Each leaf is unique in shape and size. The leaves are picked before the brilliant color changes of Autumn, kiln fired and then repeatedly soaked and dried to stabilize the natural fine inner webbing ideal for straining.
The leaves start off quite soft and pliable but get stronger with age as the natural tea tannins bind to the leaf's cellulose providing a more stable structure. Be careful in the beginning to only hold the leaf by the bamboo handle so as to avoid tearing. If handled properly these leaves can last for a long time.
We recently got favorable results in quick aging by soaking the new leaves in very strongly brewed ripe puer tea for a few hours and then drying. Repeated a few times this will give the new leaf a feeling of one 3-4 months old in just a few days.