After my trip to Top Station yesterday, I popped into the Tea Museum on the way back to the hotel. This will be of interest to absolutely no one but since it was explained to me, I’m writing it down! 😊
The Tea Museum may be unique in that it has the working machinery used to make black tea. You can actually see tea being made in the museum from the moment green leaves are fed into the machine to when black tea emerges.
Photo 2 shows something that looks like the Large Hadron Collider or maybe a smaller particle accelerator 😊. Tea leaves are fed into it at the far end and go through four stages of being crushed before going into oxidation for about an hour. When the leaves emerge, they look a bit like wet black mulch.
Then it whizzes up and across the top from right to left to dry (photo 5). After it dries, rollers crush the tea further (photo 3).
The crushed tea then goes into either the left rubbish tin because it’s too coarse or the right bag (photo 3). If it goes in the right bag, it’s fed into the yellow vibrating drum machine (photo 4) to be split into separate bags according to fineness.
It’s a very simple process that must have taken years to develop and perfect.
It’s a great idea to have the tea made before your very eyes!