Making one cup of tea
It was when we got a call from Augustine (who was our guide to Chokramudi Trek).
He offered us another day trip to a property.
he told us about “making one cup of tea” programme conducted by his trekking group. I sounded interesting, so, we joined them. Mr. Augustine came to receive us. We travelled with them towards Marayoor. We had drove around 10-15 kms when our driver took a leap and we moved into the rural part. Then, they took us to Talayar Property. We could see only the tea estates everywhere. Mr. Augustine guided us to a tea field. Here, we saw some women plucking tea leaves. We also joined them. They bought us a basket which we hanged backside through our head. They instructed us to pluck only the tender leaves (that is one or two front leaves). We started plucking leaves. The leaves were so soft to touch. They also warned us to be careful of hidden green snakes which could bite us. i don’t know how these women could pluck so much, I was kind of hard to me. I got tired soon. When i was done with the plucking Mr. Augustine took us to a property bungalow to have refreshment. We had our lunch there. After our lunch, they gave a briefing about the tea estates, tea processing and the history of it. After which, we went to tea factory. There they showed us the leaves we had plucked in the morning. They took those and out in the machine to get processed. It was amazing seeing your leaves turning into dried tea powder. It went through one by one step. First it filtered the small and tender leaves from the big ones. The next step was withering where leaves undergo oxidation that is removing the excess water from the leaves. Then the leaves were bruised into small pieces. The withered rolled leaves were then spread on the fermenting beds and left to ferment. After the fermentation (it has changed its colour), the leaves were then put in a drier to get fired. The atmosphere was filled with tea flavours. Then, we gave us the processed tea to take. It was an amazing feeling to experience each step in tea processing. We gave a big grin to Mr. Augustine for offering us this trip. Now, the way I see the tea powder has totally changed. Every day when I make tea, these things grab my mind. Thanks to Mr. Augustine.. !