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DAY 3 - Tea leaves are sensitive

Today's mini blog post is going to have to be smaller still as I am on a very short break from a day of tea processing. The day began at 8am with a trip to the beautiful tea estate shown in the picture, where I witnessed the tea I was going to process being picked. Sadly I wasn't  allowed to do the plucking as if it is done incorrectly it can not only damage the leaves to be processed but also the plant itself. Tea bushes are very sensitive.

Tea pickers

Once the tea had been picked and weighed I then travelled back to the tea estate owners's factory to start two days of processing. The exact process I will go into in more detail on a later blog, but in general the day has been spent withering the leaves to reduce water content and start oxidation. The first step was sorting the leaves onto large bamboo disks to dry. This had to be done very delicately. The more they are bashed about the worse the final product.

Tea leaves

We are now ten and a half hours into the process with around another six to go. We will now oxidise the leaves further and then fire them to stop oxidation completely. The finishing will be done tomorrow. It has been a long day and I am now filled with huge respect for those that toil hard to create our beautiful teas. It makes me even more determined to ensure that every tea that we serve and sell is savoured to its full potential.

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