Tea garden to cup of rejuvenation: The Journey of tea leavesPosted on
Tea has been widely accepted as the most refreshing and rejuvenating beverage consumed across the globe. Welcoming a guest with rich milky brew, unwinding a heavy day with an aromatic black or ending a slow day with a light green tea. There is a tea available for every moment. You also have to appreciate the complexity of plucking a tea leaf and transforming it into a gracious beverage for a tea lover. And yes, the most critical aspect are those human hands carefully collecting the correct leaves just so you may enjoy them at your leisure.
Well, we would like to give you a taster of how all the magic is created ending in your tiny little cup. You begin with the tea plant which is known as Camellia Sinensis. At the core, it’s the same plant for every cup of tea. White Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea and Black Tea; these all come from the same family, Camellia Sinensis. The processing methods of the tea leaves will determine the type of tea produced.
Manufacture of tea is a lengthy process. A lot of effort is put in to prepare the best quality tea. The process can be counted as one of the methods in which the tea leaves of Camellia Sinensis plant are dried and made ready for brewing. There are many different stages to it. Each stage has been carefully crafted to preserve the quality, flavour and aroma of tea. Different processes that are done on the tea leaves give us different varieties of tea. These are then packed and delivered to you so you may take the pleasure of drinking them whenever you feel like having it. Now let’s discover each tea production process from the fresh, green tea leaves to the perfect cup of tea.
Step 1: The Harvest
Harvesting is the beginning of the processing technique used in tea manufacture. It can be considered as the most labour-intensive activity of the tea growing season because tea crops are being cut with utmost care and keen-sightedness. It’s the genuine human touch that matters.
Step 2: Wither those leaves
As soon as the tea leaves are plucked from their respective plants, they start wilting naturally. They are quickly sent to the tea processing facilities so that the wilting process further happens in a controlled environment for the proper development of aroma and flavour in the leaves. This process is called withering. In other words, withering process involves a controlled wither where the tea leaves are spread and laid on the bamboo tarps or mats, or indoor troughs with forced air. The spreading out of the tea leaves helps to retain the natural aroma and flavour of the tea leaves.
Step 3: Bruising or Roll Breaking
Rolling is the next step in the process. It involves the twisting and breaking of the tea leaves to release natural juices. This type of processing initiates fermentation by activating certain enzymes. Tea leaves also get a perfect curl through rolling process.
Step 4: Oxidizing determines the type
After bruising, leaves are left to oxidize or turn brown for oolong or black teas. The leaves are laid out again and left to fade. Now that the cell walls are broken, the leaves are turned brown by an enzymatic reaction. To put it simply, oxidation is the reaction of tea leaves with oxygen in the air.
The oxidation process is what determines the type of tea that will be produced – white tea, green tea, oolong tea, or black tea. It is also when much of the tea’s taste and aroma is established. The tea processing units control the amount of oxidation of the tea leaves. Typically, the temperature in the tea room is kept between 25 to 30°C and humidity, between 60%-70%. Depending on the amount of time the tea leaves are oxidized, their taste and smell differ. Green tea undergoes very minimal oxidation. White tea is 1-10% oxidized, Oolong is semi-oxidized and however black tea is oxidized most of all.
Step 5: Drying before packaging
The final stage in the production process is conducted with great care; drying the leaves by gently heating those halts the oxidation stage and seals in flavour. Once the leaves have been oxidized, they are introduced to hot dryers. They are also fired or roasted on controlled temperatures for a fixed amount of time. This further reduces the moisture content to less than 1%. The tea is now ready to be packed and shipped directly to your teapot.
Each cup of tea you enjoy was lovingly tended by dozens of hands as it moved from the fields to the factory to your kitchen. Tea Valley blends are purely made from Assam tea which gives you a wonderful experience and makes every moment memorable. These run through high-quality checks by experts before packaging. So, enjoy the richness and purity of tea Valleys of Assam that will make your every morning delightful and refreshing.