What is Orthodox Tea: The Traditional Brew

What is Orthodox Tea

Orthodox tea, also known as traditional tea, is a type of tea that is brewed using a traditional method. It is characterized by its bright and sharp flavor profile, which is multi-layered and complex. The process of making orthodox tea involves several steps, including plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation, and drying. This traditional method of tea production is most commonly practiced in countries like India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Indonesia.



How Orthodox Tea is Made

The process of making orthodox tea is a meticulous and time-consuming one. Each step is carefully executed to ensure the desired flavor profile is achieved. Explore the method of processing with this in-depth guide:



Tea pluckers carefully handpick the tea leaves from the tea gardens. These leaves are then stored in bamboo baskets tied to their backs to keep them fresh. The plucking process is crucial as it determines the quality of the tea.



After the leaves are plucked, they are spread out and laid under the sun to wither. This step helps to evaporate the moisture content in the leaves and soften them, making them less prone to crumbling during subsequent processing.



Once the withering process is complete, the tea leaves are rolled to achieve the desired shape. This task can be accomplished through either manual effort or with the assistance of machines. Rolling the leaves breaks the cell walls and releases the juice without tearing the leaf, enhancing the aroma and flavor.



Oxidation is a crucial step in the production of orthodox tea. During this process, enzymes and polyphenol juices in the tea leaves react with oxygen in the air, resulting in color, flavor, and aroma development. The leaves are spread on perforated trays and exposed to humidified air for 2-4 hours, allowing them to change from green to yellow to copper and finally brown.



After oxidation, the tea leaves are dried to reduce the moisture content from 60% to 3%. This is done within 15-20 minutes to prevent the loss of flavor. Once dried, the leaves are then cooled and packed after grading.



Benefits of Orthodox Tea

Orthodox tea is not only a delicious beverage but also offers several health benefits. Here are some of the advantages of consuming orthodox tea:


Energy Boost

The strong flavor of orthodox tea can instantly revive and energize you. It contains L-theanine, which improves focus and alertness by increasing alpha activity in the brain. It provides stable energy levels, making it an excellent choice for those who spend long hours in front of screens.


Blood Sugar Control

Orthodox tea can help lower blood sugar levels, making it beneficial for those at risk of conditions like obesity, kidney failure, and type 2 diabetes. By eliminating the need for added sugar in tea preparation, orthodox tea can help control sugar intake and maintain a healthier lifestyle.


Reduces Risk of Chronic Diseases

The antioxidants present in orthodox tea can reduce cell damage in the body, boost overall health, and promote a more youthful appearance. Regular consumption of orthodox tea before workouts can increase endurance and help in weight management.


Dental Health

Unlike other caffeine products, orthodox tea is good for teeth. The tea plant is rich in fluoride, which is beneficial for dental health. Additionally, orthodox tea lowers bacterial growth and pH levels, making teeth and gums less prone to oral problems.


Heart Health

Orthodox tea contains flavonoids that have been linked to improved heart health. It can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL), high blood pressure, and triglycerides. Regular consumption of orthodox tea can also help in keeping arteries clean.


Immune Boost

Orthodox tea acts as an immunity booster, helping the body fight off bacterial and viral infections. This is especially important in times like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, where maintaining a strong immune system is crucial.


Stroke Prevention

Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise can prevent a significant portion of strokes. Orthodox tea, with its various health benefits, can contribute to stroke prevention by promoting a healthy lifestyle.


Weight Management

Orthodox black tea is low in calories, making it a guilt-free beverage choice for those watching their calorie intake. It provides an energy boost without adding excessive calories to your diet.



How to Brew a Perfect Cup of Orthodox Black Tea

Preparing a perfect cup of orthodox black tea is a simple process. Follow these steps to enjoy a delightful cup of this traditional brew:

  • Boil water in a pan.
  • Add a teaspoon of orthodox tea to the boiling water.
  • Cover the pan and let the tea simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Strain the tea into a cup.
  • Enhance the flavor to your liking by incorporating your preferred sweetener.
  • Savor the taste and aroma of orthodox black tea.



Difference Between Orthodox and CTC Tea

Orthodox tea and CTC (Crush, Tear, Curl) tea are two different methods of tea production. While both result in black tea, there are distinct differences between the two:


Production Method

Orthodox tea production focuses on preserving the virtues of tea leaves and involves a traditional, time-consuming process. On the other hand, CTC tea production aims for faster production of standard-quality tea. The leaves are fed into machines that crush, tear, and curl them into small pellets.


Methods and Tools Used

Orthodox tea production relies on traditional practices, often done by hand. This includes the careful steps of plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation, and drying. On the other hand, CTC involves the use of machines that automate the process, resulting in more uniform tea pellets.


Flavor Profile

Orthodox tea offers a more authentic tea experience, with a complex flavor profile that can be categorized into black, green, white, or oolong tea based on the processing techniques. CTC tea, on the other hand, produces a strong, dark liquor with an astringent flavor profile. It is often preferred with the addition of milk and lemon.




In conclusion, orthodox tea is a traditional brew that offers a unique and multi-layered flavor profile. Its production involves a meticulous process that results in high-quality tea. Consuming orthodox tea not only provides a delightful sensory experience but also offers numerous health benefits. Whether you prefer it plain or with added flavorings, orthodox tea is a versatile beverage that can be enjoyed throughout the day. So, why not savor a cup of this traditional brew and experience its richness and complexity firsthand.