t-Series Designer Gourmet Tea by Dilmah Craighead Estate Orange Pekoe XS 2017

Craighead Estate Orange Pekoe XS 2017

This unique seasonal tea has beautiful form, with the bud adding golden highlights to the wiry, rolled leaf. Preparation is an experience, yielding a complex floral fragrance with cedar, rose and plum aromas and a perfect coppery infusion. The brew is reminiscent of a southern sunset, dark orange glowing with the brightness of the tea. This is a gentle tea, complex and expressive of the unique weather conditions that formed its personality. Fruity at first, it evolves on the palate with floral, woody and herbal notes and a lingering finish. A serene tea that extends its gentle character with a soft texture and refined and predominantly fruity flavours.

see-manufacturing-process

Craighead Estate Orange Pekoe XS 2017

Handpicked 22nd April 2017(batch size 10kg)

Craighead Estate is located in Nawalapitiya in the Kandy District and comprises of five divisions. Its highest elevation is 1150 metres above sea level and the tea factory is at 1143 metres. The Estate is bordered by the beautiful Gampola valley to the East, the stunning Dolosbage hills to the West, the Adams Peak to the South, and the Pidurutalagala mountain range to the North.

Handpicking

07:30 AM

22nd Apr, 2017

Handpicking

The leaf is plucked by highly skilled tea pickers, early in the morning, when the cell content of the leaf is at its mellowest, before the harsh upland sun sets in motion the chemical processes in the leaf. The plucking takes place at that time of the year when temperatures are at their lowest , and early morning frost not an uncommon sight in the plantation.

Arrival of Leaf

10:30 AM

22nd Apr, 2017

Arrival of Leaf

Green leaf arriving at the Tea Factory; the handpicked leaves are sorted again to ensure that they consist only of two leaves and bud.

Weighing Leaf

10:45 AM

22nd Apr, 2017

Weighing Leaf

The plucked leaf is weighed and picked over.

Withering

11:00 AM

22nd Apr, 2017

Withering

When tea leaves are plucked from the bushes, the moisture content is about 75%, and is then reduced to approximately 45%. The fresh leaf is spread out on withering troughs about a foot deep and a flow of cool air helps reduce moisture. This process can last from 8 to 18 hours depending on weather conditions. 

Rolling

01:00 AM

23rd Apr, 2017

Rolling

Rolling of the withered leaf was perfected over centuries, a process which brings out flavour in tea. Rolling assists in establishing proper conditions for enzymatic oxidisation of the flavanols by atmospheric oxygen. This is achieved by disruption of cell structure which facilitates enzyme substrate contact.


Fermentation

01:30 AM

23rd Apr, 2017

Fermentation

Fermentation of the leaf to allow conversion of catechins to theaflavins & thearubigins and flavour to develop. The major reaction during fermentation is the conversion of catechins (flavonols), to what is known as theaflavins and thearubigins, dimeric and polymeric compounds, which are mainly responsible for the taste, character and health benefits of black tea.

Firing & Baking

04:00 AM

23rd Apr, 2017

Firing & Baking

During this process, hot air is passed over the tea leaves to deactivate fermenting enzymes. Many organo-chemical processes are accelerated during this process, as are the enzymatic reactions before thermal inactivation. Firing also reduces the moisture level to 2-3%. This is critical as incomplete inactivation can cause accelerated deterioration of quality.


Sorting

04:30 AM

23rd Apr, 2017

Sorting

Leaves that have gone through the firing/baking process are carefully observed and sorted once more at the factory, to ensure proper quality standards are met, as the quality of the leaves often affect the taste of the tea.

Sifting

05:20 AM

10th Aug, 2016

Sifting

Chaminda Gunarathna, Director Plantations of Kahawatte Plantations PLC tasting the tea to assess its strength, flavour, aroma, and appearance.