Chaipatti or CTC - Know Your Tea
Chaipatti or CTC is what fuels a vast majority of us. The deep hued and strong flavoured brew produced from the granules of tea, made using the leaves of Camellia Sinesis bush. The brew of CTC takes to milk like bread to butter, it is usually enhanced with sugar and spices to get a flavourful cup of joy!
History - Who, When??
CTC was invented by William McKercher during 1930-1931, while he was stationed as the Manager at Amgoorie Tea Estate in Assam. The high yield and strong demand for richly coloured tea ensured that the process spread rapidly in the 1950's through the 1970's, in India and Africa.
Understanding the process - How?
All tea begins it journey in the garden where Mother Nature nurtures it and tea pluckers pluck the Tea leaves, which are then weighed in the factory.
- Withering: After the initial harvest, the tea leaves are withered by blow drying, which may last from 3 to hours to achieve the desired level of moisture in the green leaves and often decides whether the tea will be a hit or a miss!
- Leaf Prep: The withered leaves are then sifted through a mesh table to remove any foreign object that may have made its way from the garden. The sifted leaves are crushed and rolled to start the oxidisation process. This oxidisation is what enables the rich darker hues in the tea and the brew.
- CTC Machine Process: Where the CTC machines does what it says, the leaves are crushed, torn and curled using the razor sharp teeth inside the machine. The machine uses rollers to perform the process resultant granules in a variety of sizes ranging from the very fine dust to the large Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP).
- Drying & Sorting: After the CTC process the leaves are dried to arrest the oxidisation process, which continues even inside the CTC Machine. The tea exiting the mouth of the drier is CTC or Chaipatti, which is then sent over a series of sieves to be graded per size.
After everything is done starts a complex chain of events which involves trade commerce, marketing and tasting by professionals, after which you get your Chaipatti in packs at the Local Tea Store, Grocery Store or even Online Stores like us. In case any questions remain comment below..