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お茶の保存方法

唐時代のお茶を「団茶」と呼びますが、本来これは円盤形にした固形茶を指します。現在でも中国やモンゴルでは、こうした固形茶を見ることができます。広大な大陸で運搬するには、茶葉の状態よりも固形の方が便利だったのでしょう。日本の抹茶は、茶葉の状態のまま壺で保存されてきました。煎茶は金属を内貼りした「茶箱」に詰め、産地から消費地に送られるようになります。茶葉の保管は、移動と湿気対策の過程で工夫されてきました。

How to Store Tea Leaves

Tea produced in the Tang dynasty in China (618-907) is called “brick tea”, and was moulded into a disc shape and dried. “Brick tea” is still drunk by people in Mongolia, and some Chinese teas, like pu-erh tea, are also kinds of brick tea.

Tea had to be transported long distances across China, and this moulded tea was doubtless more convenient than tea leaves.Japanese people drink both powdered green tea (matcha) and steeped green tea (sencha).

For powdered tea, tea leaves are stored in jars and are ground into powder just before serving. On the other hand, tea leaves for steeped green tea are stored in special boxes lined with metal.

Methods of storing tea leaves have been devised to enable long distance transportation and to exclude damp.

固形茶
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