What Is Orthodox Tea And How To Relish Its Taste And Benefits

What is orthodox tea and how to relish its taste and benefits?

The term “orthodox tea” refers to tea that is brewed traditionally. The flavour profile of this bright and sharp tea is multi-layered. This tea is made using a traditional procedure that includes plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation, and drying. Orthodox tea is rolled and formed in a variety of sizes and shapes, depending on the kind of tea manufactured.

Orthodox tea manufacturing is most common in India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Indonesia. It is traditionally made of whole leaf tea, which is graded by size. Each batch of tea processing is time-consuming and requires skills to make the desired flavour profile.

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How orthodox tea is made:

The beautiful ruby red colour of orthodox tea tastes and looks wonderful. A steaming cup of this beverage can revive you instantly with its strong taste and distinctive flavour. If you are a black tea lover, then you will be amazed by the raw and aromatic experience of this tea variety. Here is the processing of orthodox tea explained-
  • Plucking

    Tea pluckers pick the tea leaves from the garden and store them in bamboo baskets, which are tied to their back to collect the fresh leaves.

  • Withering

    Freshly plucked tea leaves are spread and laid out under the sun to evaporate the moisture content. In this process, tea leaves are softened to prevent crumbling throughout the rest of the processing steps.

  • Rolling

    After the withering process, tea leaves are rolled to the desired shape either by hands or by machines. Rolling the tea leaves 3-4 times break the cell walls and bruises the leaf. It releases the juice from the leaves without tearing the leaf.

  • Oxidizing

    Oxidizing is the process that helps tea leaves to attain the ultimate colour, flavour and aroma. For the production of orthodox tea, the oxidation process allows enzymes and polyphenol juices to turn black upon exposure to the air. During this process, tea leaves are spread on large perforated trays to facilitate the oxidation process for 2-4 hours and exposed to humidified air every hour to absorb a sufficient amount of oxygen. Throughout the oxidation process, the leaf colour changes from green to yellow to copper and finally brown. Whereas under-oxidised tea leaves give a metallic and green taste, the over-oxidised ones tend to be too soft, lack briskness and don’t retain flavour for long.

  • Drying

    Next to the oxidation process, tea leaves are dried to reduce the moisture content from 60% to 3% within 15-20 minutes. After that, tea leaves are cooled to avoid the loss of flavour and they are packed when grading is done.

Benefits of Orthodox Tea:

Though you have been a fan of orthodox tea for quite a long time, you may not have been aware of how it is beneficial for you. Due to being packed with nutrients like polyphenols, flavonoids and catechins, it provides some amazing benefits that you should know-
  • Makes You Energetic:

    The strong flavour of orthodox tea removes the lethargy. Since orthodox tea contains L-theanine, it improves focus and alertness by increasing the alpha activity in your brain. Especially, when we spend long hours in front of the screen, black tea helps to build concentration, while providing stable energy levels.

  • Helps to Lower Blood Sugar:

    Spike in blood sugar levels may lead to obesity, kidney failure, type2 diabetes and depression as well. Since avoiding sugar is difficult and is present in almost anything you eat, the easiest way to control your intake of sugar is by switching to orthodox tea. As this tea preparation doesn’t need sugar at all, it helps to keep diseases at bay. In addition to this, if you are already diabetic, you will see results upon consuming orthodox tea within a few days. It is not only because of eliminating sugar from the diet but also the natural increase of insulin activity by 15 times.

  • Reduce Risk of Chronic Diseases:

    The antioxidants in black tea reduce cell damage in your body. Besides boosting overall health, it makes you look younger. All you have to do is have a cup of orthodox black tea before the workout to boost your level of endurance and exercise for a longer time.

  • Reduces Visits to Dentists:

    Unlike other caffeine products, black tea is good for teeth. Since tea plants are rich in fluoride, they are good for teeth. On top of it, Orthodox tea lowers bacterial growth by dropping the pH levels. As a result, your teeth and gums become less prone to any oral problems.

  • Keeps Your Heart Healthy:

    Since orthodox tea contains flavonoids, it can be proven great for heart health. It can lower the bad cholesterol (LDL), high blood pressure and triglycerides, LDL, besides cleaning the arteries.

  • May Improve Immunity:

    Orthodox tea is an immunity booster as well to fight off bacterial and viral infections. Especially the phase we are going through to fight off the viruses like covid-19 needs us to increase our immunity and orthodox black tea improves the immunity by destroying harmful microbes in the gut.

  • Ward off the Chances of Brain Stroke:

    Brain stroke takes the second position when it comes to identifying the cause of death. However, a healthy diet and exercises prevent 80% of strokes.

  • Boosts Weight Management:

    Orthodox black tea has just 1 calorie. Hence, you can freely drink orthodox black tea without any guilt. Besides boosting your energy, it helps to maintain your calorie count.

How to make a perfect cup of orthodox black tea?

It is too easy to prepare orthodox black tea. Here is the instruction for one-
  • Take water in a pan and boil it.

  • Add a tsp of orthodox tea.

  • Cover the pan and leave it to simmer.

  • Wait for 2-3 minutes.

  • Now take a cup to strain the tea.

  • Add a sweetener of your choice.

  • Relish the taste and aroma of orthodox black tea.

Difference between orthodox and CTC tea:

Orthodox tea refers to loose leaf tea which is produced using a traditional method involving plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation and drying. On the other hand, CTC is a method of processing black tea, which is passed through a series of cylindrical rollers with serrated blades that crush, tear and curl the tea into small and even-shaped pellets. While understanding in detail, there are three main differences between CTC and orthodox tea-
  • The intent of Production:

    Orthodox tea production focuses on preserving the virtues of tea leaves and results in fermenting them to retain aroma and freshness. On the other hand, CTC tea production ensures faster production of standard quality tea.

  • Use of Methods and Tools in the Production:

    Due to human intervention, orthodox tea processing makes use of traditional practices which are time-consuming. On the other hand, tea leaves are fed into machines in the CTC tea making process, which crush, tear and curl the tea leaves and turn them into small brown pellets in just a few hours.

  • The Flavour Profile of the Tea:

    Orthodox tea offers the most authentic tea experience, which is categorized into black, green, white or oolong tea based on the flavour complexity and delicate make. On the other hand, CTC tea produces strong dark liquor with an astringent flavour profile, which tastes better with milk and lemon.

It goes without saying that when most of us get up in the morning, the first thing we want to do is sip a great cup of tea. Though it is a regular habit in many regions, how traditional tea is consumed varies from person to person. Someone may prefer tea without milk, while another may prefer strong tea with milk and spices. So, before stocking up on tea, get to know your preferences and make your purchases appropriately.