14 DAY RETURNS ON ALL ORDERS - FLAT RATE SHIPPING $8.50 AUSTRALIA WIDE - FREE SHIPPING FOR ORDERS ABOVE $100

A delicate process: Darjeeling Tea processing

A delicate process: Darjeeling Tea processing

Processing Darjeeling Tea is an intricate process. Precise measurements of airflow, temperature, and pressure are needed to preserve the delicate integrity of the tea. 

Preparing

The crafting of Darjeeling Tea begins in the hills where the tea is grown. Darjeeling Tea is hand-picked fresh early every morning when the dew is still on its leaves.

Withering

During withering, the harvested tea flush is placed on large laths and covered with a wire mesh. Hot and cold air is passed through it to assist with the drying process. The entire process lasts between 14-16 hours. Withering removes between 65 to 75 percent of the moisture. The flavour compounds of the tea begin to develop and the tea is more malleable for the next process – rolling. 

Rolling

After withering, the tea leaf is passed through large rollers or spindles. The tea is rolled for 40 to 45 minutes to remove even more moisture and to flatten it. In between rolling, sifting separates and removes coarser leaves. The constant pressure from the rollers twist the leaves, rupturing its cells to release the natural juices that promote oxidation and acceleration of pigmentation. Rolling changes the tea’s colour from its original green to a brown coppery tone. 

Fermentation (oxidation)

The rolled tea is then placed on fermentation racks (tiles, cement or aluminium) to begin the oxidation process. Fermentation is carried out at low temperatures in a clean room. It is a delicate and sensitive process. The period of fermentation depends on the type of tea leaf, the degree of the wither, temperature, oxygen levels and the fermenting abilities of the tea flush. Darjeeling Tea is a delicate tea and its flavour can be compromised by even the smallest degree of time or temperature variations. During fermentation, the colour further deepens. Flavanols combine with oxygen and the first trace of Darjeeling Tea flavour begins to form. This is the process that differentiates black tea from oolong tea from green tea. Black tea goes through the full process, oolong tea partial while green tea, not at all.

Frying or drying

After fermentation, the tea leaf is loaded onto a dryer which is made from perforated moving trays. To achieve correct dryness, everything from temperature (200 to 240 degrees), to the thickness of spread, to the speed of tray, to the volume of air is kept at precise levels. Too high temperatures cause case-hardening, while too low heats result in stewing. The process takes 20-30 minutes. Done properly, the moisture content of the leaf is reduced to 2-3%. Maintaining the correct balance helps develop the flavour compounds to enhance the fine and mellowness that is distinctively Darjeeling Tea. 

Sorting and grading

In the final stage, mechanically oscillated sieves are used to sort the tea to determine the different grades. The sieve is designed to allow bigger size leaves to remain on top while smaller broken ones fall to the bottom. 

You can read more about the different grades of tea.


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in TEA CAMPAIGN AUSTRALIA BLOG

What's brewing? The latest tea brewing controversies
What's brewing? The latest tea brewing controversies

When David Tennant’s character DI Alec Hunt stuck his mug into a microwave and stewed his tea, Broadchurch fans were outraged.

Continue Reading

Putting a stamp on the truth: Tea Campaign's certification
Putting a stamp on the truth: Tea Campaign's certification

All Tea Campaign's teas are authentic and certified. Certifications provide written guarantees to consumers that our teas are sourced from responsible farmers.

Continue Reading

How to store your organic Darjeeling tea
How to store your organic Darjeeling tea

In order to get the most out of every cup and ensure your Darjeeling tea goes the distance, you should pay careful attention to the method of storage.

Continue Reading

Tea Campaign Australia - Organic Darjeeling Tea - Buy in Bulk and Save

Save up to 20% when you buy your Organic Darjeeling Tea in bulk!

- Save approx. 20% when you buy 1000g instead of 4 x 250g

- Save approx. 10% when you buy 500g instead of 2 x 250g

Check out the following table to find out how long your pack of Organic Darjeeling Tea will approx. last:

 Daily Usage Daily Usage - Loose Leaf Tea Package Size Usage Duration
1 cup/day (250ml Tea) 2g Loose Leaf Tea 500g  8 Months
2 cups/day (500ml Tea) 4Loose Leaf Tea

500g

1000g

4 Months

8 Months

3 cups/day (750ml Tea) 6Loose Leaf Tea

500g

1000g

3 Months

7 Months

1 large pot/day (1-litre Tea) 8Loose Leaf Tea

500g

1000g

2 Months

4 Months

Enjoy a great cup of ORGANIC DARJEELING TEA every day!