Tea leaves spread out as far as the eye can see

30 August 2011
Tea leaves spread out as far as the eye can see

In Assam, anything related to tea processing takes place on a massive scale, because of the incredible yield they get here: four times higher than in Darjeeling. The plantations themselves cover a much larger area than elsewhere in the country.

Take the withering, for example. Instead of troughs 10 to 15 metres wide, which I am used to seeing in other parts of India, here the leaves are spread out as far as the eye can see. I took this photo at night, and the dim light adds to the mystery of this essential stage in tea processing. During the withering, the leaf will lose much of its water content (up to 40% for Assams; up to 70% for Darjeelings).

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