Food + Drink | 1960 | Sound | Colour
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Tea Production in Kenya.
Fort Jesus Mombasa Kenya.
View from Fort Jesus towards the city of Mombasa. A dhow sails along the coast. Moored sailing vessels in a very small port. The large modern port at Mombasa. Large cargo ships in dock. Workers on forklift trucks loading ships. Produce of Kenya stamped on the side of crates being loaded for export.
Aerial view from a light plane as it flies over the tea estate of Kenya. Workers, viewed from a distance, are clearing forest roots from the soil, to prepare the ground for planting tea. A scientist carries out soil tests in a laboratory. Tea plantation, a worker takes cuttings from mature plants.
Tea cuttings are prepared and planted in a nursery environment. As they grow they are replanted into larger sleeves. View of the nursery with plants ready to go out into the plantation. Panning view of the newly planted tea plantation.
A man stands in a classroom with an overhead projector and speaks to a group of adults arranged in a U shaped desk formation. A sign showing “First Tea Planted by Kenya Tea Company 1925”. Film goes back to a close up of the man presenting in the classroom. Some close ups of faces listening to his talk.
Sign for E.A.Met Dept Hail Research Unit. East Africa, Kenya. A man monitors radar equipment. Camera zooms in on a cumulus cloud. Heavy rain. A light aircraft takes off. Aerial views from the plane. The aircraft releases streams of silver iodised particles into the rain clouds. Called cloud seeding this is a technique intended to turn hail into rain to avoid crop damage. The plane lands.
Back to the presentation in the classroom, the lecture ends and people get up to leave. Outside a building a sign says “Brooke Bond Liebig Group Staff Training Centre”. A car drives away from the centre and the camera follows as it passes tea plantations. Black Kenyan workers picking tea in the plantation, with baskets on their backs. Workers walking to work in readiness for tea picking. Close ups of tea picker and nimble hands plucking leaves.
Tea plants being pruned. Team of workers spray weeds growing between the rows of tea bushes. Kenya’s Tea Research Institute. Scientist tests tea leaves. Fresh leaves are dried in an oven then ground and roasted in a kiln until just ash. Laboratory equipment. A graph is being printed. Graph shows a lack of calcium in the tea sample. Workers throw down fertiliser beside tea bushes. Woman tends nursery tea plants. Men work in small holding. Inspector checks leaves being picked in a plantation. Women queue to have their loads inspected. Tea leaves are weighed. Close up of a Salter scale. Man drags a heavy sack full of leaves to be loaded onto a truck for the journey to the factory. Truck on road.
Driver delivers fresh picked tea leaves to a factory. Sacks are hoisted to a drying area where leaves are spread out by hand. Machines roll the dried tea. A crushing machine processes tea and the leaves move along a conveyor belt. Vats of fine green tea are pushed by workers and connected to hot air systems for fermentation. Tea is transferred into a drying machine to halt the fermentation process. Familiar looking black tea exits the machine on a conveyor belt. Camera follows the path of the tea. A sieving device removes unwanted particles in the tea. Further shaking of the tea separates the leaves into different grades or sizes of leaf.
Many cups of tea are lined up on a bench and a man tastes a spoonful from each. He is the tea factory Manger. After each taste he spits the mouthful into a spittoon.
Close ups of the various stages the tea leaf goes through as it is processed for drinking.
Tea being packaged into large chests, which are moved along a rolling belt. A man weighs each chest. Other Kenyan workers in a warehouse nail the chests shut for transport. Red truck laden with chests of tea drives along the road past tea plantations. View of the plantations from the moving truck. View changes to dry hillside scenery. Close up of the truck’s turning wheel. The driver reverses into the railway yards at Lumbwa. Sign Lumbwa. Cargo train pulls into Lumbwa. View from the train as it traverses the hilly terrain. View from the driver’s compartment of a diesel train. View of train as it travels through flatter terrain.
Ship docked in the port of Mombasa. Crates of tea are loading onto ships. Cranes. Crane operator in his cabin. Ships leaving port.
Close ups of crates from different countries where tea is produced – Ceylon, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Malawi, Mozambique, Indonesia. All crates are stamped.
Tea tasting room at Brooke Bond Oxo premises in UK. A woman puts measured amounts of tea into a long line of cups, creating different blends. Milk is added with measured does via a syringe. Hot water is added and lids put on to aid infusion. Lids are removed and infusion set aside. A man beings tea tasting with a spoon, spitting each mouthful out. He fills in a blend sheet and inspects the used tea leaves.
Forklift truck moves a load of tea chests around a large tea warehouse. An operator selects crates of tea at a machine and the crates are moved on conveyors. A saw cuts each crate and lifts it into position where the tea is emptied into large drums in the blending tower. Hoppers of blended tea now feed packing machines. Workers operate automated machinery that is boxing the tea. PG Tips cartons are fed into a machine, filled with tea and sealed, before being boxed for transport. A busy main street with traffic. A Brooke Bond Oxo mini van pulls up to the kerb and the driver in a suit and tie carries boxes into a store selling tea. Close up of the point of sale where boxes of PG Tips are ready to buy.
Film ends with a teapot and cups of ready poured tea on a table.
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