Maintenance of the tea plantations

Since the early 1950s, tree cuttings are used to get new tea plants instead of tea seeds. These cuttings are from 1 inch to 1½ inches long stalks from healthy tea plants. These are grown in tea nurseries before they are directly planted in the field.
Seit den frühen 1950ern werden Baumstecklinge verwendet um neue Teepflanzen zu bekommen, statt Teesamen. Diese Stecklinge sind von 1 Zoll zu 1 ½ Zoll langen Stängel aus gesunden Teepflanzen. Diese werden in baumschulen angepflanzt, bevor sie direkt ins Feld gepflanzt werden.

LAND PREPARATION Prior to planting of tea the land must be cleared of existing growth, whether it is old tea, jungle or bare land. This is followed by deep forking the land to the depth of 18 inch to 24 inch. In this way all old roots and stones are removed and the land is levelled. After levelling, drains are cut to prevent erosion caused by heavy rains. Vor dem Anbau von Tee muss das Land vom vorhandenen Wachstum gelöscht werden, ob es alter Tee, Dschungel oder bloßes Land ist. Dies wird davon abgelöst, das Land tief zu gabeln, zur Tiefe von 18 Zoll zu 24 Zoll. Auf diese Art werden alle alte Wurzeln und Steine entfernt, und das Land ist eingeebnet. Das wird gefolgt, tief das Land zur Tiefe von 18 Zoll bis 24 Zoll gabelnd. So werden alle alten Wurzeln und Steine entfernt, und das Land wird geebnet. Nach dem Planieren sind Abflussrohre bereit, durch starke Regen verursachte Erosion zu verhindern.

Rehabilitation of the soil is achieved by planting Guatemala or Mana grass which is sustained for at least two years. This grass is fertilised twice a year with a special grass fertiliser and lopped regularly (twice a year) and provide 10 to 15 tons of mulch per lopping which enhances fertilising of tilts of the ground. PLANTING OF TEA While the prepared land is under rehabilitation, a nursery of tea plants is nurtured one year prior to planting. Planting would generally need to take place during the monsoon so that there is adequate moisture for the tea plant in its first one to six months after being planted. The tea plant growth phase requires it to be trained for the next two to three years through regular fertilisation and selective trimming to develop its frame into becoming a mature tea bush. Tea plants could be selected from various clones to suit the requirements of the locality and also that of the grower such as yield, agro climatic conditions, type of land, quality of the tea product itself etc. Generally, the new clonal tea could yield 4,000 to 5,000kg per hectare in Sri Lankan conditions and in the virgin soils of Africa and Indonesia, production can even be as high as 10,000 to 12,000kg per hectare.

the tea bushes could be harvested on a regular basis which is approximately once in eight to ten days. however. Active ingredients in Tea Polyphenols as the primary antioxidants/ Cafferin (teine)/Tannins/important Amino acids like theanine /Proteins Trace elements and minerals: fluoride. potassium.700 years. approximately 32% of its ingredients pass into the infusion. In fact. The following potential of the tea plant would be achieved only after it receives its second prune and should continue for around 30 to 40 years. “Tea both stimulates and calms”: Tea owes its stimulatory effect to its caffeine (teine) content: It does not act on the circulation via the heart. once in every three to five years depending on the growing conditions which are related to elevation and climatic conditions. moderate and infrequent frosts.600mm and a good balance of sunshine. Tea plucking . Rotorvane. Sri Lanka is the only country within the tea growing nations which manufactures all type of teas making use of the CTC. Pruning is carried out on a regular basis. but directly on the brain and central nervous system. The Tea Plant Given minimum annual temperatures of 18C. calcium. wild tea plants are reputed to reach an age of up to 1. Growing areas In the Island of Sri Lanka. Orthodox and LTP methods. tea is produced in three elevational cultivation areas of High grown. a uniform annual precipitation of 1. Medium grown and Low grown which has become famous throughout the world. This explains the demonstrable capacity of tea to increase concentration and responsiveness. a tea plant can easily grow to become 100 years old. as it is bonded to the tannins and is not released until it reaches the intestine. manganese/Vitamins: niacin. vitamin B1 and B2.HARVESTING When the bush develops and a complete ground cover is established (which would take two to three years depending on the climatic conditions and elevation).

