In Korea the leaves are plucked by hand, not done by machine like in Japan. So in Korea the process is very much hands on.
There are two variations of how korean green tea is processed in Korea. One is the Chung-ch'a way, and the other is Puch'o-cha way.
The Chung-ch'a method of manufacturing is a variation of the Japanese method of first steaming the leaves. The leaves are briefly put into boiling water, then removed and allowed to drain.
Once drain the leaves are put into a firing-pan. When this process starts the tea leaves are shaped and rolled right in the tea-firing pan until the process is done.
The Puch'o-cha way of processing the leaves is different. This is more like the Chinese way of processing the leaves. Right away the leaves begin drying over a gas-flame or wood-burning fire. After a few minutes they are removed and leaves are hand-rolled and shaped right away. Then the leaves are spread out and left to air-dry on mats before returning to the fire-pan.
This whole process is repeated until the desired shape and dryness are achieved. After this stage the leaves are place on the mats to continue to air-dry for approximately five hours.
To complete the process the leaves are returned to the fire-pan at a lower temperature. This allows the leaves to release its true essences of taste and fragrance.
The tea industry in Korea is not as large as say Japan's and China's. In fact most of the tea produced in Korea is consumed right in the country. Only a small amount is exported. Due to the fact it makes is difficult to buy here in the states. If you do find a reputable selling, it is worth giving it a try.
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