Green Tea 綠茶

A drop of dew on a waxy green leaf, in the chilly mist of the morning; a dripping flower stem removed from a vase and cut with shears; the smell of sea air; the dewy taste of winter melon; the ephemeral, lucid color that only occurs in the delicate sprouting of a new leaf; the crisp crunch of nori—these are the evocative and impermanent qualities of green tea. In a way, the green tea process is an attempt to stop time, to preserve these memories in olfactory form. This is done by plucking only the downiest new leaves and buds, curtailing the withering period, and committing fresh batches to cooking. The explicit heat of the process kills the enzymes responsible for oxidation, locking the tea into a tender, green state. The process is thousands of years old, beloved by billions throughout its history, and is only growing in its list of admirers.