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Tea Manufacture Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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C

C.T.C
Cut, Tear and Curl describes a machine which literally cuts, tears and curls the withered leaf, breaking the leaf veins. This releases the juices or enzymes of the leaf and completes the second stage of manufacture. Today, CTC tea, or Unorthodox tea is applied to all types of manufacture other than Orthodox. It is used in the second stage of manufacture where the tea leaves are broken into particles before fermentation and drying.

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D

Drying
See Firing.

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F

Fermentation
The tea trade term for the third stage of tea manufacture whereby the leaf enzymes oxidize on contact with air. The broken and crushed leaf is laid out on trays or in troughs and slowly as oxidization takes place, changes from green to a rusty brown color. For black tea oxidization period can take up to four hours, for a semi-fermented tea the leaf is fired or dried before oxidization is complete.

Firing
The tea trade term for the drying of tea after oxidization. This is the fourth stage of manufacture. The oxidized leaf, or partially oxidized leaf in the case of semi-fermented tea, is tipped into an oven onto a conveyor belt that carries the fermented leaf through the oven slowly drying it. It comes out of the oven as black tea, or semi-green in the case of the semi-fermented teas.

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L

Leg Cut
A mechanized method for cutting leaves prior to fermentation and firing or drying. Eliminated the withering stage of manufacture and produces smaller leaf particles such as fannings and dust. This machine is not widely used and has been replaced by more modern machines that do not eliminate any stages of manufacture.

L.T.P.
Lawrie Tea Processor, a modern CTC machine.

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O

Orthodox
A machine, which takes its name from the first mechanized method used in the second stage of tea processing that rolls the withered leaves thus breaking the veins and releasing the leaf enzymes. Teas made by this method are known as Orthodox teas.

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P

Packing
The final stage of manufacture. After sorting, each grade of tea is placed into either tea chests or tea sacks. Each chest or sack is stamped with the name of the estate, grade of tea and weight

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R

Rotovane
A modern machine for the second stage of manufacture which produces a CTC tea.

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S

Sorting
The fifth stage of manufacture. The dried leaf is sorted mechanically by sifting the different leaf size particles or grades through different size meshes.

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T

Tasting
The sixth stage of manufacture where all the grades of tea are tasted after each make to maintain strict quality control at all making stages and to ensure consistent making standards.

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W

Withering
The first stage of tea manufacture in the tea factory. Plucked leaf is spread on tables or trays and left to wither in the natural warm air. Today, in some tea factories warm air fans are built under the withering area to aid this process.

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Baldwin Park Village
4844 New Broad Street
Orlando, Florida 32814
Phone: 407-896-3155 Fax: 407-896-3135
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