Orthodox tea VS CTC tea

26 08 2008

While wandering though the world of tea you are likely come across these terms ‘orthodox tea’ and ‘CTC tea’. At first they may seem strange, like they don’t belong with tea and you may wonder what it all means. Well, it’s quite simple, just read on.

They are both methods of producing tea. Orthodox tea is made of the two top leaves of each plant, thus giving the best quality of tea, rich of taste and capable of multiple infusions. These leaves are carefully handpicked, hand-rolled and dried. Leaves processed in this way are later sold as loose leaf tea.

The CTC method (for crush, tear, and curl) uses machines to process the tea. The leaves, buds and stems are crushed and torn by several cylindrical rollers with sharp “teeth”. This produces finely ground, low quality tea used mostly for bagged tea, highly recommended for one infusion only. Tea processed this way brews much quicker then orthodox tea, and has a stronger and harsher flavor compared to the delicate flavors of orthodox tea, however it yields more cups per kg.

In the recent years drinking tea became somewhat of a trend around the world after we have learned more about the health benefits of green tea. The demand for orthodox tea is now especially high and continuously rising.

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