Ranga Bedi



 May 7 2016

 We have to thank Ranga Bedi for supplying the following story of Tea

Life Is Better With Tea




7 Best Tea Books To Make You An Expert

By Mary Ann on May 04, 2016 11:17 pm


You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me. – C. S. Lewis

7 Best Tea Books To Make You An Expert

7 Best Tea Books To Make You An Expert

Let’s head back to basics today, as in tea basics. I’m writing this review of the seven best tea books that will make you a tea expert with two goals in mind: (1) to share what I’ve learned about tea and (2) to provide you with access to some of the best tea books all in one place. Then we can chat more about TEA!

Today we dive into the world of tea books. Because before our beloved tea became a beverage, it was a leaf. With some basic knowledge of how tea is made under your belt– you will know more than most people. Who doesn’t yearn for that kind of expertise?!

Whether that is the super nerdy chemistry of tea or simply a favorite tea, this review is a space for me to deliver something a little more substantial than tea recipes: knowledge.

I have seven books in my tea library that I constantly go back to. These are not only my personal favorites but are also the favorites of other tea enthusiasts. I must confess I actually have a lot more than seven tea books, I can’t seem to help myself. It’s like an addiction!

My criteria for selecting these specific books are twofold: they have to be timeless favorites and must still be available for purchase. Consider this your tea book smorgasbord starting point.

Any one of these books will teach you some need to know basics in becoming a tea expert, or just look like one. You will learn about your tea options, where tea comes from, how it is produced, how to make tea properly, how to taste tea and appreciate quality and variety.

First you must open your mind to learning about and tasting the many teas that are available. Believe me, there are many. Keep in mind, you can read all you want from a book but you can’t really know tea until you taste it.

This will simply guide you the next time you walk into a specialty tea shop and just stare blankly at all the tea along the the wall. In the end you will find your tea of choice, despite all the variety.



1.   The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide

by Mary Lou Heiss, Robert J. Heiss

Everyone calls this the bible of tea books. And it is. The Story of Tea was nominated in 2008 for a prestigious James Beard Book Award and an IACP Cookbook Award. It was awarded Best Tea Book in the USA from Gourmand Awards, Paris, France, and also won the bronze for Best Tea Book in the World in 2008.

I refer to this book as a textbook on tea. It is not the type of book you read from cover to cover like a novel, although you could. It’s 417 pages are more of a reference book where you select a topic of interest and read that chapter.

The book begins with a history of tea and ten chapters later culminates in cooking with tea. The authors take us on a fascinating tour through the world of tea, from the delicate green tea of China to the full bodied Assam black tea of India.

The husband and wife team offer an insider’s view of every aspect of the tea trade. The Heisses profile more than thirty tea varietals and provide an in depth guide to tea territories, production, brewing and tasting.

Many beautiful pictures are peppered throughout the book including photographs of tea producers and their farms. Chapter five includes a nice encyclopedia of thirty-two different teas.

The latest research on the health benefits of tea is covered while sharing ancient and current knowledge of how tea is beneficial for maintaining health and vigor.

The final chapter includes ten recipes for cooking with tea incorporating tea as a versatile seasoning. I’m seriously thinking about making the green tea chiffon cake with walnuts and crystalized ginger. Dessert first!

A beautifully illustrated and comprehensive book that does not disappoint.


2.   The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea

by Michael Harney

The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea is a good resource for tea drinkers interested in understanding more than just the basics about tea. This is a solid guide to tea. It covers all the different groups of tea differentiating Chinese green tea from Japanese green tea along with the history behind it.

British legacy teas are comprehensively covered including teas from all the major black tea producing regions of the world. Most of these black teas are the ones popular in the Unites States.

A brewing and tasting guide is included along with interesting stories from the author’s travels as a tea purveyor.

The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea is a classic reference for the serious tea drinker. The only drawback is the lack of photographs and illustrations.


3.   The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook: A Guide to the World’s Best Teas

by Mary Lou Heiss, Robert J. Heiss

This is a handy little pocket guide, in size and scope. It is straightforward and factual. A helpful reference source while exploring the world of tea.

The book covers the six main classes of tea; green, yellow, white, oolong, black and pu-erh. Many of the teas discussed are single teas and not blends and would only be found in high end tea shops.

None the less, it is a handy book to have covering very specific types of teas, including how to buy, store and steep tea, along with detailed tasting notes. If you are very new to tea it might be a little overwhelming. I would place this book in the advanced category. An excellent reference for the serious tea taster.


4.   The Book of Tea

by Okakura Kakuzo

I love this book. It is more about the philosophy of tea, which is what makes it so very special.

The original text of The Book of Tea was first published in 1906. I have the 2011 edition with an introduction by Bruce Richardson who is the author of many tea books.

Okakura was a Japanese philosopher who became one of the great thinkers of the 20th century. He is credited with bridging Western and Eastern cultures. He spoke English as well as Japanese, making him capable of expressing the nuances of tea as practiced by the Japanese.

At the turn of the century Okakura became the Director of Asian Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Tea became a metaphor for interpreting Japanese art and spirit.

The Book of Tea is an artists and philosophers book as expressed through tea. Okakura defined tea as the Cup of Humanity, beginning as a medicine and growing into a beverage. Tea eventually became an expression of the way of life in the Asian world.

The Book of Tea chronicles how this came about through art, Teaism, Taoism and Zenism. Tea masters elevated tea to an art form, reflecting on the simplicity of life through a cup of tea. Its about art, philosophy, spirituality, meditation, design, gardening, architecture and yes – tea.

It’s a very special book.


