Darjeeling tea is a delicate beverage and its processing is also a “delicate affair”. It requires precise measurements of pressure, temperature and airflow for preserving delicate flavor and essence of Darjeeling tea. Now, let’s have a look at the intricate process of Darjeeling tea manufacturing…
Crafting of this beverage begins right at the garden where they are grown. Tea leaves are plucked fresh very early in the morning when there are the dew drops on the leaves. The leaves are hand-picked with utmost care.
In withering, tea leaves are put on big laths are covered with wire mesh. Then cold and hot air passes through it that removes around 65% to 75% of moisture from the leaves. By this flavor of the blends starts developing.
Next is the rolling where the leaves pass through large spindles or rollers. Tea is now rolled for removing moisture and flattening them. In this process, coarse leaves are removed and constant pressure twist tea leaves to rupture its cells so that natural juice is released. Rolling changes the color of the tea from green to brown coppery color.
Rolled blends are now placed on fermentation racks for oxidation. Fermentation is a sensitive and delicate process that takes place at low temperature. Darjeeling brews are very delicate and even a small variation in temperature or time can alter its flavor. Oxidation further deepens the color of the tea. Oxidation process varies according to the type of the blend. For instance, green tea is not at all oxidized, oolong is partially oxidized and black brews are totally oxidized.
Once oxidized, tea leaves are put on a dryer. To have correct dryness, temperature, tray’s speed, air volume and thickness of the spread – everything should be precise. Proper drying or frying reduces the moisture content to 2-3%. It is important to maintain correct balance so that drinkers can enjoy authentic flavor of Darjeeling teas.  
This is the final stage where sieves oscillate mechanically to sort out blends for determining their grades. The sieves are designed in such a way that big leaves remain on the top and small leaves fall at the bottom. Thus, the whole process of manufacturing Darjeeling tea shows how intricate the entire procedure is. Each step is performed with utmost care and proficiency so that real flavor, aroma and nutritive value of Darjeeling is preserved.