Black tea is the major kind of tea consumed in the world. The traditional process for the manufacture of black tea may be broken down into stages called:
*Plucking or harvesting
*Withering – this process results in disrupting the cell structure of the leaves and initiation of the fermentation process.
*Leaf maceration or rolling. Rolling of tea leaves originally done manually, whereas nowadays is performed by machines.
*Firing or drying. This process is to stop the fermentation and to reach the favorable moisture content to suppress microorganism growth.
*Sorting and packaging
The entire tea manufacturing process, from plucking through drying, is usually completed in 6 to 24 hours, depending on climatic conditions and the type of manufacturing equipment employed.
Green tea is made by a process similar to that used for black tea manufacturer except that the fermentation stage is drastically altered by steaming at high temperature the a flush prior to the maceration stage, causing the enzymes in the flush to be inactivated (de-enzyming or fixation).
The basic manufacturing processes of oolong tea include sunlight withering, light rolling, de-enzyming, rolling and drying. The plucking standard for Oolong tea is different from other kinds of tea. It is recommended that shoots with one bud and three to four leaves be plucked.