Pictures from the tea processing in Sri Lanka: withering, rolling, oxidation, and drying process.
Withering (wilting) tea leaves at a tea factory in central Sri Lanka.
The production process of tea consists of several steps which varies with the kind of tea. You find here pictures from some of them.
Withering is common to all types of tea although it may be achieved with different ways. Withering is aimed at removing excess water from the leaves. Fresh tea leaves may contain up to 75% water.
Rolling the tea leaves at a tea factory in central Sri Lanka.
The rolling machine breaks the leaves, creates wrinkled strips, and enhances the taste of the tea. Rolling promotes and quickens oxidation.
Tea oxidation at a tea factory in Sri Lanka.
The tea leaves are then left on their own to oxidise by contact with the air. The oxidation process may be completed by agitation.
Drying tea with a hot air dryer at a tea factory in central Sri Lanka.
To stop the oxidising process, the tea is passed through hot air dryers. Drying makes the tea ready for sale.