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Orthodox tea refers to either hand-processed tea or tea that is rolled with machinery in a manner that mimics hand-rolling. It is made with orthodox production methods. All whole-leaf tea is made with orthodox production methods.
These teas are also known as 'handmade tea', 'hand-processed tea,' or 'rolled tea.'
Orthodox teas go through a complex system:
Withering - The leaves are spread out for 14-20 hours to allow the moisture to evaporate.
Rolling - Rotating and pressing the leaves to release their inherit chemicals and prepare for oxidation.
Oxidation - The leaves spend 2-4 hours in a controlled environment, allowing the air to react with the chemicals. During this process, the leaves turn darker.
Firing - A heater is used to stop oxidation and dry the leaves before they are sorted for grading.
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