First of all, the leaves are ‘Plucked’. This involves taking only the upper foliage of a branch. The general method is to pluck the top two leaves and the bud. The raw leaves are then ‘Weighed’ to the required benchmark. The next step is ‘Withering’ which is to the process of drying. The leaves are fluffed and spread out on a large tray. They are left in a well-ventilated room for almost a day by which time they lose about two thirds of their moisture. Withered leaves are then ‘Rolled’ in a mechanical process where the tea cells are ruptured and the enzymes released. The broken leaves are spread out in the ‘Aeration’ process to bring the enzymes into contact with the air. The time the leaves are exposed is dependent on the grade of tea that is required to be made. After aeration, the leaves are ‘Dried’ in a desiccator or firing chamber preventing any more chemical change. With this process remaining moisture is drained out and the leaves turn dark and shrink. Grading is done strictly based on the flavour and strength. The last step in the process is ‘Bulk Packing’ and ‘Tea Bag’ packing.

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