Labour intensity of the tea leaves harvesting is determined by the high-altitude location of plantations, which complicates the use of technology. This, in turn, allows only the use of exceptionally manual, sorting and cautious harvesting without the use of the machinery. Tea is mechanically harvested mainly in the East African plateau areas, as well as in Georgia. Mechanized harvesting technology allows increasing the volume of the harvested leaves, and reducing the harvesting costs, however, the tea quality, which is harvested in such a way, is significantly lower than the hand-harvested tea.
Company “Ahmad Tea” uses only high-quality hand-harvested teas, when just two upper leaves and the bud are hauled off – the most sappy and nutrient on the bush.
High quality standards of the English company “Ahmad Tea” allow using only the best, selected raw materials, even though more expensive - because, for 1 pound (approx. 450 g) of black tea the harvester (typically women) should make tens of thousands of hand movements. In addition, the ratio of harvested tea is at average of 4:1 (i.e., from 4 kg of fresh leaves you can get 1 kg of tea).
Tea harvester’s daywork is at average 30-35 kg. In order to fully assess the intensive manual labor in the tea harvester, it’s enough to put so many kilograms in the backpack (tea leaves are harvested in baskets on the back) and to walk along the steep mountain slopes, moving carefully and slowly, as the excessive shaking may cause the breaking up of the tea leaf and the loss of its quality.
Usually in the process of harvesting one hectare of tea plantations is served by 4-6 of harvesters, but tea (especially sorting) grows at the separated, isolated mini plantations, each of 0.5 ha. So, in the mountains, you need to walk from one plantation to another! Taking into the account the scorching sun, heat, insects and excessive moisture, You can guess the approximate price of high quality tea. But tea, harvested in the best plantations, is worth it. “Ahmad Tea” tea lovers can appreciate that every time, when they come together for a tea break!