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weather be rainy, and there is no hope of its clearing, all this drying is done over the fire in a small drying basket, the same as with Black-Tea. The Green-Tea makers have as great an aversion to drying their Tea over the fire, as the Black-Tea makers. The third time it has been rolled and dried, there is very little moisture left in the Tea; it is now put into a hot pan, and gently turned over and over, and opened out occasionally, until all has become well heated; it is then tossed out into a basket, and while hot put into a very strong bag, previously prepared for it, about four feet long, and four spans in circumference. Into this bag the Tea is pressed with great force with the hands and feet; from fourteen to twenty pounds being put in at one time, and forced into as small a compass as possible. With his left hand the man firmly closes the mouth of the bag immediately above the leaves, while with the right hand he pommels and beats the bag, every now and then giving it a turn; thus he beats and turns and works at it, tightening it by every turn with one hand, and holding on with the other, until he has squeezed the leaves into as small a compass as possible at the end of the bag. He now makes it fast by turns of the cloth where he held on, so that it may not open; and then draws the cloth of the bag over the ball of leaves, thus doubling the bag, the mouth of which is twisted and made fast. The man then stands up, holding on by a post or some such thing, and works this ball of leaves under his feet, at the same time alternately pressing with all his weight, first with one foot and then the other, turning the ball over and over, and occasionally opening the bag to tighten it more firmly. When he has made it almost as hard as a stone, he secures the mouth well and puts the bag away for that day. Next morning it is opened out and the leaves gently separated and placed on dollahs, then fired and dried until they are crisp, the same as the Black-Tea, after which they are packed in boxes or baskets. In China the baskets are made of double bamboo, with leaves between. The Tea may then remain on the spot for two or three months, or be sent to any other place to receive the final process. This first part of the Green-Tea process is so simple, that the natives of this country readily pick it up in a month or two.
The second process now commences by opening the boxes or baskets, and exposing the Tea on large shallow bamboo baskets or dollahs (see former account, fig. 1) until it has become soft enough to roll; it is then put into cast iron pans, set in brick fire-places, the same as described in making the Sychee Black-Tea. The pan is made very hot by a wood-fire, and seven pounds of the leaves are thrown into it and rubbed against the pan, with the right hand until tired, and then with the left, so as not to make the process fatiguing. The pan being placed on
an inclined plane the leaves always come tumbling back towards and near the operator, as he pushes them up from him, moving his hand backwards and forwards and pressing on the leaves with some force with the palms, keeping the ends of the fingers up, to prevent their coming in contact with the hot pan. After one hour's good rubbing the leaves are taken out and thrown into a large coarse bamboo-sieve, from this into a finer one, and again a still finer one, until three sorts of Tea have been separated. The first, or largest sort, is put into the funnel of the winnowing machine, which has three divisions of small traps below, to let the Tea out. A man turns the wheel with his right hand, and with the left regulates the quantity of Tea that shall fall through the wooden funnel above, by a wooden slide at the bottom of it. The Tea being thrown from the sieves into the funnel, the man turns the crank of the wheel, and moves the slide of the funnel gradually, so as to let the Tea fall through gently, and in small quantities. The blast from the fan blows the smaller particles of Tea to the end of the machine, where it is intercepted by a circular moveable board placed there. The dust and smaller particles are blown against this board, and fall out at an opening at the bottom into a basket placed there to receive it. The next highest Tea is blown nearly to the end of the machine, and falls down through a trough on the side into a basket; this Tea is called Young Hyson. The next being a little heavier, is not blown quite so far; it falls through the same trough, which has a division in the middle; this of course is nearer the centre of the machine. A basket is placed beneath to receive the Tea, which is called Hyson. The next, which is still heavier, falls very near to the end of the fan, this is called Gunpowder Tea; it is in small balls. The heaviest Tea falls still closer to the fan, and is called Big Gunpowder; it is twice or three times the size of Gunpowder Tea, and composed of several young leaves that adhere firmly together. This sort is afterwards put into a box and cut with a sharp iron instrument, then sifted and put among the Gunpowder, which it now resembles. The different sorts of Tea are now put into shallow bamboo baskets, and men, women, and children are employed to pick out the sticks and bad leaves; this is a most tedious process, as the greatest care is taken not to leave the slightest particle of any thing but good Tea. But to assist and quicken this tiresome process beautiful bamboo sieves, very little inferior to our wire ones, and of various sizes, are employed. The different Teas are thrown into sieves of different sizes, from large Gunpowder to Dust Tea; they are shaken and tossed, and thrown from one person to another in