5.   James Norwood Pratt’s New Tea Lover’s Treasury. The Classic True Story of Tea

by James Norwood Pratt

I don’t know James Norwood Pratt on a personal level, but I have spoken with him many times about tea when I first started my tea business. He worked very closely with Devan Shah, who sadly recently passed away, and both were instrumental in helping me select the teas for my tea business.

Pratt is clearly in love with tea and it shows in this book. He appreciates tea like a wine connoisseur appreciates wine, perhaps because he was one before he switched over to tea. But he understands tea with all of its history and nuanced legends.

The book reads more like a story and Pratt makes ancient tea history come alive. Of particular interest is the expansion of the British Empire and the monetary motivations behind tea.

A prized book, it’s divided into two parts: The Romance of Tea and The Treasury. The Romance of Tea covers the history of tea from its inception, while The Treasury goes into some interesting specifics of tea including tea types and how they came about.

The New Tea Lover’s Treasury is an interesting and informative book written with humor, knowledge and loving enthusiasm for a simple cup of tea that’s not really so simple after all.


6.   The New Tea Companion: A Guide to Teas Throughout the World

by Jane Pettigrew, Bruce Richardson

Jane Pettigrew is a very bubbly and charming person. I met her once at one of the World Tea Expos. Mostly I just love her British accent!

The New Tea Companion is a brief and comprehensive guide to the production of tea, the types of tea and the grading of tea. It includes chapters on the newest information about tea and health, tea production, tea blending and tea hospitality.

The Tea Directory section is a guide to 80 world teas. Each one is beautifully pictured as a dry leaf, wet leaf and an infusion describing the character and brewing guides for each. This directory covers teas from the nine major tea producing countries. The description of every tea growing region and the specialty of each country is well covered.

This is a nice reference book for the casual to serious tea drinker.


7.   The Tea Book 

by Linda Gaylard

This is a relatively new tea book, having just come out in July 2015 and is the latest addition to my collection.

First let me say the illustrations are beautiful and abundant. The moment I opened the book I was very impressed with the visuals.

The Tea Book concisely tells the history of tea along with the different forms of tea. Each country is separated and chronicled by the type of tea grown there. Tea traditions from around the world are depicted including their ceremonies and blends.

The chapter on tisanes is a nice feature. Most tea books do not cover them in depth since tisanes are not made from the camellia sinensis plant. An impressive twenty-nine herbs and their benefits are included so they may be blended with traditional teas or consumed on their own.

Steeping notes and eighty-eight step-by-step recipes are offered at the end inviting us to explore all the various ways tea can be enjoyed.

Tea Books On My Wish List

There are three books I should own but don’t so I can’t honestly review them here. Yes, there are still tea books I don’t own yet.


1.   The Everything Healthy Tea Book: Discover the Healing Benefits of Tea

by Babette Donaldson


2.   Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties

by Kevin Gascoyne, Francois Marchand, and Jasmin Desharnais

The second edition won Best Tea Book at the World Tea Awards in 2014.


3.   Modern Tea: A Fresh Look at an Ancient Beverage

by Lisa Boalt Richardson and Jenifer Altman


If you read this far you are really interested in tea! I appreciate that. I’d love it if you would share this post. If you are not a subscriber yet, please join me along with more than 1,000 subscribers! New subscribers can sign up below.

Please leave a comment and let me know any thoughts, suggestions or questions you may have about tea. I want to hear from you!

The post 7 Best Tea Books To Make You An Expert appeared first on Life is Better with Tea.

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February 25 2016


Here are some beautiful photos of our last Republic Day Parade, taken

by a Pakistani journalist of The DAWN newspaper.




February 22 2016 

A wonderful memory

 This is from Ranga Bedi --

all about his mother--- 

a fascinating story of a great lady  



Bygones: From Derby to Delhi - the remarkable story of Freda Bedi

  • Freda and BPL Bedi at about the time of their marriage in 1933.

 Comments (1)

Journalist Andrew Whitehead tells the remarkable story of a Derby-born woman, who became an inspirational figure in Indian nationalism and Tibetan Buddhism:

WHEN Freda Houlston told her best friend, Barbara Betts, she was getting engaged to the handsome Indian student she had been seeing, Barbara replied: "Well thank goodness, now at least you won't become a suburban housewife!"

Barbara was right, of course. Freda, a Derby girl, had already broken through barriers to study at Oxford. Her marriage to Baba Bedi in 1933 was to take her to Lahore, Kashmir and Delhi and a life as a left-wing activist in India that included a spell behind bars, as a political prisoner in Lahore women's jail.

Twenty years later, Freda reinvented herself again. She converted to Buddhism after coming across a guru while working for the United Nations in Burma.



She worked with Tibetan refugees who poured across the Himalayas into India, after China crushed their uprising in 1959 and was the first western woman to take ordination as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. Adopting the name Sister Palmo, with her shaven head and maroon robes, she helped introduce Tibetan spirituality to the beats and mystics of the "New Age" movement in California.

Friend Barbara, who was born in Chesterfield and brought up in Bradford, was pleased that her friend and fellow student was avoiding the chains of domesticity – she was eventually to become better known as Barbara Castle, a fiery left-wing cabinet minister in the 1960s and 70s.

The two women kept in touch – Castle entertained her old friend at the House of Commons and did not bat an eyelid when she turned up in her religious robes.

Freda Bedi's courageous and unconventional life deserves notice. She was a feminist before the term was widely used, taking charge of her own destiny rather than going along with what was expected of her. She challenged boundaries of race, religion and nation. Her politics and her spirituality were reflections of her compassion and intolerance of injustice.

With the help of Freda's three children – one of whom is the Bollywood and Hollywood film star Kabir Bedi, who was a "bad guy" in one of the Bond films (Octopussy) among many other roles – her life story is now being written.

It begins in Monk Street in the centre of Derby, where Freda was born in 1911. Her father had a small jeweller's and watchmaker's shop there. The building is now a tanning studio.

