Short history and the making of CTC
At the end of the nineteenth century in India, the British began to mechanize the different stages in tea production. The “orthodox” production method involved rollers, graders and other machines that were mostly based on manual process. That method is still employed in the production of Assam Orthodox tea. Later, in the 1930s, they developed and perfected the CTC method, which stands for crush, tear, curl – the way of treating the leaves. After withering, a process for removing moisture, tea leaves are chopped into tiny pieces and then rolled into regular, tightly packed little balls in varying sizes. Originally intended for low grade leaves that could not be processed by the orthodox method, CTC gradually revolutionized the production of black tea, especially in the valley regions of Assam, where bulk of the tea can be efficiently cultivated through this method. One of the characteristics of the CTC tea is that it immediately produces dark color with a strong flavor – that’s why, it is common to have this tea with milk. Indians use CTC to prepare “Chai”, which is the native drink of India. With sugar and milk, the Chai is an affordable energy drink that many Indians enjoy throughout the day.