Loose Leaf Versus Ctc Tea

Loose Leaf Versus Ctc Tea

LOOSE LEAF VERSUS CTC TEA 

Tea has been around for as long as 5,000 years and is enjoyed by people all around the world in many flavours and forms. But what you might  not know is that the difference in taste, texture and colour is a result of the manufacturing process.  One method is the traditional method of producing long leaf tea, and the second method is the  Crush Tear Curl (CTC) method of making CTC leaf tea. Before deciding which tea you prefer, you might want to know the facts about each of them. So here is a simple explanation for you on loose leaf vs CTC tea.  

WHAT IS THE ORTHODOX AND CTC METHOD?

The orthodox method is one of the ways in which tea can be processed. It is also known as the traditional method and involves plucking, rolling, withering and oxidation (or fermentation) of the leaves. This method produces whole leaves which are loose – giving loose-leaf tea its name. This type of tea can be processed in machines, although this gives it a more processed flavour.

The CTC or crush tear curl method is a more modern form of production, in which the leaves are passed through circular machines and rollers in order to shape them into pellets.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LOOSE-LEAF AND CTC TEA?

1) Flavour: 

Loose leaf teas are more time consuming to process and manufacture. Because the leaves are so delicate, they need to be handled with great care so that they do not get damaged. These leaves make for a more premium black tea and generally do not need any additives like milk or sugar.  

Loose leaf teas are good with a drop or two of lemon because the flavour is already very strong. On the other hand, CTC tea is processed very fast and has a far more pungent and bitter flavour. In order to mellow this down, people generally add milk and sugar to it.

2) Cost:

Another point of difference between loose leaf and CTC tea is the cost each of them incur during the manufacturing process. Loose-leaf teas are far more expensive to process and it can be time consuming to get a good product. However, CTC teas are far less expensive to process and although they are enjoyed as premium Indian tea, they take far less time to make. 

3) Storage and consumption:

Ultimately, loose leaf tea blends tend to be of higher quality and stay fresher for longer as they are stored more robustly than tea bags. Nevertheless, CTC tea bags are ideal for customers looking for a quick and convenient cup of tea, especially since the tea bag can be inserted into the tea cup without any mess and be thrown straight into the bin.

In conclusion CTC and Loose-Leaf Teas are very different. However sometimes, you may also find a CTC tea in a loose- leaf packet and vice versa especially if they are produced in the same factory. But which tea you buy depends on the flavour of tea you want.  For example, if you want a Masala Chai, then your best bet is probably CTC tea but if you like your tea black, then it is better to opt for Loose- Leaf tea. 

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