Her parents had been married at the imposing Primitive Methodist chapel – now demolished – in Kedleston Road. Their business did well. By the time she was a toddler, they had moved to Wade Avenue, in Littleover, then on the edge of the countryside.

That happy childhood was shattered by the First World War. Her father enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters and then transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, where casualties were so high it was sometimes spoken of as "the suicide club".

In 1918, in the final months of the war, the family received the devastating news that Frank Houlston had died of injuries sustained in action in northern France. His name appears on the war memorial in St Peter's churchyard, in Littleover.

Freda was confirmed there and read saints' lives and religious works but decided that the Church of England did not provide the solace she sought.

Parkfields Cedars Girls' School nurtured and encouraged Freda. She loved the graceful old building, the twin cedar trees in the grounds and the dedicated teachers. She worked hard and was given the accolade of head prefect.

The school sent a handful of pupils to university every year but getting a girl in to Oxford or Cambridge was a rare event.

Freda agreed to sit the entrance exams to oblige a fellow pupil, who wanted company and moral support. The other girl fell at the first hurdle; Freda won a place, and a scholarship, at an Oxford women's college.

"It was a very quiet little student that came up to St Hugh's College," Freda later recalled, "but it really was the opening of the gates of the world."

She fell in with a talented and ambitious group of friends. As well as Barbara Betts, there was the pioneering broadcaster Olive Shapley and the renowned sailor Pat Bourne. Freda was good-looking, tall and thin with fair hair and striking blue eyes. Her friends nicknamed her Mona Lisa.

Politics loomed larger for Freda at this time than faith. She and her friends went to meetings of the Majlis, the Indian students' society, and listened to debates about Gandhi and India's quest for freedom; and she went to the more tumultuous October Club, where left-wing students gathered to oppose fascism and cheer on the hunger marchers.

At lectures, she came across a well-built student – he was a champion hammer thrower – from Punjab, BPL (Baba) Bedi. He invited her to tea. Freda went along with a friend as a chaperone, as the rules required, and was charmed.

She started popping in to share a simple vegetarian lunch that Baba cooked on a small stove. After a while, she stopped bothering with a chaperone. The rules were largely a dead letter by the 1930s. But the friendship crossed racial boundaries. An officious college employee reported her and she was disciplined – sent home early at the end of the term.

"Nothing very serious," Freda remembered, "but it brought me up against the question of racial discrimination."

In spite of the misgivings of her family (Freda's mother and step-father, Nellie and Frank Swan, had moved to Keats Avenue, near the golf course where her mother played almost every day), the romance blossomed. The disapproval of the university authorities simply made the young couple more determined.

"I remember BPL saying to me, 'I'm a member of the Indian national movement, a follower of Gandhi, and for all I know you may have to wait for me outside jail walls. I've really nothing for you – except my love and the companionship we have'. I never thought about it twice. I just said, 'Yes, whatever it is, let's share it'."

In the summer of 1933, Freda and Baba married at Oxford Register Office. "The registrar looked sour and pointedly omitted to shake hands with us. We came out with my parents and a cousin from India, into a drenching downpour of rain. 'Don't worry,' said my husband, 'rain is auspicious for an Indian bride'."

Within months, the couple moved to Berlin, where Baba Bedi had secured a research post. Their first child was born there. By the end of the following year, they were living in Lahore – then in British India, now one of the principal cities of Pakistan – where they built a modest mud-and-brick home.

From the moment she reached India, Freda regarded herself as Indian. She learned passable Hindi and Punjabi and dressed in the Indian style. In time, she took an Indian passport. She sided within Indian nationalists against what she saw as the racism and injustice of the British Raj.

By that time, she and her husband had written a short book in German about Gandhi, and edited three volumes about India and its prospects for prestigious left-wing publisher Victor Gollancz. It was an impressive achievement for such a young couple.

In Lahore, their collaboration led to pamphlets, journals and political papers. Both were attracted to communism; both were at the heart of a lively, youthful, politically engaged network.

Freda also taught English at a girls' college, wrote regularly for newspapers and immersed herself in the culture of her new home.

When the Second World War broke out, Baba Bedi – as a leading left-winger and opponent of war – was jailed. India faced political turmoil and Gandhi and the nationalists sought a firm commitment on independence.

When Gandhi called on his followers to present themselves for arrest, Freda – in spite of her concerns for her family – felt she could not let the moment pass by.

She travelled to her husband's home town and called on the local magistrate to arrest her as a supporter of India's national movement. The authorities were perplexed about how to deal with a European woman, but she was arrested and spent three uncomfortable and anxious months in Lahore women's jail.

When both husband and wife were released, they moved to Kashmir, where they became key figures in another nationalist movement, seeking to replace an autocratic maharaja with a progressive and secular representative government.

BPL Bedi wrote the movement's key manifesto. Freda Bedi, as well as teaching at a women's college, wore Kashmiri-style clothing to act as a courier and co-ordinator when the male leadership of the movement was thrown into jail.

Again, the Bedis were at the heart of a group of young, reform-minded political figures. They got to know some of the coming generation of leaders, among them a young Indira Gandhi, later to become one of India's most forceful, and controversial, prime ministers.

The political idealism ended on a sour note. First Freda and then Baba became disillusioned with communism and, after a quarrel with Kashmir's new leadership, they moved to Delhi.

Both turned to religion – Baba to mysticism and to the faith he was brought up in, Sikhism; Freda, after her spiritual awakening in Burma, to Buddhism.

When thousands of Tibetans streamed into India across mountain passes from 1959, Freda was called in by the government to help bring some organisation to hastily organised relief camps.

