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| Herbal Tea Processing and Machinery |
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Daniel Osho
Posted on: August 02, 2007
I will like you to help as to the commercial processing stages of herbal tea, e.g. lemon grass with honey, and the necessary machinery.
Milling lemongrass into a C/S (cut and sift) or TBC (tea bag cut) is easy, but I am uncertain about the honey aspect. The honey could be "plated," where the heated liquid honey is then rolled into the C/S lemongrass via cement mixer. Special fins can be added to help turn more leaf product. Larger productions use ribbon blenders, as outlined in my processing book.
Milling lemongrass is perhaps one of the easier herbs to put into a C/S or TBC. Begin by reading my chapter "The Art of Milling" in "The Potential Of Herbs As A Cash Crop." This offers which screens are used for milling lemongrass. Resulting powders can be sold as a bi-product to local bakeries.
Then, you want to read "A Centralized Processing Center," available at www.herbfarminfo.com. If this is to be a commercial production effort, I am also available as an outside consultant to help set up the milling operation, to include paperwork through the warehouse. I can also help you find used machinery, often far better than new - but with only ¼ the cost in machinery.
Teaching milling is an artform. If you are local enough to fly me in, I can teach some of this artform to your millers. It is perhaps one of the easier products to mill, offering a more uniform product than most. If the fiber is dried correctly, the costs in milling it into a final product is relatively cheap, as milling operations go.
By the way, lemongrass has been grown in Phoenix area of Arizona quite successfully over the years. It has always shown to be superior to those grown in Mexico. I suspect the hot heart and heavy irrigation to raise the oil levels beyond normal. It is then swat6hed for milling, just like any other grass.