The next day the tea awakens only to be returned once more to the cauldron. This final round of drying is under low heat. The fragile and brittle leaves are carefully turned by hand for a long period of time. As the tea is drying it emits a yellowish-white powder as it has done throughout repeated, long exposure to the heat of the cauldron. This powder leaves a residue in the aluminum cauldron and coats the dark hair of those working over the cauldron in a ghostly white film. The yellowish-white powder is actually the chemical constitute of caffeine. As the bitter-fresh leaves are exposed to long bouts of heat, caffeine is coxed out resulting in the final sweet taste and smell of Korean green tea.
After long hours of special handling over low heat, the leaves are completely dried. They are then placed on a traditional woven sifter where they cool. When they have cooled down, an old lady picks up the sifter and sifts out the dirt, dust, and chipped pieces of leaves using a method that has been passed down for hundreds of years in Korea. Her motions push the unwanted pieces to the edge where they are removed from the rest of the leaves.
After they have been sifted and have completely cooled they will be taken away to be placed in foil bags, the foil bags will be placed in boxes, and the boxes placed on tea shop shelves. It is here where these preserved leaves wait patiently for one to prepare them. They eagerly anticipate a time to come when warm water hits their shriveled, shrunken, curled, grayish-purple bodies, transforming them into what they were before, bright green and full of energy.Cho Ui wrote the following about the final steps of making tea,
After one is finished making tea, it must be dried and placed into a chest. The chest must be sealed with paper for three days to allow tea to restore its true essence. After three days have gone by, tea must be retreated over low heat in an iron cauldron so that it becomes fully and completely dried.
Once the tea is dried and then cooled, it needs to be stored in a container. Tea needs to be gently guided into a container. Tea needs to be covered with bamboo bark,before the lid is sealed with thin white paper that is wrapped around the opening. A brick that is taken from the flames and then cooled is placed on top to completely seal the opening when the container is placed in storage. It is crucial that no wind makes its way into the container and it is also important that the container is not placed near open flames. If wind makes its way into the container, the tea leaves take on cold, negative qualities and if the container is near open flames, the tea leaves prematurely take on a yellowish colour.
Paraphrased from a Translation of Cha Shin Jeon in The Book of Korean Tea by Yang-Seok Yoo with changes