quick succession, making the scene very animating; in this way a great portion of the stalks are got rid of. After the Tea has been well sifted and picked, it is again put into the hot pans and rub. bed and rolled as before, for about one hour; it is then put into shallow bamboo baskets, and once more examined, to separate the different Teas that may still remain intermixed, and again put into the hot pan. Now a mixture of sulphate of lime and indigo, very finely pulverized and sifted through fine muslin, in the proportion of three of the former to one of the latter, is added; to a pan of Tea containing about seven pounds, about half a tea-spoonful of this mixture is put and rubbed and rolled along with the Tea in the pan for about one hour, as before described. The Tea is then taken hot from the pan and packed firmly in boxes, both hands and feet being used to press it down. The above mixture is not put to the Tea to improve its flavour, but merely to give it a uniform color and appearance, as without it some of the Tea would be light and some dark. The indigo gives it the colour, and the sulphate of lime fixes it. The Chinese call the former Youngtin, the latter Acco. Large Gunpowder Tea they call Tychen; little Gunpowder Cheocheu; Hyson, Chingcha; Young Hyson, Uchin; Skin-Tea, or old leaves in small bits, Poocha; the fine Dust, or Powder-Tea, Chamoot.
The leaves of the Green-Tea are not plucked the same as the Black, although the tree or plant is one and the same, which has been proved beyond a shadow of doubt; for I am now plucking leaves for both Green and Black from the same tract and from the same plants; the difference lies in the manufacture, and nothing else. The GreenTea gatherers are accommodated with a small basket, each having a strap passed round the neck so as to let the basket hang on the breast. With one hand the man holds the branch, and with the other plucks the leaf, one at a time, taking as high as the Souchong leaf; a little bit of the lower end of the leaf is left for the young leaf to shoot up close to it; not a bit of stalk must be gathered. This is a very slow and tedious way of gathering. The Black-Tea maker plucks the leaves with great rapidity with both hands, using only the forefinger and thumb, and collects them in the hollow of the hand; when his hand is full he throws the leaves into a basket under the shade of the tree; and so quickly does he ply his hands that the eye of a learner cannot follow them, nor see the proper kind of leaf to be plucked; all that he sees, is the Chinaman's hands going right and left, his hands fast filling, and the leaves disappearing. Our coolies, like the Green-Tea Chinamen, hold the branch with one hand, and deliberately pluck off the
leaf required, then the next, and so on, by which process much time is lost, and a greater number of hands are wanted. Not having a regular set of pluckers is a very great drawback to us; for the men whom we teach this year we see nothing of the next; thus every year we have to instruct fresh men. This difficulty will be removed when we get regular people attached to the Tea plantations; or when the natives of these parts become more fixed and settled in their habitations, and do not move off by whole villages from one place to another, as they have of late years been doing; and when the aversion they have throughout Assam to taking service for payment, has been overcome. They seem to hold this as mean and servile; preferring to cultivate a small patch of ground which barely yields a subsistence. I can perceive, however, that there is a gradual change taking place in the minds of the labouring class of people, or coolies; for occasionally some good able-bodied men come forward for employment. The generality of those that have hitherto offered themselves, has been from the very poorest and the most worthless in the country. In the cold season, when the men have nothing to sow or reap, two or three hundred can be collected; but as soon as the rains set in, all but those that have not bonds, or are not involved in debt, go off to their cultivations, at the very time when our Tea operations commence. As long as things continue in this state, the price of Tea will be high; but if this drawback were removed, there is nothing to prevent our underselling the Chinese, except the experience of a few more years.
