Your Cup of Tea's Incredible Journey Orange Pekoe tea might sound like an exotic tea to you, but it is actually the most popular tea in the world. It is a black tea that is typically used in blends for making tea bags. This tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. If you are a tea lover and love knowing every detail about the tea you drink, then this article is for you. In this article, we will take you through the journey of Orange Pekoe tea, from harvesting the leaf to brewing your perfect cup of tea.
The First Step in Creating Perfect Orange Pekoe The journey of Orange Pekoe tea starts with the harvesting of the leaves. The best time to harvest the leaves is in the early morning when the dew has evaporated. The leaves are plucked by hand, using the traditional ‘two leaves and a bud’ method. This ensures that only the top two leaves and an unopened bud are picked, as they have the most flavour. After the leaves are plucked, they are quickly taken to the factory to preserve their freshness.
Withering and Rolling:
Shaping the Flavour Profile Once the leaves are at the factory, they are allowed to wither. This is done by spreading the leaves out on large trays and leaving them to dry naturally. This process removes the excess moisture from the leaves, toughens them up, and concentrates the flavour. After the withering process, the leaves are rolled. Rolling the leaves helps to break down the cell structure of the leaves, allowing the flavour and aroma to be more accessible during brewing.
Oxidation and Drying:
Fine-Tuning the Characteristic Taste After the rolling process, the tea leaves undergo oxidation. This process is when the tea leaves are exposed to oxygen, resulting in a chemical change of the leaves' colour and flavour. The longer the oxidation process, the darker the leaves, and the stronger the flavour. After the oxidation process, the leaves are put in ovens to dry.
Packaging and Shipping:
Getting Your Tea Ready to Travel Lastly, the dried tea leaves are packed and shipped to be sold as loose tea leaves or used in tea bags. When brewing Orange Pekoe tea, it is essential to use hot water and steep the tea bag for three to five minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. Adding milk or sugar is optional.
Celebrating the Journey of Your Favourite Brew Orange Pekoe tea, the most popular tea in the world, goes through several processes before it ends up in our cup. Starting with harvesting the leaves by hand and ending with packaging and shipping the dried tea leaves, the journey is quite tedious. But after reading this article, you are now one step closer to becoming a tea connoisseur. Whether you prefer your tea with milk, sugar, or prefer to drink it plain, you can now appreciate the work and effort that goes into each cup of Orange Pekoe tea. So the next time you sip a cup of Orange Pekoe tea, you know the journey from harvest to cup.