Drying Process of Black Tea

In this article, we will look into the critical step of quality determination of black tea processing. You may think why this drying process is critical. Well, there are some special reasons to consider the drying process as a critical step in black tea manufacturing.

First important one is shelf life of tea. shelf life of tea highly depends on the final moisture content of dried tea particles. This is determined by the drying process. Next one is outer appearance of tea particles. Proper drying will result the ideal black colour and aroma of the tea particles which is important for market value.

Now we will move to the drying process in mechanical method. There are two types of dryers used in tea drying process. They are ECP (Endless Chain Pressure) Dryers and FBD (Fluid Bed Dryer) Dryers. Both dryers will be charged with fermented dhool in inlet doors and adjust the inside condition as its optimum. In ECP dryer ambient inlet air temperature is 88 – 91 0C. In this temperature range optimum residence time is 21 minute. Under this conditions, end product can be obtained as moisture percent around 3 which is optimum in quality tea. Also final product will be in desired blackish appearance and fruity aroma. In fluidized bed dryer optimum conditions are bit differ from ECP dryer. Inlet air temperature for FBC is 127 0 C. Both machines are commonly used in large scale tea production frequently.

The other method is natural drying process. This is mainly used in small scale traditional type tea manufacturing. Most of the time manually rolled leaves will be dried in bamboo tats and racks in well ventilated conditions. Natural air or the sunlight is used in this natural drying process. This process is commonly used in traditional type Asian green tea manufacturing. In addition, specialty tea manufacturing like silvertips, full bud type leafy tea manufacturing.

Even which method is used, final moisture percentage of dried tea should be around 3% as world quality standards. Even this moisture percentage is obtained, that can be changed according to the packaging quality.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.