How Tea is Made
Tea production all starts when the humble tea bud and its two leaves are plucked from a tea bush in the early hours of the day. From this simple beginning you get the rich taste of tea which can be savored in a number of different ways and flavors. The question is how does tea get from this fresh bud and two leaves state to the cup of tea that we drink with such enjoyment? Tea production is simple yet full of subtle nuances and learning about the basics of tea production may even take you that one step further in your enjoyment of the drink, taking it to a more intellectual level altogether.
As we said earlier the process of tea production begins when tea pluckers pick the tender bud and its accompanying leaves. However even prior to this you need to know that no tea bush is harvested until it is about three to five years old. Its height at this time should be about 3 to 4 feet. It is at this point in the bushes growth that the leaves are ripe for harvesting and entering into that first step in the journey of tea production. When the tea pluckers deem the bush ready they leave for the fields early in the morning. Taking care with how they pluck the tea leaves, they gather the fresh leaves and ready them for transport to the tea factory.
The tea factory is the next phase in the tea production story and here tea is transformed from its natural state into the product we drink. Here tea leaves are spread out on shelves called withering racks where they are left to dry out by having air blown over them. Mid way during this process the drying leaves are spread out again and hand fluffed a number of times to help speed the drying our process. After 8 to 12 hours of withering the next step in the tea production process is that of rolling the tea.
Here the dried leaves are placed on huge rolling machines where they are rolled out to press the juices in the leaves out. This assists the tea production process, by moisture being drawn out of the leaf, and as this happens the flavor and other enzymes are also drawn up to the surface of the leaves.
The second to final step in the tea production process is called fermentation. In reality this is the term that is used in the tea production process for the oxidation of the leaves. The room where the fermenting takes place has a controlled room temperature and humidity. During tea production it is this temperature and humidity that changes the color of the tea leaves to their rich coppery color.
The final step of the tea production process calls for the now fermented leaves to be dried in an oven. The temperature of the oven is about 180 degrees. The tea is left to dry for about half an hour. At the end of this the tea has become brownish black in color. The tea is now ready to be prepared for shipping and distributing to the various countries, shops and online retailers.
This tea production process is the basis for making all the tea varieties that we speak of throughout the-tea-site.com. Using subtle variations in the withering and drying processes tea can be altered to have another color and taste than that of the usual black tea. These subtle changes in the tea production process provide us with other types of tea such as oolong tea, green tea, and white tea.
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