preservation, cooling, fixation, shaping, forming, cooling, sieving, inspection, grading, packaging, and refrigeration. Preservation and cooling involve spreading the freshly picked tender tea buds on bamboo or gauze screens for cooling until the weight loss rate reaches 8% to 10%, revealing the tea aroma, before proceeding to fixation. Fixation is carried out using a roller fixation machine for moderately cooled fresh leaves, followed by rapid spreading and cooling to prevent yellowing of the leaves after fixation. Shaping and forming traditionally involve manual techniques such as shaking, spreading, grabbing, pressing, and rolling, gradually flattening the leaves into shape. In recent years, with the popularity of modern tea machinery, shaping for Bamboo Leaf Green Tea is mainly done mechanically, significantly improving efficiency while maintaining consistent quality and appearance. Mechanical shaping involves shaping the leaves in a multifunctional machine after fixation and cooling. The tea temperature should be equivalent to body temperature and not scalding. Once the leaves are flattened and straightened in shape, they are removed from the heat and promptly cooled. After shaping, the tea leaves undergo another cooling process to redistribute moisture, soften the surface, and improve the smoothness of the final product. Sieving and wok-roasting are conducted to enhance the quality of the tea by separating leaves of varying sizes and ensuring consistent moisture content. The shaped tea leaves are then roasted in a wok, gradually increasing the temperature to develop the tea aroma.

The tea leaves are finely processed after wok-roasting, undergoing automated processes such as sieving, winnowing, and picking to enhance their aroma, resulting in a well-rounded and aromatic final product. After inspection, grading, and packaging according to quality standards and company specifications, the tea leaves are packed in cardboard boxes, lined with inner film, and labeled with the product name, grade, quantity, and date. Finally, the packaged tea leaves are promptly transferred to a refrigerated storage facility, where the temperature is maintained between 0°C and 8°C, with dehumidification to preserve freshness.

The distinctive characteristics of Bamboo Leaf Green Tea include its flat and straight appearance, vibrant green color, rich aroma, refreshing taste, bright yellow-green tea liquor, and uniform tender green leaf base.

(Source: China Tea Book. Author: Duan Xinyou, Jiang Yongwen)

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