How Essential Oils are made: Steam Distillation Process

A farm growing Lemon Tea Tree: Leptospermum petersonii
For our demonstration, the farmer had prepared 7 kgs of the Lemon Tea Tree for distilling.
Firstly, he prepared the still. Then, he filled the ‘pot’ with the leaves and the process began.
Within an hour the process is complete and there is 8 litres of oil and water mixed.
And he needed to do another batch to complete the 7 kgs of leaves.
The oil and water are poured into a cone shaped pipette and as the oil starts to separate, the little tap at the base of the pipette is opened and the water is slowly drained off.
Finally, when all the water has drained out, the tap is closed and the oil is poured into a measuring apparatus for a record to be kept of how much oil has been harvested from the original plant material.
The farmers oil recovery from 7kg of plant material was 280ml of beautiful lemon tea tree essential oil. This, we were told is an excellent yield.