Among the near-destitute refugees, she came across lamas and other revered Buddhist teachers. She made it her mission to help settle these learned Buddhists in their new country, just as she had made her home in India a quarter of a century earlier.

She set up a school for young lamas and a small nunnery. In 1966, she took the bold step of taking ordination. Her children only found out when she appeared in Delhi in her nun's robes. Baba gave his blessing to his wife's choice, though it meant the end of their marriage in any conventional sense.

Freda spent a lot of time in retreat at a Buddhist monastery in Sikkim, a corner of India close to Tibet. She also accompanied some of the most revered Tibetan Buddhists to California, Canada and other parts of the west, where those seeking new forms of spirituality – among them the beat poet Allen Ginsberg – eagerly embraced Tibetan teachings. She felt fulfilled; she died peacefully in Delhi in 1977.

Throughout her life, Freda had taken radical new turnings, but these were never a repudiation of her past. Her visits to Britain were occasional but she kept in close touch with family and friends, and contributed occasional articles to the Derby Evening Telegraph.

More than 30 years after she left Parkfields Cedars, girls at her old school collected money for the Buddhist school Freda had set up in the Himalayas.

And when, in the year before her death, Freda recorded memories of her life, she recalled her childhood with huge warmth: her garden in Wade Avenue, with its laburnum, lilac and pear trees, and the walks with her little brother.

"We both loved the countryside. So we'd wander together over the hedges and over the fields and meadows on the outskirts of Littleover, down The Hollow. And on the Mickleover side, collecting mushrooms and blackberries, which my mother turned into blackberry and apple jam."

However far she wandered, Freda remained, at heart, a Derby girl.

Do you remember Freda Bedi? Why not share your memories with Bygones readers.

ANDREW Whitehead is writing the biography of Freda Bedi and would love to hear from readers with memories or information about her. He can be contacted by e-mail at awkashmir@ gmail.com or through Bygones.

He is also giving an illustrated talk about Freda's life to the Derby Peoples History group at 7pm on Tuesday, February 16, at the Friends Meeting House on St Helen's Street. The event is open to all and entrance is free. For more information, e-mail Keith Venables on derbypeopleshist@ gmail.com.

Read more: http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/Bygones-remarkable-story-Littleover-s-Freda-Bedi/story
Follow us: @DerbyTelegraph on Twitter | derbytelegraph on Facebook



This photo was supplied by Ranga Bedi of his golfing Foursome-

-the Master Golfer at Augusta Georgia USA wears the Green Jacket.

The Masters in Kolkata also wear the Green Jacket 

and I have no doubt their golfing skills meet the high standards

of the Masters,
and they are enjoying it

The Master Golfers of Kolkata

 These gentlemen golfers from LEFT to Right are:

Prakash Makan 78, Ex GEC Calcutta,   Ranga Bedi 80, Ex James Finlay,

Deepak Vakharia 64.   Ram 73 Ex Nigeria

We are like CHAMELEONS ,change Shirt colours every week.

Repeat after a month    New colours each year.

Team name; " 4PLAY "

Should have been " FORE PLAY ", an accurate description of the

standard of Golf  we play AND the spirit in which we play it

making MUTUALLY acceptable rules as we go along.
Modesty and Club protocol thought other wise hence

the  "4 PLAY "!!!!!!!


Benefit; We stand out like a

SORE THUMB or BROKEN TOOTH on the course.



Thanks Ranga for sharing us in the fun

We are gratefull to Ranga Bedi for his input analysis of equipment to manufacture Tea
and hopefully this will start some interesting discussions on the subject. Please send
you comments to the Editor at 


                           TWENTY FIRST  CENTURY


there are three parts to go to

Click below





 LEAF PROCESSING : Case history

From the last quarter of the 19th century when commercial tea manufacture began,
to mid 1930’s, the Orthodox Roller was the only machine known to the industry. These 
R ollers varied in hood size from 30’’ (66 cm ) to 48’’ (105 cm ). The action of the
orthodox Roller was to twist withered leaf in the same way as you would roll a cotton
wick between the palms of your hands. Minimum leaf breakage and a tight twist were
criteria for good rolling. Three to five rolls with a sift between each roll was the norm.
Apart from aerating rolled leaf, the purpose of the sift was to separate leaf that had
been adequately rolled.

Productivity :

On a three roll system the rolling time would be from 90 minutes to 120 minutes
( 30 / 40 minutes each ). With a Roller charge of around 275 kilograms. Process
output of 180 / 200 kgs per hour. Connected H.P. 50, output 4 kgs rolled leaf
per H.P. / hour.


Sixty years after existence of rollers the C.T.C machine was introduced in the
mid thirties.


This process involved a conditioning 30 minutes roll followed by three C.T.C cuts
(2 cuts in some cases). The 48’’ C.T.C machine had a throughput of around 900
kgs rolled leaf per hour. Each line required 2 x 36’’ orthodox rollers for conditioning.

 Productivity :

Rollers : 30 H.P, C.T.C’s : 85 H.P total 115 H.P.

This system gave an output of 7.5 kgs per H.P./hour.

C.T.C manufacture was a revolutionary concept in tea production. Cutting, Tearing
and Curling was sacrosanct while crushing was blasphemy.

C.T.C tea was not only different in size and appearence, it had totally different cup
characteristics. This form of manufacture had all the liquoring attributes minus aroma.
Lets bear in mind that aroma was the most important component of liquor at that
point of time. It was not conceivable that tea would be saleable minus its aromatic
character. Yet the additional cuppage that C.T.C  tea offered could not be ignored
. In a nutshell, C.T.C manufacture took off.

