The Wikiliya Process

At Wikiliya, the plucked tea leaves go through the climate changes of all seasons, before the end product is packed.

The story precedes to say that he was part of a Scottish Company ‘Anglo-American Direct Tea Trading’ that commenced operations in the year 1930, along with ‘James Finlay & Company Limited’. With his profound love for the industry, and passion for creating a brand of tea that would be so exquisite in flavour, and unique in its character, Alexander introduced to the world the ‘Wikiliya Teas’ that were especially in demand in the European market.

All in a day of the life of a Tea Leaf!

The picked leaves are weighed, then fed into the trough and left to wither for approximately 13 hours. Teams take shifts to stay overnight, to make sure the leaves are perfectly withered and ready for the process. Withering is important to prepare the leaves for further processing by reducing their moisture content and to allow for the development of aroma and flavour compounds. Controlling the withering process means closely monitoring humidity, temperature and air-flow over time. The windows in the withering area are kept open, so that the weather condition within the room is kept natural. Once the leaves are withered to perfection, they are quality checked, weighed, and then fed from the top, to reach the roller machines.

The tea leaves rolling area is artificially hydrated to be kept cool. During this process the leaves are twisted, thus enabling them to release natural juices. This action activates enzymes that help to initiate fermentation. Rolling also gives the leaves a curled appearance.

This is followed by leaving the leaves to be fermented in the same room. Fermenting is the process of oxidizing green tea leaves to make black teas. The green leaves are spread out and exposed to the air for three to four hours. During this chemical process, the leaves turn a reddish brown shade; which gives fermented tea its dark appearance. All fermented teas undergo a similar enzyme-oxygen reaction; however, the duration and temperature at which the reaction occurs are critical to the final product.

Then the fermented tea is moved to the drying area, in which the temperature is sweltering. This is where the leaves are nurtured before they are packed and on their way out! During this process the enzyme activities are stopped and the moisture content is brought down to 2-3%. Then the tea is passed through ‘fibre man’, a machine that sorts tea according to size of fragments.

Finally, the sorted tea is weighed and packaged according to its type and grade, before bidding adieu to Wikiliya, and being on its way to serve millions of tea connoisseurs around the globe!

Read More

© for Wikiliya Tea by: 230 interactive