Orthodox Tea Machinery – Whole leaf teas that manufactured using the traditional process of making tea are basically Orthodox Teas. It is generally bright and brisk and has a multi layered flavor profile. Orthodox teas, depending on the processing methodology can bring out the more complex and subtle multi-layered flavors of loose leaf teas.
Manufacturing of Orthodox tea includes withering, preconditioning, rolling (roller or rotor vanes), roll-breaking and green leaf sifting, fermentation, drying, grading & sorting and finally packing.
To begin with withering, there are various machines available like:
- Withering Troughs: To ensure good withering this machine consisting of one axial flow fan, ducting with air controlling damper and a long tunnel covered with wire mesh.
- Axial Flow Fans : This aero-dynamically designed machine ensures uniformity of withering.
Rolling : After achieving satisfactory wither, the leaf gets ready for rolling. This process twists the leaf, breaks it up and expresses the juices
Orthodox machines used for Rolling:
- Rotor vane: The rolled leaves are mixed thoroughly here. This step ensures proper coating of the leaf with the juice as it aids in maceration and extraction of juice from the leaves.
- Tea Roller: It is one of the ancient and basic machines required for the primary process in manufacturing Orthodox teas.
- Balanced Green Leaf Sifter: Green Leaf Sifters are used in the tea industry mainly for – pre-conditioning withered leaves, quality control and for optimizing output. Its vertical oscillating movement of this machine causes leaves to travel along the perforated tray in a series of hops, sifting undesirable elements and breaking the lumps in the leaves in the process.
Fermentation: It is one of the most important steps in determining the quality of tea.During fermentation, the leaf changes color and turns into a dark copper tone. Typical aroma develops at this stage.Though actual fermentation starts at rolling it is continued in the next stage.
Orthodox machines used for Fermentation:
- Single/ Double Stage Continuous Fermenting Machine (Belt / Tray): Theater dynamically designed air duct facilitates uniform distribution of humidified air at 95% RH and checks hygiene.
- CFM Auto Controller: Similar to the previous machine this new and automated CFM machine ensures energy saving.
Drying : After firing, the tea is spread out to cool and then temporarily stored to wait to sort. The hot-feed driers are one of the modern innovations, where hot air is supplied separately to the feeder to arrest fermentation immediately.
Orthodox machines used for Drying:
- Vibratory Fluid Bed Dryers (VFDB):This machine helps in the manufacturing of best quality tea as it is fitted with an efficient fiber extraction cyclone system and Dust extraction & re-firing system.
- Tray Type Conventional Dryer / ECP Dryer: It has high moisture evaporation capacity.
Following these traditional steps comes the basic steps of grading and sorting, which is almost common to all kinds of tea.