All about CTC Tea and How it is Different from Orthodox Version

All about CTC Tea and How it is Different from Orthodox Version

There are a lot of tea drinkers who enjoy Assam blends a lot but may not have a clear notation of what CTC is. Well, it is a method of processing black tea, which includes crush, tear and curl. The sharp teeth of the cylinders do the process of crushing, curling and tearing the leaves. CTC leaves are extremely popular in India and abroad. 

Did you know, Sir William McKercher in Assam began the process of making CTC? After that, the popularity of this tea widely spread in 1950 across India and Africa. This tea version is widely sold in tea bags and comes with a strong flavour and steeps quickly. After steeping, you will get amber coloured liquor with a malty flavour. This is a complete bliss for tea drinkers who love strong black tea.


How CTC is made?

It is a mechanical process, in which human involvement is allowed to maintain the pick the quality leaves. When it comes to comparing, there is a lot of room for error in the traditional tea making process which doesn’t happen in case of CTC. Since the machines can only make the tea, it turns out to be a very artistic method.

So, the first step is picking the young leaves, which will be later fed between two giant rollers. These rollers have tiny jagged teeth to brush and tear the leaves. In this process, CTC tea gets oxidized like black tea, where the leaves go as a whole into one end and are found crushed, torn and pressed into pellets on another end. Next to it, the tea is cured with high heat for a certain time. Since the machines save a lot of time and ensure less human intervention, CTC teas are much affordable than the orthodox ones.


How CTC is different from orthodox tea?

Before CTC became popular among tea lovers, there was another method of processing tea leaves which are called orthodox production. In this process, only top quality tea leaves and buds are used. As a result, it gives more sophisticated and high-quality tasting tea than CTC. Since the entire process takes human intervention, it produces larger leaf particles for an aromatic taste. However, the orthodox method is a bit time consuming, as most of the blending process is done by hands. Since the quality is higher, so is the price tag. Find a quick showdown of these two tea types.

  • Consistency in flavour: Since machines produce CTC tea, as per the programmed instructions, there is no scope to cause the difference in favour in different batches of production. So, as long as there is no quality issue with tea leaves, you will rest assured about the same flavour every time you sip. However, it won’t happen in the case of orthodox tea, as it all depends on the quality of leaves in the blending process by hands, which may cause the difference in taste.
  • CTC is a low-cost product: CTC tea is produced with complete automation involving minimum human input and prices are labelled accordingly. Whereas craftsmanship of the tea master and labour of field-workers ensure the quality of the orthodox tea, CTC is completely different. With zero manual labour, CTC tea is harvested by machines. Since machines cut off the scope of human labour and work faster irrespective of time, the CTC manufacturers come up with huge production with lesser investment, which is profitable for the market.
  • Use of tea bags: In case of CTC, it is easy to use teabags than the orthodox. Since the tea leaves are crushed out in perfect pellets, they take less time for a uniform brewing process. On the other hand, orthodox tea mostly comes in loose form due to uneven rolling and blending.


Health benefits of CTC

leaves: While offering a generic taste, CTC tea offers a dark and strong liquor that has an astringent flavour. So, if you are longing for masala chai or want to milk to the tea, then CTC is the best to taste. Here are a few benefits of relishing CTC blends- 

  • Boost fat cutting: If you have gained a little weight, then CTC could be the right kind of tea that can help you to melt your body fat. It blocks the fat absorption in the cells and hence promotes weight loss.
  • Prevent cancer: CTC tea blend is full of antioxidant that helps to kill cancer cells. It also keeps your skin moisturised and hydrated.
  • Improves digestion: A cup of CTC after a heavy meal boost the digestion process. Moreover, sipping a cup of CTC gives you relief from stomach cramps.
  • Prevents heart attack: Consuming a cup of tea twice a day decreases the chances of heart attack by 50%. Moreover, other heart diseases like high blood pressure, blood clotting also can be prevented while relaxing the blood vessels. 
  • Gives you more energy: You can enjoy CTC as a refreshment or energy drink, as it contains a range of caffeine.


Know the steps to make tea more enjoyable:

Take a pot of fresh water and put that on fire. The measurement cup for water should be around 200 ml. The temperature of the water will vary according to the tea type.

  • Green tea: Since green and white tea leaves are much more delicate, you should not use overheated water, as it can destroy the flavour of the tea. So, the water must be hot enough to extract the right flavour of the tea. So, experts suggest keeping water temperature between 165 and 185 degree Fahrenheit, and this is the temperature you will get just before the water boiling starts.
  • Oolong tea: Whether you know it or not, it is a partially oxidized tea. As a result, it comes with a bit of green shade from green tea and mostly the brown shade of black tea. Sprinkle the leaves to brew when the water temperature reaches the range of 200-degree Fahrenheit.
  • Black tea: Tea leaves go through the oxidation process at the time of production. Strong tea flavour and bright colour are the hallmarks of quality black tea. To extract the essence of this tea, you should use boiling water to let the tea infused with it.


The Indian way of making milk tea:

In India, most people prefer drinking milk tea. CTC black is tea is used to prepare this tea. For this Indian style tea making, here are a few steps to follow- 

  • Pour some water into a pan.
  • Add milk after that according to your preference.
  • For a stronger cup, don’t add more than one-fourth cup of milk.
  • You can add spices of your choice, which may include cardamom, ginger, black paper, bay leaves and more such.
  • Measure one spoon full of tea leaves for 1 cup tea serving.
  • Wait a few minutes until the tea gets a good boil.
  • Strain tea into the cups.
  • Add sugar as per your preference.

If you want concentrated special tea, use only the milk to make the tea without using any water to it. For a special tea, you might have to add more tea leaves per cup, up to two teaspoons based on how thick the milk is. It is a common practice to allow the tea to brew for a minimum duration of 1 minute or up to 3 minutes after turning off the flame. It adds more taste to the tea.

Lastly, don’t forget to store your CTC tea properly. Whether you know it or not, sunlight, temperature, any kind of odour and humid conditions can affect the CTC tea easily. Hence, you must store them in a tight container, keeping the container away from the sunlight. Moreover, keep the objects with a strong odour away from the tea container and never keep the lid open for long in humid conditions. Enjoy your CTC tea to the fullest by following these simple rules and for more such updates, stay tuned with us!