Dry Ideas Facilities
Dry Ideas has an extensive range of facilities as outlined below.
Tea Gardens Dry Ideas is located on 4 Ha of quality horticultural land with permanent water. The tea gardens occupy about half a hectare and are located on relatively flat land. The tea forms part of an extensive ornamental garden. The tea is planted in rows 2m apart and the plants are at a 0.5m spacing within the row. Irrigation is predominantly automatically applied by permanent overhead sprinklers which run for 6 hours every second day. The water is pumped from 2 wells and a bore using solar powered pumps. There are only minor insect pests which are controlled by small birds, frogs and ladybirds. No problem diseases occur and this allows for pesticide free tea production. Weeds are the main problem which are dominantly controlled by wallabies, feral rabbits, mowing and hand weeding. Under young plants occasionally herbicides are used although these do not touch the foliage and independent laboratory analysis confirms the tea is totally pesticide free. Foliar nutrient levels are measured annually to determine appropriate fertilizer application.
Tea Harvester The cost of labour in Australia is high such that hand plucking of tea is not a viable option. Dry Ideas has built its own innovative mechanical harvester which is suspended from the front of a modified ride on lawn mower. This cuts the leaf at the desired height and blows the leaf into a specially built catcher. When enough tea is harvested it is transported to the processing facility where green tea is processed immediately or stored in a cold room while black tea is laid out to start the withering process of black tea production.
Tea Processing Facilities Dry ideas has a small dedicated processing facility on site. This small air conditioned building contains a large leaf blancher for green tea, a modified meat mincer to crush and roll the leaves and specially constructed air tight refrigeration driers which dry with less energy than conventional heat based driers and they do not lose the tea aromatics during the drying process. The whole process is computer controlled. After drying the tea passes through a rotary seive to remove stalk material and to break up the leaf to a consistent size. A small amount of matcha is generated and retained in the tea with this process allowing for increased tea flavour extraction when brewing the tea.
Tea marketing Dry Ideas dominantly sells its tea to tea wholesalers who usually package the tea in their own packaging. Dry Ideas also has its own retail packs that it sells to retail outlets and through online stores. has its own online store, www.teaofaustralia.com. This online store also offers tea from other single origin tea growers in Australia.