But let us return to our Teas, and take a comparative view of the qualities of the Black and Green-Teas, which may nearly be as follows: Paho Black-Tea leaf would make Green-Tea, some Gunpowder, and some Young Hyson. Pouchong, although classed as a second Black-Tea, on account of the price it fetches in the market, is a third-rate leaf, for it is rather larger than the Souchong. Some of it would make Young Hyson, and some Skin-Tea. Souchong would make Hyson and Young Hyson. Toychong would make Skin-Tea.-I will here mention the different kinds of Black-Teas, to make the matter more clear to those who take an interest in the subject. Thowung-Paho (the Sung fa is the same leaf as this) is the downy little leaf not expanded, and the one next to it that has just unfolded a little. This Tea when made appears full of small white leaves, which are the little downy leaves just mentioned. Twazee-Paho is from the second crop, and nearly the same kind of Tea, only a little older; the leaf next the small downy one (being a little more expanded) and the small leaf below this, are taken, making three in all; this has also numerous white leaves, but not so many as the former.
Souchong is the next largest leaf; this is well grown, but embraces all the leaves above it. When the upper leaves have grown out of season for Thowung-Paho and Twazee-Paho, they are all plucked for the Souchong from the third and fourth of the upper leaves. From Souchong leaves, the Minchong and Sychee Teas are made in the first crop, and no other. Pouchong is the next largest leaf; it is a little older and larger than the Souchong. From this leaf the Sychee and Minchong Teas can be made in the first crop only. The Pouchong is never made in the second crop, on account of its not having a good flavour: many of the Souchong leaves are mixed up in this Tea. The Toychong leaves are those that are rejected from the Souchong and Pouchong, as being too large and not taking the roll. When the Teas are picked, these leaves are put on one side. The Chinese often put them into a bag, and give them a twist, something in the Green-Tea way, and then mix them up with the Souchong to add to the weight. This leaf (Toychong) becomes worse in the second and third crops ;-it is a cheap Tea and sold to the poor. All the Black-Teas that are damaged have the flower of what the Chinese call Qui fa, and another called Son fa, mixed up with them. One pound of the flowers is put to each box of damaged Tea. After the Teas have been well tatched and mixed up with other sorts, these leaves give them a pleasant fragrance. The Son fa plant is about two feet high, and kept in flower pots; it is propagated from the roots. The Qui fa plant is from three to four feet high; one pound of the flowers is put to a box of Tea. This plant was seen in the Botanical Gardens at Calcutta by our Chinese interpreter. The flowers of this plant are considered finer than those of the Son fa. I annex a rough drawing of each of them, as given to me by the interpreter; the dots in the drawings are intended for small flowers.*
The Black-Tea makers appear to me to be very arbitrary in their mode of manufacture; sometimes they will take the leaves of the Thorung-Paho, or perhaps Twazee-Paho; but if it has been raining, or there is any want of coolies to pluck the leaves quickly, or from any other cause, they will let the leaves grow
These two sketches are not deemed sufficiently instructive to be added here. One of them is entitled Qui fa, which is the name of the Olea fragrans, or Sweet-scented Olive, the flowers of which are said to be used for perfuming Teas. But it is more like the Aglaia adorata, a very different plant, which is also supposed to be applied in China for a similar purpose. This last, however, is called Tsjiulang by the Chinese, according to Rumpf, and Sam yeip lan according to Roxburgh. The other sketch, entitled Lan fa, seems to be intended for a liliaceous, or at any rate an endogenous plant. I am unable to offer any conjecture about it.-N. W.