The variation in the composition of fresh tea leaves with season and shoot maturity, and to the applicability of cold storage (4C and 90% relative humidity [RH]) for the purpose of withering of tea leaves were studied. The results showed that the levels of polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity and the polyphenolic content changed significantly with plucking season and shoot maturity. No significant difference was observed between the total polyphenolic content of the cold storage-withered and traditionally withered samples, whereas the loss of PPO activity was less in the cold-stored leaves. No significant difference was observed between the cold storage-withered and traditionally withered samples in terms of the end product quality. Results showed that cold storage at 4C and at 90% RH was suitable for storing fresh leaves after plucking until the time of processing and it is possible to achieve withering during the cold storage of tea leaves.