From our first-hand experience
What we've learned about the drying process
For the first 9 years of processing and drying Honeybush Tea, we sundried the tea on custom made drying beds. However, we were constantly looking for more effective ways to dry our tea as bad weather conditions were playing havoc with our attempts to process and dry our tea in the limited time available. Our production relied on good weather conditions, and if the weather would turn bad within 24-hours we had a problem getting our tea below 10% moisture in order for it to be bagged and tagged.We overcame this problem by erecting our first 4 modified greenhouses in order for us to dry our tea naturally without having to rely on good weather. Come rain, sunshine or tremendously strong winds the processing and drying can continue. Although the tea is dried inside the greenhouses, no electricity or other form of man-made power are used. The moisture and drying is monitored by means of carefully designed windows that can be opened or closed depending on the moisture level of the tea being dried. When the first four greenhouses have proven itself as effective four more greenhouses were added to our drying area that following 18 months, with additional modifications that were added. These additional modifications were necessary as no greenhouses at that stage were designed for the purpose of drying Honeybush Tea. The design for the greenhouses had to be adapted to fit our purpose and need. The company who built the greenhouses for us were eager to change the design on the new greenhouses as this was a steep learning curve for all involved. We are proud to show a total of 8 greenhouses in which we can dry our tea naturally without bad weather conditions ruining our processing and drying.
These photos shows how it was done during the first 9 years. With the new greenhouses the problem with bad weather was immediately resolved.