The withered leaf is fed to the tea processing machinery at an even and constant rate, which in our case is 1200kg of withered leaf every hour. To achieve this, we weigh the withered leaf in the trough into baskets of 5kg and these are tipped, every 15 seconds, onto feed conveyers which lead to the machinery in the factory.
The first step of fabrication consists in triturating the withered leaf; firstly by shredding it with a rotorvane. A CTC (Crush – Tear – Curl) machine then triturates the leaf material by passing it through four sets of sharpened rollers which cut the material into ever smaller particles, breaking the leaf’s cells. This frees the cellular fluids, which enter into contact with the oxygen in the air, starting the next phase of fabrication: Fermentation (also known as Oxidation).