Black tea is harvested from the later season harvests and processed to bring out the robust flavor and character of the tea.
Harvest - Bud only, two leaves and a bud
Withering - Reduction of the water in the leaf to make malleable
Rolling/Manipulation - Breaking the cell walls of the tea leaf without breaking the leaf to accelerate the oxidation process. Leaf breakage leads to more tannins and negative character
Oxidation - Piling the leaf to generate warmth to accelerate the oxidative browning of the leaf
Drying - The final step to lock in the flavor, character, and stability of the tea.
Each tea producer will process their tea to their own specification, so additional steps may be applied. The steps above are the basic processing steps.