Processing of CTC tea
After the harvest, the leaves are first withered by blowing air on them.
Then black teas are processed in either of two ways, CTC (Crush, Tear, Curl) . This method is efficient and effective for producing a better quality product from medium and lower quality leaves.
Next, the leaves are oxidized under controlled temperature and humidity. (This process is also called "fermentation", which is a misnomer since no actual fermentation takes place.) The level of oxidation determines the quality of the tea. Since oxidation begins at the rolling stage itself, the time between these stages is also a crucial factor in the quality of the tea.