drying and sorting. while the remaining coarse leaves are rolled for a further 30 minutes under higher pressure. the dried tea is sieved to separate the different leaf grades. however. they are not necessarily an indication of the quality of the tea. During this process.Tea bushes require regular pruning to prevent flowering and fruit formation. This also makes it easier for the tea pickers to gather the two uppermost leaves and the newest bud (only these are relevant for the tea harvest). It is critical for the quality of the tea that the fermentation process be interrupted at its peak. thus triggering the fermentation process. the essential oils responsible for the aroma are released. Various chemical reactions cause the leaf to heat up during fermentation. making them soft and pliable for further processing. fermentation. After 30 minutes. rolling. when the temperature is at its highest. These are spread out immediately for fermentation. broken. A short rolling time produces larger leaf grades. the green leaf gradually turns a copper colour. Most picking is still done by hand in order to preserve the quality of the harvest. while longer rolling breaks the leaves up more resulting in smaller grades. The residual moisture is thereby extracted from the leaves. During this process. 850°C to 880°C in order to interrupt the oxidation process. Leaf grades only refer to the leaf size. During the rolling process. The Production of Green Tea . The colour and typical odour tell the person supervising the process how far the fermentation has progressed. Fermentation After rolling. fannings and dust. Drying Next. Sorting Finally. the tea is dried with hot air at a temperature of approx. the substances contained in the cell sap are oxidised. approximately 63% moisture is extracted from the leaves. damp atmosphere to finish off the fermentation process. The Orthodox Production Method This production method consists of five stages – withering. the extracted sap dries on the leaf and the copper-coloured leaf turns dark brown to black. the tea is spread out in layers approximately 10cm high for one to three hours in a cool. the leaves. In this production phase. At the same time. this process is repeated several times. are sieved to separate the finer leaves. The orthodox production method provides teas of all leaf grades: leaf. If necessary. Withering The freshly picked green leaves are spread out to dry on ventilated trays. still damp from the sap. the cell sap runs out and reacts with oxygen. Rolling The leaves are then rolled by applying mechanical pressure to break up the cells and extract the cell sap.

In some cases the leaf is rolled into artistic shapes following a tradition which dates back thousands of years. minerals and vitamins. and the extracting of finer dhool. Withering This process is only carried out where necessary. . fannings or dust – as black tea. but the fermentation process is prevented by heat treatment immediately after withering. The same procedure of Rotorvane cut and roll breaking. Rolling/Rotorvane/Dhool/Fermentation/Extraction The leaf is rolled initially for a period of 30 minutes by applying pressure. The second dhool is extracted on the same type of roll breaker with the same mesh numbers. depending on the production specification. Steaming/dry heat treatment This destroys the plant’s own enzymes so that the leaf will retain its green colour instead of turning “black”. The Rotorvane Production Method Withering The leaf is withered for a minimum of 12 hours with a percentage ranging 42% to 47% depending on the climate condition and the type of teas. 7 and 8 measures. the leaves are either stacked in hot-air rack driers or exposed to the natural heat of the sun. The second dhool is again sent for fermentation and kept separately. Green tea is a strongly alkaline drink which protects the body from hyperacidity. is continued till such time the final bulk is reduced to 2% to 3%. The first dhool is extracted (finer particles) through the rolled breaker fitted with No. Drying For this purpose. It contains numerous tannins. Rolling Rolling is performed manually or by machine depending on the type of tea. The balance bulk tea is once again passed through a conveyor and is fed to another set of 8” Rotorvane for further maceration. broken. The fermenting area is separately identified with humidifiers surrounding the area to control hygrometric differences.Green tea comes from the same plant as black tea. Thereafter the rolled leaf is charged through a 12” Rotorvane and then double passed through an 8” Rotorvane. The extracted dhool is immediately spread on fermentation beds. The fermentation period varies from 45 minutes to 3 hours depending on the climate condition and the type of teas. The necessity and duration of withering varies widely according to the desired type of tea. Sorting Green tea is available in the same familiar grades – leaf.

The ex-estate catalogued teas are retained on the estate till such time the teas are sold at the Colombo auctions. the Lawrie Tea Processor. Here they are virtually torn to pieces by blades rotating at high speed. The withered leaf is often cut to a uniform size by machine. BOPF. etc. These teas are usually destined for teabag production. off grades and dust grades are sent to brokers’ warehouses. The crushed leaves are then fermented. The cataloguing and selling of teas takes approximately three weeks from the time of packing the teas. Sorting 10 to 15 minutes after firing the tea is passed through a stalk extractor and thereafter through a fibre extractor to extract whatever possible stalk and fibre from the black tea whilst the warmth is maintained in the fired dhools.e. The LTP Method The third method of producing black tea is the LTP method. The fired tea is then passed through a Middleton sorter to differentiate larger particles and smaller particles. where samples are drawn by the brokers and the teas are catalogued. This is followed by the usual fermentation. The extracted cell sap is collected and added to the leaves again. Dust-1. This sifter has 5 numbers of different measures to extract graded teas. Both the CTC and LTP methods are mainly used for the finer end of the scale. the tea is passed through a dryer where hot air is circulated at a temperature between 2500°F to 2600°F. Almost all factories in Sri Lanka are equipped with bulkers to bulk the graded teas prior to packing. This operation is undertaken in the drier room itself to maintain the warmth in the machines and therefore extract as much stalk and fibre as possible. it passes through separately on to a Chota sifter for grading purposes. Once the teas are packed. Then the leaves are fed into the CTC machine where they are crushed. such as Pekoe. torn and curled in a single operation by metal rollers. i. named after the inventor of the relevant machine. drying and sorting procedures.Drying Next. Once the teas are packed in to tea sacks these are stacked in the factory compound itself. Source: Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers . the withered leaves are often levelled before being processed in the LTP machine. The CTC Production Method CTC stands for crushing. tearing and curling. fanning and dust grades. BOP. The graded teas are subsequently transferred in to bins which are located in the sifting room. These bins are air-tight and lined with aluminium sheets to maintain the freshness of the graded tea. After different shading of the two types of particles. dried and sorted. Finally the black tea is obtained from the dryer with an approximate run through period of 18 to 21 minutes. In this method.