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About Teas

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1 he principal market for green tea, eays the Pall Mali Gatto, is the United States. Having fallen rafcher into disrepute in the oíd world, it has established itself in the new world, whereitislargely consumedand ki.ówu as "tea" siniply, in contradis:inction lo "English breakfast tea," "China tea," or "Oolong," by wbich ñames bhé black teas are designated. The rcason for its popularity is no doub-t in.agreat measure due to the intercourse with Japan where green tea alone is manufactured.and which every year sends enormous cai-goes across the Pacific. In the making of tea, as in everything which thiscurious people do, the Japanese have a way of their own. It would startle an Assam planter to see them in pieking time squatting down before the trees and strippin; the branches of the leaves, instead of scientifically selecting the young, undeveloped leaf, the lèal below that, and half the second, from which. would be evolved respectively, "Brokon Tips" or "Orange Pekoe," "Pekoe," and "Souchong." Any one accustomed to the elabórate machines for "rolling" and "firiug" the leaves wbich are in use on Eiyopedn plantations might beamusedatths Japanese method, where the workers roll and squeeze and twist the leaves in their hands on a parchment stretched over a charcoal fire. Very line teas are, nevertheless manoiactured by the Japanese, and in the celebrated district of Üji rumor tells of tea worth 10 per pound, though it in not definitely stated whether that price bas ever actually been paid for it. More-' over, in the case of teas intended for' export only so much work is done upon them as will enable them to be sent to the "tea-firing godowns" of Yokohama, where they are workedup for the market before bein shipped. As is now well known, the ditïerence between green tea and black lies in the fact that in the former fermentation has been arrestod by "firing," t.ho color of the leaf being in its way partially preserved and fixed; while the latter, by a much longer process, fermentation up to a certain point is permitted, and the leaves are not'Tired," until they have become, oxidized by the air. In Japan the leaves, after being picked and "withered" by a hort oxposni-ü, aro firocí 111 tho way describe i above Bufficiently to stop fermentation. and in this partially cured state are sent to the Enropean tea merchante, by whom they are again "fired," in tho "godowna" of Yokohama hnndreds of women canbe seen at work turning the leaves over and over and round and round in large basins built over a charcoal fire. The colorini; or "painting" is also done at this period by means of a spoonful of indigo and powered soapstone put into each basin, and thus disseminated through its contenta. But in Japan tea is not grown lor export only, but it i.-s tlie cheil al'ticle of home consumption; and these domestic teas as procured in the country are probably the only samples of unadulterated green tea whieh Europeans are likely to meet with. They produce a beverage which is refreshinè, quite harmless, and which. notwithetanding the way it is preparad, can, after only a short residence in the country, be readiiy distinguished from hot water.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat