thirst wrote:Not blending as in »tea blends«, right? The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook says that most Japanese green tea apart from »small independent tea farmers« is blended (p59).
Steaming is, as far as I know, older than roasting. I’m not sure when the Chinese began to process their green teas with dry heat, but maybe they abandoned steaming because roasting gave superior results to the way steaming was handled at that time (according to Hibiki-An’s website, the later Sencha steaming process is from 1738)? Or maybe different people just like different flavor profiles.
The birth of roasting began because steaming was somewhat complicated and considered as a high class habit..
The founder of Ming dynasty was a peasant-turned-to-king..that he wanted to make tea drinking as all-Chinese activity...hence he prohibited steaming including Matcha-like tea ceremony.
But the better reason was drinking early spring leaves was a trend at that time and they found out roasting could give for better shape of finished leaves and complicated flavor...so there was a huge following among literati drinking roasted tea.