So the tea bush at Mountain Gardens sent up new shoots for harvest that I harvested at the last days of May. The second flush of tea leaves ended up being less than the first flush and also not as tender.
This time I wanted to try and make some black tea and it ended up pretty good. The green tea I made a few weeks ago with the first flush smelled super good but didn't add a lot of flavor to the water (I think I made have not rolled it hard enough as I only used my hands to press the leaves). The black tea tasted really good and makes a nice red color.
To make black tea (red tea) I harvested the leaves in the early afternoon and let them wither for a day. Then I rolled them on a plate, this time using a glass bottle instead of only my hands until the moisture seeped out thoroughly. Afterwards I broke the leaves apart and scattered them on a plate to let them oxidate for 4 hours until they turned reddish.
The chinese actually call the tea, that is known and I am refering to as black tea, red tea. Actual chinese black tea is fermented instead of oxidized.
As a last step I dried the oxidized leaves in a pan on low heat while stirring with my hand and being careful to not let them burn or overdry.