A cup of tea seems like 'just the thing' for you amidst work, with friends and also while enjoying leisure time. You buy tea online and enjoy almost every day, but when was the last time you gave a thought to tea procession and its manufacturing process? Long back, right! Not to worry, cause after reading this, you will certainly be able to tell.
There are two tea processing methods, namely- orthodox method and CTC. Lets dive deep and find out how each of these is different from the other one.
The Orthodox Method
It comprises of following 5 steps:
1. Plucking - The elected tea leaves are hand picked by tea workers. Usually only the top three leaves along with a closed bud is picked. To make the plucking process handy, the tea trees are pruned up to waist height.
2. Withering - After plucking, the leaves are evenly exposed to air by flapping both sides. It is left to open air for several hours in order to prepare them for further procession. Without this step, the leaves would crumble upon rolling and shaping.
3. Rolling - The softened tea leaves are then rolled in order to bring out the juice and essence from the leaves. The flavours begin to develop in this step. The leaves are then exposed to enzymes and essential oil to start the process of oxidation.
4. Oxidation - After completion of the prior step, the leaves are spread out for several hours in order to facilitate oxidation. This changes the overall chemical composition. The length and process of this particular allows various flavours to flourish.
5. Firing - It is the final step and involves exposure to fire, well don't get alarmed, it's not for burning them, rather the heat quickly seals the oxidation process. With even drying, the leaves retain very little moisture and, thus, they can be preserved for a long period.
The CTC Method
It stands for Crush-Tear-Curl. In this type of procession, all the five steps are executed, but its pace is faster. In this process, the tea leaves are passed through a panel of cylindrical rollers, where each of these contains blades that crush, tear and then curl tea leaves, thus deriving the name. In this process, the journey from fresh leaves to small brown bud looking tea takes only as little as two hours. It is more commercially employed for black tea, with the aim to save money, time and to get homogeneous tasting tea.
So, next time you buy tea online and sip your delicious cup of tea, be proud cause now you will be more aware about your tea.