t-Series Designer Gourmet Tea by Dilmah Craighead Estate Dawn 2016 FBOP

Craighead Estate Dawn 2016 FBOP

This rare harvest of the bud and first leaf is Nature's New Year gift, crafted by cool, dry weather over Christmas and handpicked for the dawn of 2017. A tea of extraordinary finesse, the neatly wiry leaf brews a bright, golden orange tea with a fragrance that is softly reminiscent of a garden awakening in spring. The coppery leaf reveals quality, and the exceptionally refined tea offers beautiful notes of mango, mild herbs and grapes, ending perfectly with a mild sweet citrus finish.

see-manufacturing-process

Craighead Estate Dawn 2016 FBOP

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

07:00 AM

29th Dec, 2016

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

02:00 PM

29th Dec, 2016

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

03:00 PM

29th Dec, 2016

Weighing Leaf

The plucked leaf is weighed and picked over.

Tet Withering

04:30 PM

29th Dec, 2016

Tet 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

07:30 AM

30th Dec, 2016

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

08:30 AM

30th Dec, 2016

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

09:00 AM

30th Dec, 2016

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

10:00 AM

30th Dec, 2016

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.

Tasting

12:10 PM

30th Dec, 2016

Tasting

Dilmah Taster Gunasiri tasting the tea to assess its strength, flavour, aroma, and appearance.