                            25 YEARS AFTER C.T.C

Advent of the Rotorvane :

The early sixties witnessed introduction of the Rotorvane as a pre – conditioner to
replace Orthodox Rollers that were a batch process. To achieve preconditioning
objectives the Rotorvane crushed the hell out of withered shoots. The Rotorvane
proved that there was nothing blasphemous about crushing. If anything liquor,
sizing and appearance were better. The fact that Rotorvane/ C.T.C became a
continuous process was a bonus.

The sixties also saw introduction of L.T.P’s and other substitutes for C.T.C’s, these
did not make a dent in popularity of the C.T.C process. C.T.C’s were also introduced
in sizes varying from 24’’ to 36’’. Quadrants were replaced by sliding block adjustments
resulting in more precise cutting.

 Productivity   : Rotorvane 20 H.P 3 cut C.T.C 55 H.P total 75 H.P.

Output          : 10.5 kg per H.P / hour. 

                     20 YEARS AFTER ROTORVANE

The tea industry witnessed introduction of FLUIDISED BED DRIERS in the EIGHTIES.
These high output machines cut drying cost by half, gained rapid popularity and
hailed the SECOND REVOLUTION after the

C.T.C. with due respect, the Rotorvane
did not produce an end product, was designed as an aid to productivity, it therefore
does not qualify to be revolutionary. An applaudible new concept.

The last ten years have seen a lot of fermenting machines make an appearance.
Most of these  would not stand up to scientific scrutiny. The industry is so desperate
to automate that anything warrants a try.

In brief the Industry’s track record over 125 year period reads as follows :

Late 1800’s Orthodox Roller mechanised Tea processing.

1930’S C.T.C machine invented.

1960’S Rotorvane and trough withering.

1980’S Fluidised Bed drying.

In 1998 we are still using the Rollers from 1875 and C.T.C machines from 1935.
Changes if any, can only qualify the saying “Old Salads in new dressings”. Leaf
processing hasn’t seen a new concept.
A dismal track record by any standards.
My apologies, we did get an Infra Red moisture meter in the 50’s.


                         IN TEA MANUFACTURE ?


The most widely practiced forms are Rotorvane/C.T.C or L.T.P manufacture.

The function of these machines is to cause cell rupture and size withered leaf. This
objective has been successfully achieved by using a Rotorvane and three C.T.C
machines in tandem. Four and Five cuts are also used. However , let a 30 inch
Triplex be the standard.

A Rotorvane is made of gun metal or stainless steel, the C.T.C’s use stainless
steel, cast iron, alloy steels (gear boxes), copper/brass (motors) and mild steel.
The 15 inch Rotorvane weighs 2,000 kg and a 30 inch Triplex weighs 8,000 kg
(including conveyors).

This gives us a Rotorvane/C.T.C line up weighing 10,000 kg (10 tonnes) using
all descriptions of expensive steel. After one hour of consistent and supervised
operation, we process 700 kg (North East India) shoots per hour or 12 kg
withered leaf per minute - 10 tones of precious steel to cause cell damage and
size 12 kg of succulent shoots. Enough connected horse power to get a bi–plane

 Recent trials have established that a Rotorvane / Triplex C.T.C combination, if
more than 70% of the cells. If these findings are anything to go by,10 tonnes of
steel processes 12 kg of shoots per minute and exploits only 70% of liquor potential.


                   A NEW CONCEPT :

                                     SEPERATE OPERATIONS.

Bedi & Bedi, Bangalore, set about this task in 1991 and made some startling findings.
The first experiments were carried out with ultra sound, which achieved 98% cell rupture.
This line of experimentation was given up as air is not a conducive medium for the
conveyance of ultra sound. Experiments were conducted by submerging withered leaf
in water. This was not a practical option and was abandoned.

The next line of approach was to freeze withered leaf at temperatures substantially
below freezing point. Thawed shoots recorded cell rupture exceeding 95%. The
percentage difference of cell rupture in leaf and stem was insignificant. Having
achieved 95% cell rupture in the shoot (in its whole form), only a sizing operation
was required.

B&B trials involved conveying withered leaf through a freezing chamber to freeze
the shoots. Freezing time will vary according to refrigeration equipment installed.
This can be from two to six hours. Shorter the period higher the capital and
operational cost. Withered leaf comes out in the form of frozen whole shoots. These
are thawed and surface moisture removed in perforated high speed spinners. These
shoots, with 95% cell rupture, are fed into a sizing machine. Various types of sizing
machines are available that will size the leaf according to the setting. The sizing
process is 80% efficient. If you wish to make 80% brokens, Fannings or Pekoe Dust
the setting will do it. In other words you can dictate grade percentages without
worrying about liquors.


 Exploiting 95% of leaf liquor potential.

Heating of leaf in C.T.C cutting process or L.T.P’s eliminated. After freezing there is no
latent heat in the leaf. Sizing machines have a clean cut action, there is no hammering
or crushing / squeezing of leaf.

Due to even particle size Fermentation and Drying are even. Sorting is virtually
eliminated, grades are totally even in density.

Lack of handling in the sorting room preserves liquor characteristics.

                         BE CONVERTED TO A GRADE OF YOUR CHOICE.

You will miss the fibre and tea waste! Precision sizing machines do not pulverize
and skin the stem like Rotorvanes, C.T.C’S and L.T.P’S. 


  1. What is the tea like? It gives substantially higher cuppage per kg. How can it be
    different? 95% of the cells have been exploited instead of 70%. The bio–chemical
    composition of the leaf has not been altered in any way.
  2. What will the market reaction be? Leaf appearance and make will depend on the
    type of sizing equipment used. In any case, did C.T.C look like Orthodox? With
    the additional cuppage per kg, the buyer/blender should pay a premium for it.

