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Myths & Variants as to the origin of tea

teeblaetter

Did you know that the tea bag was invented inadvertently?

In 1908 The New York tea importer Thomas Sullivan was sending tasting tea samples to his customers. Because he could not ship loose tea, and the shipping was too expensive in heavy tin cans, he packed the samples in small mousseline bags. However, the customers did not unwrappe the tea and dipped the whole bag into the water. They found the invention of the tea bag pretty handy - even though if it was not foreseen by Sullivan.

 teekoerbe

Tea has played a significant role in Asian culture for centuries:

According to one legend Bodhidharma founder of the Zen school of Buddhism, after meditating for nine years, he accidentally fell asleep. He woke up in such disgust at his weakness, he cut off his eyelids and they fell to the ground and took root, growing into tea bushes.

In one popular Chinese legend around 2737 BC, Shennung, the legendary Emperor of China, inventor of Chinese medicine, was drinking a bowl of boiling water. The wind blew and a few leaves from a nearby tree fell into his water and began to change its color. The ever inquisitive and curious monarch took a sip of the brew and was pleasantly surprised by its flavor and its restorative properties. 

Tea Processing

All teas come from the same plant. The differences stem from how they are processed.  
Freshly harvested leaves contain 75-83% moisture while processed tea has a moisture content of less than 3%. Tea production is simply a drying process. However some chemical changes take place by natural fermentation which gives different varieties of teas.

tea processing

Black Tea undergoes a full fermentation process composed of four basic steps - Withering, Rolling, Fermenting, and Firing (or Drying).

There are two types of Black tea processing

  • Orthodox this is the traditional method or the hand method.

  • CTC (Crush, Tear, Curl)

Green tea
Green tea is often referred to as "unfermented" tea. The freshly picked leaves are allowed to dry, then are heat-treated to stop any fermentation (also referred to as oxidation.)

Oolong tea
Oolong tea is generally referred to as "semi-fermented" tea for the manufacture of oolongs; the leaves are wilted in direct sunlight, and then shaken in bamboo baskets to lightly bruise the edges. Next, the leaves are spread out to dry until the surface of the leaf turns slightly yellow. Oolongs are always whole leaf teas, never broken by rolling. The least fermented of oolong teas, almost green in appearance, is called Pouching.

White tea
White tea it is the least processed of its many varieties. The new tea buds are plucked before they open and simply allowed to dry.  White tea is not oxidized or rolled, but simply withered and dried by steaming.

Flavored tea
Flavored tea is created when the additional flavorings are mixed with the leaf as a final stage before the tea is packed. For Jasmine tea, whole jasmine blossoms are added to green or oolong tea. Fruit-flavored teas are generally made by combining a fruit's essential oils with black tea.

Tea Picking

The best tea leaves are small and young, and plucked from the tip of the tea bush (this is known as "Orthodox" method).
Categories of leaf size used as deciding factors for picking.

Flower Pekoe Tiny shoots and unopened buds are picked.
Orange Pekoe Youngest opened leaves are picked.
Souchong Older, coarser leaves closer to the trunk of the shrub are picked

Another factor in the picking of young leaves is calling a "flush" This is when there is a sprouting of new buds and leaves on a plant. These fresh young leaves and buds are then picked. A tea plant may flush more than three times within a single growing season.

Tea Weighing

On receipt of tea at the factory from the estate, the fresh tea leaves are weighed and recorded.

Sorting & Cleaning
The dry tea leaves received are sorted & cleaned

Withering:
Tea leaves are spread on racks or troughs to reduce their moisture content.

Rolling & Breaking:
Tea leaves are rolled in order to break down their structure and release their natural juices and enzymes. This begins the fermentation process.

Fermentation:
Takes place when tea is spread on trays in a cool, humid atmosphere to oxidize the leaves. It changes the chemical structure of the leaf, the leaves turn from green to coppery red. The longer a tea is allowed to ferment, the stronger flavor it will have and the darker it will become. Some teas are not fermented at all.

Firing & Baking:
The leaves are dried and the fermentation process is retarded. In this stage, the leaves move through hot air chambers to stabilize the leaves and lock in the flavor.

The economics of teabags - added value

I1 2015 Cover STIRFarhad Pirouz, managing director and C.E.O. of dph tea bag machine company in Germany, explains that “the greatest value addition in tea is the packaging segment.” During a presentation at the 5th Global Dubai Tea Forum last April Pirouz said that tea bags account for 12% of the volume of world production but “their sales value is much higher”.

Only 2% of India’s tea is sold in tea bags while 96% of the tea sold in France is packaged in tea bags. Germans drink 92% of their tea in tea bags and American 65%. Vendors in these countries add value by cleaning, blending, flavoring, and packaging tea in numerous formats.

In France tea exports averaged $17.33 per kilo in 2010. India’s tea exports averaged $3.31 and China $3,92 per kilo.

Pirouz points out that for producing countries tea bags are inherently efficient as they require only 1.5 grams of tea versus 3 grams of loose leaf and thus deliver higher value per kilo.

In 2012 India’s domestic tea drinkers consumed 931,000 metric tons of tea leaving only 180,000 for export. Packaging 25% of its 2012 production in teabags would have made available 297,000 metric tons for export, earning 30% to 35% more foreign currency, explains Pirouz.

“In order to meet growing demand, where growth in population and a decrease in production is forecast, is it wiser ... (a) to invest in increasing production of tea or (b) invest in improving the infrastructure of our value chain?” asks Pirouz.

...

(source citation: STIR, issue 1,2015, page 36,37)

TEABAG MACHINES & PACKAGING SOLUTIONS
low cost - long life - high quality

Decide For Future!

We at dph have decided to represent machines which are “the machines of the future”. Based on this vision, we have decided in favour of HST and its range of teabag packing machines to be the right machine range for the market, for our customer and friends.

Some of the features of HST and its range of machines which make them “the machines of the future” are:

Environmentally friendly: Very low power consumption, some of them with less than 1 kW/h
State of the Art: Machines produce staple less teabags (knotted bags – both at the tag and as well as the bag end)
Flexibility: Machines can be adjusted from naked to enveloped teabag production and vica versa within 45 minutes
Counts of the produced bags can be interchanged with one touch on the control panel
Packs black / green teas; fruit teas and herbs
Carton size can be changed in an automatic multi row cartoning machine within 30 minutes
Choice of range ̶ The customer has a choice of:

Both side staple, knot on bag side only or both side knotted
A naked bag, crimped paper envelope or heat seal outer envelope
Manual takeaway, single row automatic cartoning or multi row automatic cartoning
Possible to provide a checkweigher with the machine
Sustained profitability and highest return on investment:

These machines are economically priced and have the lowest “cost per bag” compared to its competition
Very economically priced high quality spare parts relative to market norms
Use of standard parts, wherever possible, reduces spare parts cost as well as reduces the need to carry stock of spare parts
Reliability and durability:

These machines are mechanically driven and use a highly reliable and long lasting cam drive technology
Since these machines are mechanically driven (relative to servotronic driven machines), they are less susceptible to fluctuations in power-supply and hence more reliable
Long working life and high re-sale value / demand
Machines are 100% made in Germany and hence carry the reliability / durability stamp associated with German made machines
At the very end, our customers want to produce “state of the art” teabags for your markets, using production lines that are cost effective, simple to run / maintain, serving you a long time into the future.

It’s time to “Decide For Future” !