You must have tried tea at least once in your life. Isn’t it? It is an all-time favorite for Indians as it is an emotion to experience rather than a usual beverage. Being the second largest tea producer in the world, India produces several varieties of tea. The best quality tea in India is generally seen in northeastern states and West Bengal. Many tea manufacturers in India tirelessly work to provide the best quality tea. But do you know the effort it requires to cultivate and get the finished tea leaves?
- Cultivation: This is the first step towards a cup of perfection. Tea planters usually look out for the ideal soil conditions, surroundings, and altitude for cultivating tea leaves. The vast geography of India from the mighty Himalayas to the lush green environment of Assam is best suited for plantation. Moreover, the benefits of Darjeeling tea are due to the climatic conditions and the cultivation process.
- Plucking the tea leaves: After they get ripped, it is time to pluck them. Plucking the relevant tea leaves requires skill passed on from generation to the worker. After plucking, tea leaves are sorted depending on the quality and uniformity.
- Withering: After plucking leaves, their moisture is removed by way of withering. It is done by spreading the tea leaves openly and thus their natural concentration gets enhanced by this process. Some best tea manufacturers in India do this process separately which results in a slight change in the taste of tea.
- Fermentation: It is also known as the oxidation process. It is the only process that determines the type of tea. Being a chemical process, it changes the composition of the tea. The darkening of the tea leaves during oxidation determines the color of the tea leaves.
- Heating: The oxidation process is followed by heating to fix the tea leaves. It is done to mobilize the enzymes present in the tea leaves. Moreover, this step decides what type of tea the manufacturer wants to make. So, it is one of the crucial steps for making tea.
- Drying tea leaves: Leaves are dried to reduce the moisture level present in them. The ideal moisture level should be around 3 to 7% and the balance level should be maintained. This process determines the taste of the tea. This is how gold leaf tea is made by top class tea manufacturers.
- Sorting: It is the final step done before finally packing the tea leaves in a treasure tea box. The sorting process involves the removal of impurities, stems, or unrolled leaves. Thus, it makes sure that the final raw product reaches the customers. It is the main process that separates premium quality tea from ordinary one.
Thus, have you seen manufacturers’ efforts to prepare the tea leaves? We just taste the end product but the time and effort before the perfection is unparalleled. So, next time you taste a special tea, you can analyze that its specialty is due to the hard labor of the manufacturer.