                                                                          Ranga Bedi

                                                                          Bedi & Bedi Pvt Ltd

                                                                          Bangalore, India

                                                                          PATENT HOLDERS
                                                                                 May 1985 
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                                          TEA MANUFACTURE

At the expense of repeating myself I would like say that as far as development of Tea
PrReturn to mTopocessing machinery is concerned. Industry and Government funded Tea Research
establishments have concentrated on the field while corporate R&D work has remained
in house in terms of achievement and application. Tea Machinery manufactures have
made little or no contribution. In India our slogan since the seventies has been “1000
million kgs of Tea by 2000 AD”. In 1998 we may hit the 800 million mark if AL NINO
does not focus on us. It was amusing to be told at a seminar, that 1000 million was
still achievable if the Industry had the will and took crash measures. This was in 1997,
who else but a politician in power could make such a statement? A crop increase of
200 million kgs in 2 1/2 years. Where is the equipment to handle this volume ? Be
it as it may, can Tea Manufacture continue in its archaic tracks? Who is going to bring
about the Revolution?





Trough Withering with minor variations is an accepted norm and universally adopted.
This form was introduced in the early fifties, 50 years ago. Leaf is loaded into troughs
to a depth of 20 cm (8”) and ambient / warm air applied to dehydrate the shoots. It
has been scientifically established that, if liquor potential is to be adequately exploited,
there must be an interval of at least 12/15 hours between a shoot being plucked and
it being processed. Chemical withering is the term to define this interval. It has also
been accepted that chemical wither occurs at a constant rate and cannot be accelarated
by any form of physical or chemical intervention. As pre process moisture reduction
( physical wither ) is an equally important factor, this is obtained by applying
ambient / hot air into troughs during the chemical wither retention period. In other
words chemical and physical wither progress concurrently. In the present system it is
the logical thing to do

It is my belief that CHEMICAL and PHYSICAL withering cannot be treated as a single
activity. These are two separate entities and must be treated as such. Chemical wither
has a consistent rate while physical wither is totally variable. This apart, physical wither

out over 12/15 hours is uneconomical, uneven, detrimental to quality and above
all totally dependent on the human factor of supervision.



Modify your existing trough side walls to accommodate a loading depth of 24”(52 cm).
Load your trough to this depth and run your fan on ambient air for a period of 2/3 hours
to expel all latent heat from the leaf bed. Choke fan intakes by 50% or more, hold leaf
for desired period of chemical wither, 12 to 15 hours. Leaf is now in storage and no
physical wither, whatsoever, will take place – THAT IS THE OBJECTIVE. In fact, every
endeavor should be made to keep leaf as FRESH AS POSSIBLE.



The two drums are fitted with precisely placed internal flights. Chemically withered leaf
is fed into the first drum on a continuous basis in accordance with rated capacity of the
drum. Hot air is induced co – currently. The internal flights, in the slowly roatating drum,
cause the leaf to be gently lifted and showered REPEATEDLY from the internal apex of
the drum into the path of the hot air in a thin curtain formation. The leaf exits from the
first drum and is fed into a second drum where the process is once again repeated. The
degree of WILT (physical) is controlled by varying time required to obtain withers of upto
65% is 1 hr 20 minutes.

In conventional troughs Hygromatric difference must not exceed 6/8 deg F. HD beyond
this causes, leaf at the bed to crispen and condensation occurs in the leaf bed. However,
in the drum HD upto 30/35 deg F can be applied. Shoots fall in a curtain formation and
are not in contact with hot air constantly – hoots do not heat up as would be expected.
Expelled Moisture on the shoot surface has a cooling action while being carried up by
the flights on the drum walls.

Two drums have to be used. After a specific travel distance in the drum the hot air
gets saturated with moisture. By transfering to the second drum leaf is once again
subjected to hot air with a high hygromatric difference. Evaporative efficiency criteria
dictate the use of two drums.


  1. In conventional troughs wither obtained is an average. A handful of shoots from   
      the bottom 2” of the leaf bed will have a different wither to similar samples drawn
    from the middle and top. Wither obtained is an average of these three samples.
    This is applicable to all troughs including enclosed and reversible. In the case of
    the drum each shoot is treated individually while it repeatedly falls in the path of
    the hot air. If a sample of shoots is drawn at any stage of the process all shoots
    will be identically wilted. Wither percentage of leaf can be dictated. This is not so
    in troughs, there is no control, what so ever, on shoot to shoot variation. In Drum
    wilting you can dictate the wither you want as  9
  2. air volume(cfm) inlet temperature
    (H.D) and stay time (duration) are variable. These features are appreciated when
    handling rain soaked leaf with surface moisture
  3. In the trough withering process bruised and damaged leaf oxidizes and changes  
    colour while physical wither is being obtained over a 12/15 hour period. This
    discoloured leaf goes through the manufacturing process, adds to quantity , but
    adultrates quality produced troughs, latent heat is expelled in the first 2/3 hours
    whereafter there is hardly any air passing through the leaf bed. Due to lack of
    Air/Oxygen no oxidization or discoloration takes place. Bruised and damaged
    shoots remain totally green. Wilting process in the drum takes a maximum of
    one hour 20 minutes – In this period hardly any bashing it gets, takes over an
    hour to ferment. The drum process gives a GREEN WITHER. There is no such
    thing as discoloured or damaged leaf.

