Traditional Tea Manufacturing

There is a story in tea that is inspiring in its expression. It is a tale that starts with a tiny seedling which evolves through the influence of soil, rainfall, sunshine, temperature and the skill of the tea planter.
Eventually it offers the tender green shoots of the now matured Camellia sinensis plant, which are then skillfully harvested by hand. The story spans thousands of hectares and millions of lives in Ceylon’s famous tea country, known as the home of the world’s finest tea. Major brands have abandoned the traditional, centuries-old method of making tea for a new “fast track” process, which sacrifices the character and taste of real tea.
Dilmah remains faithful to traditional and authentic tea. That’s why Dilmah tea tastes so different.

TEA (Camellia sinensis)
Manufacturing Chart

Black Tea Drying(budonl y )Withering Sorting Cleaning Short fermentation Full fermentation Firing (drying) Sorting Sorting Withering Firing (drying) Pre-DryingRolling Post-Drying S haping and Styling Pan-frying, or Steaming Rolling Rolling Fresh Tea Leaves Oolong Tea White Tea Green Tea
B l a c k T e a D r y i n g W i t h e r i n g S o r t i n g C l e a ni n g S h o r t f e r m e n t a t i o n F u l l f e r m e n t a t i o n F i r i n g ( d r y i n g ) S o r t i n g S o r t i n g W i t h e r i n g F i r i n g ( d r y i n g ) P r e - D r y i n g ( j a s m i n e a d d e d ) Ro ll i n g P o s t - D r y i n g S h a pi n g a n d S t y l i n g P a n - f r y i n g , o r S t e a m i n g R o ll i n g R o ll i n g F r e s h T e a L e a v e s O o l o n g T e a W h it e T e a G r e e n T e a

Variations of the manufacturing process to obtain White, Green and Oolong teas

White teas are entirely handmade. They are rolled by hand and dried in filtered sunlight. In Sri Lanka, white tea is referred to as Silver or Golden Tips. Green tea is not fermented. Fresh leaf, on arrival at the factory, is immediately treated under high temperature by steaming or baking. This deactivates the enzymes that cause fermentation. The oxidation of polyphenols cannot take place and are preserved. This is why green tea has its unique flavour.

In the case of Chinese green tea, the fermentation process is stopped by either exposing the leaves to sunlight or applying warm air to the leaves and then pan-frying the leaves to stop all further processes.

Oolong tea is semi-fermented. In essence, it follows a similar manufacturing process as black tea although the oxidation is for a very short time. Oolong tea is usually much darker and stronger in taste than green tea, but Oolong is lighter in colour than most black teas and usually has a more delicate taste.