Tea is made only and exclusively from the tender buds and succulent leaves of the plant Camellia Sinensis.
To-date, tender leaves are mostly hand-picked by female plantation staff, as the quality of the end product ‘Tea’ both black and green depend on good harvesting practices and the careful transportation of the green leaves from field to factory.
The green tea harvest is weighed and placed in withering troughs where warm air is passed through to reduce the humidity of the leaf.
The withered leaf is rolled on traditional tea rollers (to create the world famous Ceylon Orthodox teas), and the rolled wet leaf known as ‘The Dhool’ rich in enzymes, is placed on tiled tables for oxidisation with a natural draft of fresh air to enable optimum enzyme activity with controlled humidity and temperature for a specified duration for superior quality tea production.
This dhool is then passed through hot air blown driers to arrest the oxidisation and remove moisture down to three percent. This drying creates a mixed dry crisp mass of a variety of tea leaf sizes known as ‘Drier Mouth’ tea.
Drier Mouth tea thus made is sifted on automated sifters to separate different particle sizes known as Tea Grades.
This grading exercise is a mere size separation and not an assessment of the quality of tea. Grading is done according to particle size – from the largest – Orange Pekoe, to the smallest – Dust.