Tea leaves are hand-plucked to ensure the highest quality. The expert pluckers, some of them with over 40 years of experience at Bharat, move carefully yet rapidly, selecting a terminal bud and two young leaves from Camellia sinensis bushes. An example of poetic motion, hand-picking is executed with a snap of the forearm, arm, or even the shoulders. An experienced plucker can pull over 20-30 kgs of choice leaves every day. Only the best leaves are selected and defective leaves do not make it into the manufacturing process. Select Bharat teas are hand-plucked. Others are harvested by shears or by machines, which increases yield to 200kgs per person per day.


    Tea leaves begin to wilt soon after plucking. This marks the beginning of enzymatic oxidation. Withering facilitates removal of excess water and limited oxidation. Withering frees caffeine within the tea leaves and changes its taste. The aim of the withering process is to reduce moisture levels from around 40% to 60%, while simultaneously not over-withering, as that would lead to higher wastage, and off-grades being produced. The Bharat Group withers its tea leaves the traditional way: leaves are spread out on troughs with perforated beds in a cool, temperature controlled room for 12-18hours, and are monitored with great care.


    In this process, the tea leaves are bruised or torn in order to break the cells in the leaves which then cause oxidation to occur. The juices that are left over from withering pour out of the leaves adding to their aroma.
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    For teas that require oxidation, the leaves are left on their own in a climate controlled room where they turn progressively darker. This is accompanied by agitation in some cases. In this process the chlorophyll in the leaves is enzymatically broken down, and its tannins are released or transformed. This process is sometimes referred to as “fermentation”, and while many companies use machines to aid fermentation, the Bharat Group ferments its products the traditional way, by placing the tea on trays in a temperature-controlled room. This further differentiates our flavours and aromas, making them one-of-a-kind. Bharat Group oxidizes different varieties of tea for different durations and has perfected this fine art to provide subtle nuances to each of its products.


    Drying is done to “finish” the tea for sale. This process arrests the fermentation at levels that are suitable, in order to prevent excess fermentation. This can be done in a myriad of ways including sunning and air-drying. The dryer is fired up to temperatures of 220-240 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring all bacteria and germs are killed. The moisture levels at the end of this process would be 2-3%. Flavoured teas are manufactured in this stage by storing them with their flavorant fruits and flavours.


    Unsorted made tea is put through a vibrating electrolysis machine which allows the tea of different sizes to fall through its matching mesh sizes, thus dictating its grade. The unsorted/left over tea is rejected as stalks and fibres.