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What is CTC?

I'd like to take a deeper look into CTC. No, not Child Tax Credit or Cost-To-Company. I'm talking about Crush, Tear, Curl tea.

CTC teas are sent through rollers which tear and break the leaf after it has been withered. The result of the CTC process is small, uniform tea particles with a consistent taste. CTC tea leaves infuse quickly and typically steep a stronger cup than whole leaf teas.

CTC tea is graded into categories of Leaf, Fanning, and Dust. It is considered to be of inferior quality to whole leaf tea and is generally used in tea bags and sometimes flavored blends. CTC teas strength makes it a popular choice in making iced tea and milk tea, as it can tolerate dilution and still maintain its flavor.

While I prefer loose leaf tea (also called orthodox tea), CTC tea is well suited to a variety of uses and certainly has a place in the world of tea. We have one blend which contains CTC tea - Great Lakes. We've combined a mountain grown, leaf grade CTC tea from Taiwan with honeybush to create a unique blend that is strong, robust, and naturally sweet. Great Lakes holds a special place in my heart, as it was one of the first blends I created. I loved it then, and still love it today!

Happy STEAPing,


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