In quality terms, a damaged / lacerated green withered shoot will
contribute to liquor in the same measure as an undamaged shoot. Drum
wilting gives an even and green wither to a dictated percentage. Once
this degree of control is achieved at the withering stage, it goes without
saying that, it will follow through in processing and show spectacular
eveness in fermentation and drying. Are liquors and quality not assured


Calculations are based on a medium size existing factory with eighteen troughs
(100’x5’ each – capacity 1600/1700 kgs Green leaf)

Out put 1200 kgs withered leaf per hour (by weight) 

                                  TROUGH               DRUM                         SAVING

                          WITHERING          WITHER

a) Trough space
 (including passages)  15000 sq.ft             6800 sq.ft                           55%

                                                             (Troughs 6000
Sq.ft. including  
                                                             Passages + Wilter
Layout 800 sq.ft )

b) Connected
    Electrical HP              135 HP                    70 HP                           49 %
                                                               (2 Wilter 25 HP  
                                                                6 Storage troughs
                                                               45 HP)       

c) Power
consumption              *12/15 hrs           Wilter continues till              48%
                                       minimum           end of manufacture.     
6 Trough fans at
                                                                 3 Hours full load

 d) Heat  
      Source                 common to both                                               Varies  
                                                                                                          according to

 Labor saving to be quantified under local conditions.

‘A Trough fan is normally shut of when unloading takes place. Power savings shown under ( c) will
be substantially greater as calculation is based on all trough fans being switched off after desired
chemical wither is achieved (12/15 hrs)


Leaf handling is substantially reduced, apart from labor saving this labour saving this is desirable
from liquor point of view.

 Troughs are used on the principle of FIRST IN FIRST OUT – for this reason Chemical wither has a
common time factor for leaf, harvested from seed plantation, clonal plantation, young or old Tea.
The primary reason has been that facilities have never been available to differentiate between any
type of green leaf. It is logical that we apply the same chemical wither criteria irrespective of leaf type?
With drum wilting this is possible. Ideal chemical wither period for any type of leaf can be determined
by a series of simple experiments. First in First out does not apply as leaf in all troughs is maintained
in fresh condition. You can determine ideal chemical wither timing for clones, seed, young or old tea.

  Substantial reduction in capital cost of withering facility in a new factory.

66% troughs in existing factories would become surplus to requirement even in peak cropping periods.


                                                                                                               RANGA BEDI

                                                                     Founder Director

                                                                     BEDI & BEDI Pvt Ltd

                                                                     BANGALORE, INDIA      

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Calling 100!

                                       Emergency In The Indian Tea Industry

 Numerous Estates Locked out, closed, even abandoned, others squealing under mandatory default
and debt !!


Callous and Unsympathetic Government, Owners siphoning out resources, Uncooperative labour
unions fomenting trouble, Conniving brokers and Rigged Auctions?

 PASS the BUCK, point accusing fingers. Our bureaucrats are masters of this art no longer, the
TEA PRODUCER snatched the crown and what’s more embellished it with a halo.  Don’t blame
anybody. Take a deep breath, a hard long look at YOURSELF, your Tea Research Institutes and
last but not least the jewel in the crown, the great Indian Tea Board.

 12My association with the industry began in 1956 as a Brown Sahib planter. Moved to Kolkata in 1974
and observed the workings of tea buying, blending, packaging, brokers and traders for six years.
Moved to Bangalore in 1980 to start my own enterprise with the prime motive of developing Tea
Processing Machinery based on new concepts. On the 50th anniversary of my association with the
industry I have accorded myself the right to let THE CAT AMONGST THE PIGEONS.

A Thumb Nail assessment of the Industry’s revered Institutions: 

 You, Production Institution, Tea Research Institutes and the Indian Tea Board, You will be dealt with
- Last but not least. 

                        TEA RESEARCH INSTITUTES:                                                                           

These temples of Tea learning priested by eminent Scientists have worked tirelessly, at their own pace
, analyzed and atomized  structure of our regional soils, introduced vegetative propagation with
commendable results, in terms of quality and crop. The devotees of these temples were fed the ‘Prasad’
of their achievements through discourses in dribs and drabs.   YOU assigned your junior assistants and
anyone conveniently spareable to bring home what was imbibed during a few days of learning and
frolicking. Shlokas chanted by Temple priests are well above the understanding or comprehension of the
devotees. Similarly, discourses of eminent Scientists replete with Botanical, Biological and Technical
jargon bolstered by statistics  echoed in the auditorium for lack of absorption. They went like this:

“Tea leaves contain a number of bioactive molecules, which confer health properties on tea. Polyphenols
or flavonoids, most prominent of which are catechins and their derivatives, are the most abundant,
biologically most reactive moleculars and are responsible for most of the health-giving properties of tea.
Other bioactive molecules are amino acids like theanine, proteins, caffeine, vitamin C, carbohydrates,
polysaccharides, and lipids. In a tealeaf, catechins reside in the cell sap while oxidative enzymes are
located in the cell wall.”

On return from these refreshing discourses the now enlightened planter viewed his tea sections as
Sunflower fields. Undeniable achievements all around. Let us ask ourselves, did the average farmer
who brought in the Green Revolution and Operation Flood know anything about the genetics of the
Seed or the biological workings of the Cow ?

 With quality and crop on a canter what happened to manufacture/tea processing? A critical aspect of
tea production, was it lost in the aura of sunflower fields? Mckercher, a company Engineer, spent years
developing the C.T.C machine established the Cut, Tear and Curl cuppage per kilo mantra.  C.T.C.
Tea gained rapid acceptance in the forties.

 Twenty years later our temples of Tea learning produced the Mctear Rotorvane that CRUSHED
(not CUT) the hell out of leaf, lacerated the stem to produce super raw-material for fiber. Adding insult
to injury, the Rotorvane was recommended as a preconditioner for C.T.C. Abundant Fiber content in
Rotorvane/C.T.C. Tea resulted in prolific use of winnowers and fiber extractors. Did it occur to You,
that every handling results in loss of bloom and is detrimental to liquor. If the CUT element of the Cut,
Tear and Curl mantra was ignored, was it on grounds of Quality, Cutting capacity per hour or the
financial advantage the Rotorvane brought by eliminating the batch process of rolling?

