JOURNEY OF TEA
From leaves to your cup. Learn how tea is processed.
Tea is manufactured in a simple five-step process:
The topmost leaves and buds on the tea plant are picked by hand. The procedure of harvesting green tea leaves is called plucking.
This fascinating and highly skilled job has been traditionally done by female workers. As they pass between the rows of tea bushes,
only the two leaves and one unopened leaf bud are selected, to ensure the final product is of the required quality.
The plucking is normally done every seven to ten days. The plucked green leaf should begin the manufacturing process in freshest possible
condition, so they are taken by truck to the estate factory.
The leaves are left to wither for up to 8-10 hours. On arrival at the factory the leaf is taken to the upper floors where they are spread on
“withering” racks which allow a free current of air to circulate through them until they lose some moisture.
The withered leaves are squeezed between metal rollers to blend the naturally occurring chemicals inside. Then leaf is fed in to the
rolling machines on the ground floor, which breaks up the cell structure of the leaves and releases the natural juices and enzymes,
that gives the tea its characteristic flavour. Another result of the rolling stage is that leaves get twisted.
The rolled leaves are allowed to oxidize in the open air for several hours. This stage is known as “fermentation” which is also called
“oxidization”. The rolled and twisted tea leaves are again spread out, on tables in a cool and humid atmosphere, which in up to three
hours turns them a coppery brown color through the absorption of oxygen.
The oxidized leaves are heated to stop further oxidation and remove any remaining
Once the leaf is dry, the tea is marked and tasted by an expert taster who describes the tea and issues the certificate of release.
Often times, a blender blends various batches of tea to produce a characteristic flavor, however, most blending work is not done
at the tea garden level. Rather, this happens at the blender and packers warehouse.