Tea Knowledge, Chai Tea

Is it Chai or Tea? CTC Tea? Lets know about it all | Types | Preparation | Differences.

CTC (Crush, turn, curl) tea is a machine processed and fermented black tea. It is usually less expensive than Orthodox tea. In India, over 80% of the tea sold is CTC tea. The reason behind it is that CTC tea steeps stronger and has a more bitter flavour to it. This gives you the option of preparing it with condiments such as milk, ginger and sugar. In India, majority of the population prefer drinking tea with milk, due to which CTC tea strives here.

What are the differences between CTC and Orthodox Tea?

  1. Method of preparation

In CTC, tea leaves are crushed, torn, and curled into small, hard pellets by a series of cylindrical rollers with hundreds of sharp teeth. The processing is usually completed in just 2 hours.

In Orthodox, tea leaves undergo a very delicate and precise method of withering, rolling, oxidation and firing. The process takes much more time than CTC.

  •   Intent of preparation

CTC tea is made with the intent of having a standard process of production which allows blending them procured from various tea estates. The quality of the output is only dependable on the input of the tea leaves during the initiation of the process.

Orthodox tea is processed with the intention of preserving the characteristics of a particular leaf. This results in distinction of output among various tea estates.

  • Intent of Consumption

CTC tea is usually much bitter and is consumed by those who are looking to add condiments such as milk, spices, sugar or lemon to their tea.

Orthodox teas are higher quality, less likely to be bitter, and contain more subtle and multi-layered flavors than CTC teas. It can also be processed without fermentation (green tea) or with semi fermentation (oolong tea).

What is Chai Tea?

Chai tea is basically milk tea. In India, tea is called “Chai”. As most Indians consume tea with milk and sugar, Chai tea today has become synonymous with milk tea. When spices are added to the blend of Chai tea, it is often termed as “Masala Chai”. Chai tea is made using CTC tea leaves, rather than orthodox tea leaves. CTC tea is a form of Black tea processed using a different method and is the most popular type of tea in India.

Spices which go along Chai tea:

Some of the popular spices which are often added to Chai tea are ginger (soothes a sore throat, provides relief from a common cold, and reduces nausea), star anise (Rich in antioxidants, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C), cardamom (lowers blood pressure), cloves (rich in vitamins and manganese), nutmeg (relieves pain, soothes indigestion, strengthens cognitive function, detoxifies the body and boosts skin health), fennel seeds (Help in speeding digestion and relieving flatulence, gas) and black pepper (helps in combating pain and inflammation).

Chai Tea Vs Green Tea:

Although both come from the same tea plant, the method of processing in different. Green tea and other tea types such as white, oolong and black undergo orthodox processing techniques. Chai tea leaves undergo crush, torn and curled processing method which results in a different output.

How to brew a perfect cup of Chai tea:

Contrary to common opinion, making a cup of Chai tea is surprisingly easy and takes very little effort. We have added spices to our recipe, but you can always purchase our masala tea blends. With our masala tea, you will only be needing water, milk and sugar.


1. Assam CTC Black Tea – 2 grams

2. Fresh water: 120 ml

3. Milk: 100 ml

4. Sugar: as per taste

5. Green Cardamom: 2-3 cloves

6. Cinnamon: 1/4th of a small stick

7. Ginger: 2 thin, small slices

8. Black Pepper: 4-5 granules

Steps to follow:

1. Fill a saucepan with fresh water (120 mL).

2. Boil the water at moderate flame.

3. Add your preferred spices such as ginger, cinnamon, ground cardamom, black pepper, etc.

4. Allow them steep for 1 minute over medium heat.

5. Toss in 2 grams of CTC tea into the mix. If you have our masala tea blend, don’t add the spices and let it steep for 2 minutes over medium heat.

6. Boil this mixture for 1 minute over medium heat.

7. Now add the milk and the desired amount of sugar to this. Stir all together thoroughly.

8. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low heat.

9. Boil the chai tea for 2 minutes.

10. Turn off the heat, strain the chai tea into a cup and Enjoy.

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