Food for thought : The manufacturing process of Orthodox and CTC are very different
The tea bush is actually a tree, which is maintained at a bush-level for convenience of plucking. Two leaves and a bud are plucked from the tea bushes.
The manufacturing process of Orthodox and CTC are very different- and somewhat interesting.
Orthodox tea is withered to as low as 35% moisture content (Darjeeling teas) whereas CTC are withered to a maximum of 68% moisture content. Withering is basically reducing the moisture content in the tea leaves that are brought in from the plantation. It was initially done by “sun drying on “Changs” for 2-3 days, till the desired level of wither was reached. Now-a-days, withering troughs and high rpm fans have replaced the “Changs” where the withering process in completed in 12-16 hours. Tea is more about touch and feel than objective parameters. Wither, to date, is primarily checked by squeezing the leaves in ones hand. The quickness, in which they unfold, after the squeeze, tells one of whether the leaves are still “kutcha” or have withered enough.