Oolong Tea Production

Ever wondered HOW tea gets from bush to package?


There’s a complex sequence of events which varies  depending on the product.


GREEN TEA (Not Fermented)

  1. 40-45 days after trimming
  2. Pick fresh shoots – 1 shoot & 2 leaves
  3. Air dry them in the shade for 8 hours
  4. Turn them over every 2 hours
  5. Put them in a heating machine at 280-300 Celsius, allowing 5 minutes for every 8 kgs
  6. Remove from the heating machine & rub them until they become thin strips
  7. Put them in a roasting machine 3 times, for 30 minutes each time at 180-200 Celsius.
  8. Grade them after roasting, then roast one more time for 30 minutes.
  9. Pack for sale.

Akha ladies picking tea – Wet Season 2010 – Doi Mae Salong


RED TEA (100% Fermented)

Procedures 1-4 identical to the Green Tea process above.

  • Rub the tea leaves for 10 minutes.
  • Soak a piece of cloth, big enough for 8 kgs of tea leaves) in water, then expel the water until the cloth is merely damp.
  • Then use it to wrap 8 kgs of tea leaves for 1 hour.
  • Unwrap the cloth and look at the colour of the tea leaves, & shake the cloth to cool the leaves.
  • If the cloth is too dry, sprinkle some water on it, then rewrap the cloth. Repeat this process until the leaves turn red.
  • Then roast the tea leaves 3-4 times.


OOLONG TEA (20-30% Fermented)

  • After trimming for 40-45 days (Rainy season & summer), 70 days winter.
  • Pick fresh shoots ( 1 shoot 2 leaves.)
  • Dry them in the sun, not so strong sunlight, for 20-30 minutes.
  • Air dry them in hand made bamboo woven trays in door for 2 hours.
  • Turn them over once every 2 hours. Repeat this process 3 times.
  • Pile them up to a height of 30cms for about 1or 2 hours, until the aroma required is achieved.
  • Put them in a heating machine only once.


  • Rub them.
  • Wrap them with a piece of cloth.
  • Put them in a folding machine & let the machine work 10-20 times.


  • Roast them.
  • Grade them.
  • Pack them.


A trip to Doi Mae Salong is a tea-lovers treasure trove of brews and blends and tasting sessions!

The GT Rider