 Was the Rotorvane accepted at the expense of quality? Ask YOURSELF! Suffice to say that top quality
producers like Jorehaut, Amguri, Dekari and numerous others didn’t touch it with a barge pole for years
till economic considerations forced them to compromise quality.

Where did the concept of Rotorvane come from?

In the early fifties the London Tea Association commissioned WILLIAM TULL an Engineer
(unconnected with tea) as a Consultant with a specific brief: suggestions on  “Automation Of Tea
Manufacture and New Concepts”. The Rotorvane fell squarely in the Automation category.

Orthodox Rollers of various designs and dimensions, Continuous Tray Driers, Sorters et al, old
salads in new dressings, were dished out from our Tea research altars. The first truly New Concept
Driers came from private enterprise in the early Eighties.  Have YOU ever questioned or been
concerned about zero developments during the last twenty-five years or the preceding twenty years?

15                                                       :                   

In 2006 your Tea Processing Equipment designs date back a century almost to the days of the
Boston Tea Party. Heaters: 46% heat transfer efficiency, a national waste of precious and expensive
mineral resources, Jackson type Orthodox Rollers: a close competitor, CTC’s: circa 1940 vintage.

One Line of Rotorvane/CTC consumes enough energy (H.P) to get an aircraft airborne.
This  power and fuel wastage at crippling cost and YOU have the  gall to point a finger?
The measures you took to overcome have resulted in India losing its status as the BEST
QUALITY TEA PRODUCER IN THE WORLD. It is amusing, you still think you are.  Wake
up my friend  and accept that you are victim of your own follies.

 IT IS NEVER TOO LATE: I reiterate that our Research Institutions have done a commendable
job in the field albeit compromises have been made to suit economic feasibility.  A Research
establishment is meant to find the Goose that lays the golden egg then work towards
sustaining it.  Cost accounting and Research are two paradigms. It is embarrassing to mention
their contribution to New Concept Tea Processing Equipment.

INDIAN TEA BOARD: Just a few sentences to enumerate achievements of this Institution would be
adequate.  Suffice to say that promotion of Indian Tea should be taken away completely to lighten its
burdens. Let it perform the task of correlating statistics, issuing licences, granting scholarships and
disbursing subsidies.

Tea promotion should be handled by professionals not relegated officialdom to whom foreign jaunts are
a prized perquisite. The Indian stall at the International Tea Convention at Hangzhou, China, in
September 2005  should be enough to convince the powers that be.

I venture to make a few suggestions for your consideration: 

16                                                           :      

 Constitute a panel of Tea Manufacture Gurus and invite anybody that has New Concepts in Tea
manufacture to bare the principle before them. Be it a mechanic in Howrah, or a multinational -
provide a level playing field. Let the panel assess the Concept and if accepted, fund its
development BY THE CONCEPTUALISER. Members of the C.C.P.A. should fund this exercise.

In the meanwhile some thoughts on the subject of practical manufacture:


WITHERING: Grant you the right to practice the standard of plucking of your choice. Much has been said
about leaf handling in the pluckers fist, transportation field to factory, handling at the factory to avoid leaf
damage (crushing, tearing or otherwise disfiguring). To me any leaf in its fresh and green stage is not
damaged even if it is crushed, torn or disfigured. Let us keep it in this state. Our institutions of Tea learning
have scientifically established that a 14 to 16 hour chemical wither is essential to adequately exploit the
liquoring characteristics of the leaf. Let us accept this as a gospel. Take your existing trough, load it 24
inches, blow ambient air to remove latent heat for 2 to 3 hours, throttle airflow to levels that will ensure
no physical wither takes place. Store the leaf in this manner and you will find that crushed, damaged,
torn leaf will not oxidize. At the end of the chemical wither period 14/16 hours you will have a trough of
fresh green leaf with insignificant discolouration of what today constitutes damaged leaf. This will not be
even 1% of the weight of the leaf stored.

Develop a Wilting Machine on a Rotary principle to wilt the leaf to desired levels within one
hour using high hygrometric differences. In Rotary principle high hygrometric differences do

not necessarily lead to inordinate rise in leaf temperature. Experiments have shown that
condensation on the leaf surface takes care of this. Loosely fed leaf into a Rotary principle
ensures each shoot comes in for individual treatment resulting in an even wither/wilt.


6/ LEAF PROCESSING: Experience has shown that a well-maintained efficient Orthodox Roller after 3
rolls achieves no more than 55% cell rupture.  In the case of Rotorvane/CTC cell rupture under ideal
conditions does not exceed 77% in the leaf and 48 to 50% in the stem.

In this day and age, can we look at  means other than  brute force  to  cell-rupture targetting 95%. Let us
not forget that the tea crop does not necessarily have to be measured in terms of kilos. Price is determined
by cups per kilo. Let us for a change treat cups per kilo as an objective. If an aircraft breaking the sound
barrier can shatter windowpanes, surely we can find scientific ways to rupture cells in a Tea Shoot.

DRYING: There exist any number of recognized principles of moisture expulsion. The fact that we have
to follow a specific drying curve to exploit the liquor and aromatic characteristics of tea should not deter
us from exploring other avenues, conforming to or contradicting this age old guideline.

 There is no time for recrimination and postmortems and passing the buck. Let us get on with it with a
sense of urgency for Your sake and India’s. Over the years You have invoked the Lord and all the deities
that represent HIM. If He could speak He would have told you to enlist an exorcist.

Let the Presidents and Chairmen of the various Tea Associations take a chapter out of London Tea
Association book and look for a William Tull. In the meanwhile, for enlightenment, peruse his report
and the numerous suggestions he gave on New Concepts in Tea Manufacture.


I have fortified myself against brick bats that this view may attract.

Ranga Bedi
Bangalore.  17th February 2006


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