Step by step to tea
Withering, rolling, fermenting, drying and sorting: these are the five steps needed to process tea in the traditional (orthodox) manner after the picking of two leaves and a bud.
The leaves lose around 30% of their moisture on the withering tables and become soft enough for rolling.
This process disrupts their surfaces, which enables them to ferment. Fermentation refers to the oxidation process by which the tea takes on its reddish brown to black colour within 30 to 120 minutes. For green tea this step is omitted.
The leaves then go to a rack dryer, where their moisture content is further reduced to about 2%. Oscillating sieves sort the tea into four sizes (leaf, broken, fannings and dust), after which it is packaged and ready to drink.