As part of our research in black tea processing, we wanted to try something else than sun-drying, but we have no air-dryer. After withering, rolling and oxidation, we put the leaves in a wok. We started with a temperature of about 170 degree celsius on the hottest point of the cast iron wall. When the leaves are very wet, it's not a problem to have such a high temperature, we let the small fire die and the wok emperature decrease as the leaves were getting dry. After a while, there was no need to shuffle the leaves anymore and we let them lay at the bottom of the wok overnight. When we woke up on the next day, the leaves were totally dry and had a very pleasant roast fragrance.
The result of this experiment is a fragrant tea with dark notes of roasting and a hint of smoke. The mouthfeel is light in comparison to our sun-dried tea batches. A slight bitterness can be felt in the early infusions. The roast fragrance is not overpowering and is completed by more floral tones.