Tea fannings and tea dust


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Tea fannings and tea dust

Postby beforewisdom » Aug 1st, '14, 12:30

I keep seeing people who know at least a little bit about tea saying that cheap tea, and most tea available in American supermarkets is usually the lowest quality of tea, being composed of "tea fannings and dust".

What is the process that produces "fannings" ( what are fannings?) and tea leaf dust?

Why are fannings called "fannings"?

Are tea leaves sorted? How?

Would it ever be the case that higher quality leaves would intentionally be ground into powder for teabags? For stronger flavor, more caffeine, etc?

What makes a high quality leaf high quality?
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Re: Tea fannings and tea dust

Postby Evan Draper » Aug 1st, '14, 12:39

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Re: Tea fannings and tea dust

Postby daidokorocha » Aug 1st, '14, 14:17

In my opinion there isn't necessarily anything wrong with fannings, or at least broken leaf. It is actually preferred in some places of the world and has a flavor profile of its own. It isn't a complex flavor by any means, but it generally makes a strong brew. When it comes to Japanese teas, I'm a big fan of "By-product" teas, like kukicha, aracha, and konacha. Konacha (pictured in link below) is a good analogue to this whole idea of fannings that is common in the west. Konacha is drank generally as a meal tea since it is a strong tea that holds up well to bold flavors and can help clear the palate. This brings me back to the thread about green tea bags you posted in, because konacha can be the byproduct of covered teas like gyokuro or kabusecha or non-covered teas.

There are actually grades of broken leaf, fannings, and dust, meaning that can have "better quality" of each. I suggest you read this wikipedia entry for a decent sense of the whole thing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_leaf_grading

http://www.luyutea.cz/wysiwyg/gyokuro%2 ... onacha.jpg
http://www.sugimotousa.com/blog/wp-cont ... na-Cha.jpg
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