The first step in making steamed, pickled tea the traditional way is to evenly lay out the tea leaves on a reed or bamboo mat. Next, the tea is rolled out by hand. This is done by placing both hands side by side and gently pressing down on the tea leaves with the lower palm of both hands.The steady back and forth motion of the slowly rolls the tea leaves. More and more pressure is added as the tea leaves begin to roll and curl up. This process takes about 15 minutes. Locals may use tea rolling machines if they are available.
Although tea rolling machines are more efficient in rolling tea leaves, locals prefer to use the traditional rolling method instead. It allows them to handpick out older tea leaves and ensure that non of the tea leaves are damaged or misshaped during the process. This improves the overall quality and price of the finished product. 1 viss (1.6kg) of fresh tea leaves produce about 65 kyatthar(about 1 kg) of pickled tea.
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based on findings collected during fieldwork.