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Orthodox tea refer to those teas that are hand-processed or rolled in a machine in a similar process like the one by hand. All whole-leaf teas undergo orthodox processing.
Orthodox tea goes through 4 main steps – withering, rolling, oxidation and firing. The tea leaves are first spread out for almost a whole day for the moisture to evaporate from the tea leaves. Then the leaves are hand-rolled or machine-rolled to release essential oils and chemicals, preparing it for oxidation. The tea is then left in open air in a controlled environment for 3-4 hours, for the leaves to turn darker. In the last step, firing, a heater stops the oxidation process and dries the leaves before it can be graded.
Orthodox tea provides a more authentic tea experience compared to regular black tea. Due to the delicate processing and great flavour, orthodox black tea is very famous and highly prized in the tea market.