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The core part of the name Okayti is certainly its tea, and the several steps involved in the processing is followed meticulously for a coherent flavour.
Workers with skills acquired over the years pluck the tender and fresh shoots comprising of two leaves and a bud. The leaves should not break; if it does, the essential enzymes (that oxidizes the leaves in the later stage) will be lost. It takes approximately 22,000 fresh shoots, all hand-picked to make 1 kg of dry tea. The carefully plucked tea is collected in a bamboo basket and it makes its travel to the factory.
After plucking, almost all of the processing happens inside the factory. The hygiene of the factory is a sacred affair; no lapses are entertained. The freshly plucked leaves are evenly spread in troughs for withering. After hours of withering, the leaves get rid of excess water.
The soft leaves are then rolled by machines under strict supervision so that overheating does not take place and the character of the leaves is intact. Tea leaves are gently rolled against each other. In the process, the leaves emanate essential enzymes which help in oxidation.
After careful rolling of the leaves, it is left in a cold and humid room in very thin layers. This is the important step in the process of tea making where tea receives its character. The time of oxidation varies for different types of tea. The enzymes emanated facilitate oxidation and the colour of the tea leaves drastically changes in this process, from lovely olive green to dark brown.
After fermentation, the leaves are fired. The fermented leaves are taken to the dryer where it is subjected to a varying temperature for several minutes. The degree of firing depends on what type of tea is being made. White, green and first flush teas are fired mildly while black teas are heavily fired. The soft fermented leaves lose their remaining moisture and it becomes crispy dry.
The last process involves sorting the tea leaves. The leaves are sorted according to grade and are packed in specially designed foil-lined packages to avoid breakage. The tea is then all set to leave the factory, ready to charm its connoisseurs.