The plucking of tea leaves is an art in itself. For the production of any type of tea, the tea leaves that are plucked should be matured enough. The quality of the tea depends on the age of the two leaves and a bud, which are plucked for the manufacturing of tea. After picking, the tea leaves are processed. Superior tasting good Tea is a result of meticulous and quality controlled production and processing process. Be it Assam Tea or Darjeeling Tea or any other, they all go through four staged production process which are:
Once going through these processes, finally processed tea is categorized in different types of Tea.
Process starts from:
Shriveling: Shriveling means drying of the tea. Thus in this process fresh Green Tea leaves are dried up to 25-30°C reducing the water level of leaves to 60-70%.
Rolling: After shriveling, the dried Tea leaves go through rolling for half an hour. It is during this process that they gradually get that real taste and aroma that differentiate them from each other.
Fermentation: It is the most crucial stage in determining the perfect blend of Tea. Depending upon the degree of fermentation ranging from non-fermentation to Fully-Fermentation, Tea gets its characteristics i.e. Green Tea, White Tea etc. during this process. Green Tea, White Tea and Yellow Tea fall in to the category of Non-fermented or very lightly fermented Tea while Oolong Tea goes through semi-fermentation process and Black Tea is fully fermented Tea having dark red hue.
With air-blowing technique, leaves are fermented to get their specific color and aroma.
Drying: Finally at the temperature of 95 degree, tea leaves are dried that leave only 4-5% moisture in them.
Thus the way the TEA is processed, it is the artistry that we taste in the final cup.