Jun 20th, '08, 13:33
Joined: Dec 20th, '06
Location: Gainesville, Florida
means "crush, tear, curl
" and is a manufacturing process that has become dominant in India in the last few decades.
"Crush, Tear, and Curl, a machine-based process which macerates the leaves by pressing through counter-rotating rollers to create a stronger, more coloury tea."
The traditional Indian processing method is referred to as orthodox
. Most CTC teas are considered inferior to orthodox processing, but they can sometimes be quite good. I think CTC caught on so well in India, because most Indians make their Assam into Chai, a concoction that does not require high quality tea, but does benefit from strength and color.
Jun 20th, '08, 15:24
Joined: Feb 6th, '08
Location: enjoying a cup of Red Rose down in GA
I've tried a few from the Indian grocery store and love one, Wagh Bakri. It's very complex...a 2 minute infusion brings out hints of ginger. A 3 1/2 minute infusion brings out dark chocolate/bitter notes and the ginger is gone. I will always have some in my tea cabinet and drink it often.
Jun 24th, '08, 00:05
Joined: Feb 25th, '08
Location: Richmond, VA
while i would never drink CTC as a tea to sit down and focus on, and while i think it would be a stretch to call it 'good tea' for the reasons that sal mentioned, i have to admit that it has an enduring appeal. in my experience, CTCs lack the flavor subtleties of other grades of indian tea, and their caffeine content can be excessive at times - they're really brisk, bracing teas, but i've found that they really hit the spot when i'm in the mood for that (whether i just want/need a jolt of caffeine, or i'm outside early on a fall day, or want a stronger breakfast brew, or whatever). so although i don't drink it daily, and am often turned off when i see it in the cabinet or pull it down to smell it, i always like to have some on hand because i know that a CTC day will roll around sometime soon...