手採茶與機採茶的分析

hand plucking|手採茶|茶水部|Littotea
hand plucking|手採茶|茶水部|Littotea

手採茶真的比較好? 機採茶有比較差嗎?

茶葉採摘方式可以分為手工採茶機械採茶,即手採機採。首先,手採是傳統的採茶方式,依照茶菁的生長特性或茶葉需求而一一摘取。手採的優點是容易掌握茶葉的品質,也較能保留茶葉原本的外觀,茶葉葉面較完整,例如一心二葉或一心三葉等,缺點則是採收時需要大量的人力,生產成本較高,而且手採速度較慢,手採一小時一個工人最多只能採收約5-8斤茶菁,因此一天內可能無法在最佳時間完成所有的採茶工作,採收時間不易掌控,造成後續製茶過程中,茶葉的品質可能會稍有不同,加上現代農村人口外流與人口老化,因此人力不足也是一項很大的問題[1-3]。手採費用的成本大約佔茶葉成品的20%, 對價格競爭力較為不利。

機採目前大多是透過兩人或四人各站一邊,使用採茶機來回推進來進行採收,以採收面與茶菁生長高度的平均值為考量。機採優點是生產成本較低且速度快、效率高,機採一小時大約可以採收800-1200斤茶菁,能把握在最短的時間之內完成採收大量的茶葉,有利於快速進行後續的製茶過程,較能保留一定的茶葉活性,維持穩定的品質,完成機器採收後,再利用茶葉選別分級機進行篩選,將一些不完整的葉片或老葉加以揀選出來,也有助於維持茶葉良好的品質,缺點則是採收時葉面可能造成少許葉面破碎,較不美觀[1-3]。

手採機採兩者採收方式優缺點各不相同,沒有誰優誰劣,當然機器採收的茶也沒有一定比手工採收的茶要來的差。以品質來說,機採或許反而能較維持一定的品質,但手採卻可以達到機器無法到達的地方,或是只適用於需要人工採收的嫩葉。以生產的角度,兩種方法都各有優缺。根據茶業改良場的研究,手採與機採在風味與營養上,並沒有任何差異,還要不要執著於手採等於高品質的茶,就見仁見智了。

生產成本 採收時間 味道
手採 優異
機採 合理 優異

-Research team @ 茶水部 LittoTea, 澄翠茶藝.

 

The analysis of hand plucking and machine plucking

The way of plucking tea can be divided into hand plucking and machine plucking. First, hand plucking which is adopted depends on the needs or the characteristic of tea is the traditional way of plucking tea. The quality of tea can be controlled easily and the shape, such as one-tip two-leaf or one-tip three-leaf, also can be preserved well through hand plucking. However, it requires a lot of labors, which makes higher cost of production. In addition, a worker plucks tea at most 5 to 8 catty per hour. Therefore, it’s hard to finish plucking within the best time of plucking in a day. The time of plucking can’t be controlled easily, which may make unequal quality of tea in the processing. Furthermore, the situation that people outflow from the countryside becomes worse and the aging population in the countryside is increasing, which would lead to the shortage of labors for hand plucking[1-3]. The cost of hand plucking is up to 20% of final tea product. It impacts to the competitiveness in the market.

Machine plucking, more than two people on each side use plucking machine back and forth to pick tea, is adopted depends on the average height of the plucking side and the growth of tea. For machine plucking, cost of production is lower, the time of plucking tea is short, and it is highly efficient. The machine can pluck tea around 480 to 720 kg per hour. Plucking all tea in a short time helps preserve the activity of tea and make the processing go smoothly, which would benefits to maintain the quality of tea. In addition, sorting machine helps filter damaged tea or old tea after finishing machine plucking, which also make the quality of tea consistent [1-3].

Hand plucking and machine plucking have different characteristics. Tea plucking by machine can be as good as one plucked by hands. Machine plucking may control the quality of tea better. On the other hand, hand plucking is only suitable for places where machine can’t reach or tea which is processed delicately. Hand plucking and machine plucking is the same important. Based on the research Taiwan Tea Research and Extension Station, there is no difference between hand and machine plucking in terms of taste and nutritions. Hand plucking may not be equal to high quality but high cost.

Cost Plucking Efficiency Flavor
Hand Plucking High Longer Good
Machine Plucking Reasonable Shorter Good

-Research team @ 茶水部 LittoTea, 澄翠茶藝.

 

Reference

[1]http://chalib.com/tealib/agrart_sub.asp?AgrartNo=82

[2]http://www.tres.gov.tw/htmlarea_file/web_articles/teais/1918/1041225-5.pdf

[3]https://tw.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090529000015KK00220

Lynn Chiang

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