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.
3) Crush Turn Curl
Then black teas are processed threw CTC (Crush, Tear, Curl) procedure. The CTC method produces leaves of fannings or dust grades that are commonly used in tea bags but also produces higher (broken leaf) grades such as BOP CTC and GFBOP CTC. This method is efficient and effective for producing a better quality product from medium and lower quality leaves of consistently dark color.
- CTC Method: “Cut, tear, curl” or “Crush, tear, curl” black teas is a production method developed by William McKercher in 1930. It is considered by some as a significantly improved method of producing black tea through the mincing of withered tea leaves. The use of a rotovane to precut the withered tea is a common preprocessing method prior to feeding into the CTC machines then further shred the leaves from the rotovane by passing them through several stages of contra-rotating rotors with surface patterns that cut and tear the leaves to very fine particles.
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.
While, our most of CTC tea is supplied in Arabic countries and 30% of our product is supplied in Europe. We also give customized packing option to our client at their willing quality specifications.