The macerated leaf is conveyed to the fermenter bed from the CTC rollers. The tea at this stage is known as “dhool”.
The dhool is spread evenly over the fermenter bed at a thickness of about 100mm.
The fermenter is made up of two sections of variable speed moving belts, which are perforated in order to expose the dhool to oxygen from the ambient air, as well as added humidification from below the bed.
The oxidation process lasts 90 minutes, resulting in the tea to develop a golden brown colour.
The final qualities of the made tea, such as the complexities of the flavours, its strength and its briskness, depend greatly on the outcome and quality of the fermentation process.