Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages globally, with various types and processing methods contributing to its diverse flavours and characteristics. Two prominent methods of tea production are Crush, Tear, Curl (CTC) and Orthodox. Here, we share some of the differences between CTC and orthodox tea.
- Processing Method:
The CTC method is renowned for its efficiency and speed. In this process, the tea leaves are rolled and broken into granular particles, resulting in smaller and uniform-sized tea grains. This allows for rapid flavour extraction, yielding a strong and robust cup of tea.
On the other hand, orthodox teas undergo a more meticulous and labour-intensive processing method. The leaves are carefully hand-plucked and processed to preserve their natural form. The process involves withering, rolling, oxidation, and drying, ensuring that the leaves retain their original shape and distinct characteristics.
- Flavour Profile:
CTC teas are distinguished by their bold and robust flavours. They often boast a malty and strong taste, producing a rich reddish-brown liquor. CTC teas are favoured by those who enjoy a full-bodied cup of tea that stands up well to milk and sugar.
Orthodox teas, in contrast, are celebrated for their complex flavours and delicate aromas. Each variety of orthodox tea exhibits unique flavour profiles influenced by factors such as the region, climate, and specific processing techniques. These teas offer floral, fruity, and nuanced flavours, presenting a range of complexities and subtleties to be savoured.
- Brewing Method:
CTC teas are perfect for those seeking a quick and robust brew. Their smaller particle size provides a larger surface area, enabling a rapid infusion of flavours. Typically brewed for 2-3 minutes, they are an excellent choice for making tea blends and masala chai.
On the other hand, brewing orthodox teas demands more patience and care. The leaves have to be steeped for 3-5 minutes or even longer. This slow infusion allows the flavours and aromas to fully develop.
- Common Usage:
CTC teas are commonly used in tea bags and for making iced tea. Their strong flavours and quick brewing time make them popular choices for mass-produced tea bags and commercial tea preparations.
Orthodox teas, on the other hand, are highly regarded for their quality and are typically used in loose-leaf form. They are favoured by tea enthusiasts who appreciate the nuanced flavours and enjoy the art of tea brewing.
- Pricing and Affordability:
CTC teas have gained popularity for their affordability and widespread availability. The mechanical processing used in CTC production boosts mass production and efficient packaging.
On the other hand, the traditional and labour-intensive production methods involved in crafting orthodox teas contribute to a comparatively higher price. The careful hand-picking, delicate rolling or twisting, and precise processing techniques required in orthodox tea production demand more time and expertise, resulting in a premium product.
Looking for high-quality CTC and orthodox tea?
Explore our Assam Mangalam First Flush CTC BP Tea 2023 and Assam Meleng Second Flush Golden Tips Orthodox Black Tea 2023. Our Assam Mangalam First Flush CTC BP Tea 2023 has delectable chocolaty and malty notes that tantalise the taste buds. Its captivating sweet aroma is simply unforgettable. For a truly enchanting experience, adding a dash of cream milk enhances the magic of this gorgeously coloured tea. Our Assam Meleng Second Flush Golden Tips Orthodox Black Tea 2023 hails from the prestigious Meleng Tea Estate in Jorhat, Assam. With each sip, the distinct malty flavour, characteristic of top-notch Assam teas, unfolds on your palate, leaving an unforgettable impression.