How is tea processed?

The leaves are harvested and then, as quickly as possible, spread out onto drying racks called withering troughs, to reduce the moisture content. The leaves are then rolled or desiccated to rupture the leaf cell structure and to release the leaf juices within.

The leaf material is then set aside to oxidise (turns the leaves from green to brown – not applicable for green tea that is dried immediately after desiccation), then placed in a drying oven to arrest the oxidation process and ensure the leaf is dry enough to be packed. The dried product is then sorted into various sized grades.

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