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The Crush, tear, curl (sometimes cut, tear, curl) is a widely used method of processing black tea. The process involves a series of steps in which the leaves are made to passed through a series of cylindrical rollers. These rollers are equipped with numerous sharp teeth that crush, tear, and curl the tea into small, hard pellets. This method has been invented keeping the black tea lovers in mind, because by using this method, black tea can be produced quickly. It was introduced during the Second World War with a view to improve the quantity of tea that can be put in a bag.

CTC tea manufacturing process

  • Plucking: This is the first stage of the CTC tea manufacturing process. A high standard of plucking is necessary to ensure premature cutting of the leaves into unspecified sizes.
  • Withering: This step is important to give the tea leaves a specific hardness.
  • Cutting: This is where the leaves are cut into desired sizes using rollers with sharp teeth. The machinery used may vary with manufacturer to manufacturer.
  • Fermentation: The cut leaves are then fermented for about 2 hours depending on the manufacturer.
  • Drying: The fermented leaves are then passed through dryers where temperatures ranging from 100-150 degree Celsius are maintained.
  • Grading: This depends entirely on the manufacturer as per the requirements of their clients. Depending on the grades they manufacture, clients find it easy to choose the ones that will be acceptable to their customers. The tea manufacturer can be contacted directly for more details on the grading.