Plucking fresh young leafs from a tea bushes is known as plucking. Each pluck picks only three tender leaves and bud of succulent fresh growth. Plucking is done in every 9th day. Plucking is traditionally done by skilled women and collected in a long basket attached on their Shoulder.
Fresh plucked tea leaf from the bushes have a moisture content of about 75%, and then reduced to 45%. The fresh leaf is spread out on withering troughs flow of cool air helps reduce moisture. This process can last from 8 to 15 hours depending on weather conditions. The primary aims of withering are to reduce the moisture content of the leaf and to soften it, so it becomes pliable and will withstand the subsequent process of ‘rolling’, without breaking up into flakes.
Rolling is a process which brings flavor in tea. Rolling assists in establishing proper conditions for oxidation of the flavonol by atmospheric oxygen.
The purpose of rolling is to achieve the final curved appearance and to break the leaf cell walls so as to release essential oils to start a chemical reaction of fermentation. The leaf is rolled several times. The first rolling, known as the pre-conditioning roll is very gentle, of which the aim is to cover the twisted particles with the juices from the leaf. The rolling process is what releases the color, strength, aroma and the taste of the liquid we ultimately pour into our cups.
Roll breaking has two primary objectives. To remove the twisted leaf off the rolled shoots that clogs and impedes circulation, and to facilitate further twisting action on the large leaf. Additionally, it also cools the leaf which would have risen in temperature during the process of rolling.
Fermentation is also known as oxidation, green leaf is converted into black tea. Although this is referred to as fermentation, fermentation process initiated by the tea enzymes. This process starts at the onset of maceration during the rolling process, and it is allowed to continue under ambient conditions. The temperature of leaf is maintained at around 25-30 degrees.
The finer particles collected after roll breaking are fermented to bring about the changes necessary to make a tea liquor palatable. This process can only take place when the cells of the tea leaf are properly ruptured. Here, in the coolness and darkness of the fermentation room, an oxidizing produces brown products from the remaining water in the tannin. During this process, the green leaf is converted to dark black tea.
5) Firing & Baking
Now, hot air is passed over the tea leaves to deactivate fermentation process. Hot air firing reduces the moisture level up-to 2-3%. This is critical as incomplete inactivation can cause accelerated deterioration of quality. There are several grades of tea, such as leaf grades, broken grades, fanning & dust grades.
6) Sorting & Grading
Baked tea is sorted into different grades by passing them over a series of vibrating screens of different mesh sizes. Electrostatics charged rollers preferentially attract stalk and fiber to remove them from the tea.
The last operation in this long process of manufacture is the sorting and grading of the fired tea. Its importance cannot be overstated as it is here that the value of the final product is often determined.
Specially, we are serving our black tea form 2014 to the most buyer of Europe, Russia and some continents. We also give customized packing option to our client at their willing quality specifications.