An Account of the Manufacture of the Black Tea, as Now Practised at Suddeya in Upper Assaam, by the Chinamen Sent Thither for that Purpose: With Some Observations on the Culture of the Plant in China, and Its Growth in Assam

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G.H. Huttmann, 1838 - Tea - 18 pages
 

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While the maps and figures which are referred to in the text are missing, this is a really invaluable primary source as one of C. A. Bruce's official reports on tea cultivation in Assam.

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Page 16 - They pluck the young and tender leaves and dry them a [ 16 ] little in the sun ; some put them out into the dew and then again into the sun three successive days, others only after a little drying put them into hot pans, turn them about until quite hot, and then place them into the hollow of a bamboo, and drive the whole down with a stick, holding and turning the bamboo over the fire all the time, until it is full, then tie the end up with leaves, and hang the bamboo up in some smoky place in the...
Page 2 - ... an hour. They are then put into smaller baskets, of the same kind as the former, and placed on a stand. People are now employed to soften the leaves still more, by gently clapping them between their hands, with their fingers and thumb extended, and tossing them up and letting them fall, for about five orten minutes.
Page 1 - The baskets with leaves are pnt in this frame to dry in the sun, and are pushed up and down by a long bamboo, with a circular piece of wood at the end. The leaves are permitted to dry about two hours, being occasionally turned ; but the time required for this process depends on the heat of the sun. When they begin to have a slightly withered appearance, they are taken down and brought into the house, where they are placed on a frame to cool for hnlf an hour.
Page 5 - Su-chong, and the 4th or the largest leaves, Toy-chong. After this assortment they are again put on the sieve in the drying basket (taking great care not to mix the sorts) and on the fire as on the preceding day ; but now very little more than will cover the bottom of the sieve is put in at one time, the same care of the fire is taken as before, and the same precaution of tapping the drying basket every now and then. The Tea is taken off the fire with the nicest care for fear of any particle of the...
Page 3 - ... tea leaves. Both hands are now employed to roll and propel the ball along ; the left hand pushing it on, and allowing it to revolve as it moves ; the right hand also pushes it forward, resting on it with some force, and keeping it down to express the juice which the leaves contain. The art lies here in giving the ball a circular motion and permitting it to turn under and in the hand two or three whole revolutions, before the arms are extended to their full length, and drawing the ball of leaves...
Page 1 - ... great quantity of leaves to be collected, the people employed nip off, with the forefinger and thumb, the fine end of the branch with about four leaves on, and sometimes even more, if they look tender. These are all brought to the place where they are to be converted into tea; they are then put into a large, circular, open- worked bamboo basket, having a rim all round two fingers broad.
Page 9 - China merchants, that come to purchase tea, pretend to know which is shady, and which is sunny, by the smell, the sunny being preferred. " The tea plants in Assam have, in general, been found to grow and to thrive best near small rivers and pools of water ; and in those places where, after heavy falls of rain, large quantities of water have accumulated, and, in their struggle to get free, have cut out for themselves numerous small channels.
Page 8 - ... the valleys ? About seven parts grow on the mountains, and three in the valleys. — Does the tea plant grow amongst the snow ? Yes. — Does not the snow kill or hurt the plants У It hurts them very little : it may kill some of the old trees, but often new shoots come up from the old plants. — Do you ever sow or plant in the shade, or have you any trees to shade the plants ? No ; there are a few large trees, here and there, but not for shade.
Page 5 - ... the fire as on the preceding day ; but now very little more than will cover the bottom of the sieve is put in at one time. As the tea becomes crisp it is taken out and thrown into a large receiving basket, until all the quantity on hand has become alike dried and crisp ; it is then piled up eight or ten inches high on the sieve in the drying basket, in the centre a small passage is left for the hot air to ascend, the fire that was before bright and clear, has now ashes thrown on it to deaden...
Page 6 - ... of the fingers, it is taken off, when the Tea is ready. All the different kinds of leaves underwent the same operation. The Tea is now little by little put into boxes and first pressed down with the hands and then with the feet, (clean stockings having been previously put on...

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