The leaves are then sifted and move on to huge rollers. The rollers pass over the leaves in a circular motion, rolling the leaves, but not breaking them or tearing them apart. The extracts more moisture and it is spread on the surface of the leaves, supporting oxidation.
Onto the drying! The tea particles are dried in large drying chambers and the fermentation is deactivated. This turns the tea into a jet-black color. Then the tea is sifted and sorted again into “grades.” The finer particles are graded higher. The grade also determines the cost.
I put together a short video of the process as well: