Today’s topic about CTC tea which is the short form of Cut, Tear and Curl.  First we will look in to the manufacturing process of CTC Tea. This process has withering, cutting drying and sorting as the processing step of it. In withering process leaf will undergo a light wither (leaving about 72 – 68 percent moisture in the leaf). This is very important in going to the cutting step. If the wither is too hard it will make the difficult in the operation of the cutting machine. During the withering process it is very important to keep the temperature of leaf close to the ambient. In wet weather conditions it is important to use hot air heater to obtain the wither up to the desired level.

Then these withered leaf will pass through No. 4 mesh to eliminate the impurities like sand or stones. Then leaves will move to the CTC machine. This machine is normally consisting with three to four contra rotating cylindrical rollers. First roller is act as a conveyor to the faster second roller which is enable the cutting and leaves sharp edges of small particles. The action of tearing is facilitating by the helical grooves in this machine. In this process sap of the tea leaf comes out and loss the that part.

Then comes the fermentation process as usual. Thickness of the dhools should be 25 – 35 mm in thickness. Because of the higher moisture level that result by the light withering process lumps can be form during the fermentation process. So it is important to break lumps prior to charge the dryer in drying process.

In the drying process, if it is a ECP dryer it will take 21 minutes for the entire drying process normally. At the outlet end dark brownish colour tea particles will be resulted. Because of the loss of sap considerable amount of polyphenol which is responsible for the dark black colour. In the sorting process there are a few grades in CTC tea since particle size varied in a broad range. Small size dust type particles are there in CTC teas.

When it comes to the characteristics of CTC teas it is a bit different from other orthodox teas. In physical appearance of particles, they are tiny and a bit brownish in colour than the other orthodox black teas. Considering the liquor, it is light in colour than the other black tea types. Even with these differences there is a considerable market demand for CTC tea.

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