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Tea production can be broadly classified into two types; Orthodox and the CTC method. Orthodox is the more traditional way of producing tea while as the latter involves crushing, tearing and curling the tea leaves to produce tea of the desired grade. Due to its simple manufacturing process, Orthodox tea can bring out the more complex and subtle multi-layered flavors of loose leaf teas. The grading of loose leaf teas hence can be more varied based on region, type of leaf twist, manufacturing process and even season of pluck. If you look at it closer, a lot of importance is placed on the twist of the leaf in the manufacture of Orthodox tea.

Orthodox tea manufacturing process

The manufacturing process of Orthodox tea has five basic steps. The order can be changed and other steps may be included depending on the style of tea you need to produce.

Plucking:

This is done by professional tea pluckers by hand. This is a job that requires utmost attention because a few wrong leaves can potentially disrupt a whole batch of tea leaves. Once it is plucked, the leaves are then sorted according to size and other leftovers like twigs, stems etc are discarded.

Withering:

Before they can be further processed, these leaves are allowed to wilt for several hours. This is an important step, because without withering, the tea leaves cannot be rolled and shaped. Different manufacturers use different techniques and varying withering times to attain the required texture of tea leaves.

Rolling:

This step marks the onset of flavoring process in tea leaves. It is also where various varieties can be created. The leaves are rolled and twisted to break the leaves and extract the juices inside. The juices thus extracted are then exposed to air and moisture, which leads us to the next step.

Oxidation:

This is where the tea leaves are exposed to air. Depending on the time and extent of exposure, the flavour of the tea can be varied.

Firing:

The last stage of the manufacturing process, this is where the leaves are quickly dried to ensure minimum moisture content.

Orthodox tea suppliers

Orthodox tea quality depends on a wide variety of factors and one of the most crucial one is the type of manufacturing process employed by various orthodox tea exporters. There are markets where the shape and style of the leaves are priced much more than the actual taste of the brew. Therefore, the type of Orthodox tea supplier that you should go for depends entirely on your target market and the pricing requirements. Therefore, the Orthodox tea price offered by the supplier can be a crucial factor. But, due to the intense competition amongst exporters to supply the best orthodox tea, you always stand the chance of winning a great deal if you spend the right amount of time in research. Also, if you are planning to buy loose orthodox tea in bulk, chances are that you will get a good rate.