"The beauty of a single thing is seen through how it is processed."
It is true that a cup of tea is enough to say that it's beautiful but wait until you know the process of making it. It's where the real magic happens and the transformation of the leaves into an incredible tea.
And from then on, the finest leaves were harvested and sorted according to their sizes. The sizes of the leaves will determine whether what kind of brewing is suitable for that kind of tea.
Would you believe that all varieties of tea are almost the same? Believe it or not, but 'true. It is just the process that made the difference. The transformation of the tea starts from the process itself. Whether it is destined to be green, black, white, or oolong tea depends on the production.
Black tea is the most common among the other types. It is processed in two ways that could be either through the ‘CTC’ method or the ‘Orthodox’ method.
How Does Orthodox Method Works?
The process of black tea using the Orthodox method includes four stages. It starts with withering, followed by rolling, oxidation, and drying.
In the first stage, which is withering - the water content of the leaves is being reduced by 60-70%. Through letting air passed over the tea leaves that are laid out on a wire net, the moistures of the leaves decrease. Withering helps the leaves in developing the compounds that produce such wonderful aroma and flavor.
The next stage involves rolling of the withered leaves through a rolling machine. The leaves are rolled until it breaks the cells of the leaves to absorb the oxygen and activates its enzymes.
Oxidation is the process in which the leaves are left under 26 degrees Celsius for about two hours. This process helps to determine the end product of the tea. Whether you want it full of flavor or just taste a little bit of it.
The lighter the flavor you want, the shorter the oxidation process takes place. It will leave the leaves a little bit brown. However, if you love a strong flavor, it might take a longer time for oxidating.
After specifying the desired flavor, the leaves will be dried using hot air dryers to dry up the remaining water content of the leaves. Then, it's ready to become your delicious refreshment.
How Does CTC Method Works?
CTC stands for ‘cut-tear-curl’ which was a commonly used method even during World War II. CTC method follows several processes like the Orthodox method, but there are just some adjustments.
First, the same with the first method, the leaves undergo through the stage of withering.
However, after withering the leaves, they were put in rollers to be cut and tear. The catch here is in the rollers that have small and sharp teeth that granulates the leaves.
After being torn into pieces, it follows the oxidation and drying process. The granulated leaves are ready to be packed in the teabags and brewed.
Green, White, and Oolong Tea
The process of making black tea is somewhat similar to making other kinds of tea. Adjustments are made to make the desired type of healthy beverage.
In making the green and white tea leaves, it does not undergo oxidation. It is why the leaves are left out fresh and still illuminates the lightness of the color. It is through pan drying that enzymes are killed to avoid reaction from the leaves with the air. Then, the leaves are rolled afterward. On the other hand, Oolong tea is just partially oxidized.