Tea-Harvest and storage
It takes approximately 3-4 years to harvest tea leaves. When plucking the leaves for a high quality tea, the bud and the second and third leaves are harvested. This is called fine plucking.
Harvesting tea needs to be done in the early morning. Fine plucking makes very fine and delicate flavored tea. It is usually lighter and sweeter in taste.
If more leaves are taken with the bud it is called a coarse plucking. It produces a lower quality tea and makes a strong flavored tea.
In tea harvesting there are normally two harvests seasons in a year. The “first flush” is in early spring and the “second flush” is in summer. The best times for harvesting tea will vary according to the tea variety which is to be harvested
The time interval between two successive plucking is called plucking round. Pluck at 7-10 days interval during high cropping months and 12-15 days interval during low cropping months.
Removal of banjis and breaking-back should be a part of plucking operation. Do not pluck below the harvest level. The immature shoots should not be plucked.