What is orthodox tea? How is it made?

Orthodox tea, you probably heard that name before if you are a tea lover like me. Orthodox tea is a black tea prepared by the traditional method.

Generally, there are two methods of processing tea. Orthodox method and CTC method. Orthodox is an old way of processing and CTC is the new way of black tea manufacturing.


If you see the processing methods, you can’t find any significant difference; both have five steps withering, rolling, fermentation, drying and shorting. But what makes them so different from each other let’s know more about it.

What is orthodox tea mean?

The tea prepared by the traditional method is called orthodox tea. Orthodox tea is a full fermented black tea with a high level of antioxidants. Compared to CTC tea, orthodox tea is more beneficial for our health.

How orthodox tea made-

The manufacturing process of CTC and the orthodox have only a few differences.

So, let’s know the manufacturing process of Orthodox tea. 


Withering is a moisture removal process from the fresh tea leaves with the help of blowing air. In orthodox manufacturing, we remove 40-50% more moisture than CTC. Because in CTC, we crush, tears and curl the leaves, but in orthodox, we only roll the leaves. So it is essential to remove more moisture. Otherwise, it will be difficult to roll the leaves.


In the CTC manufacturing method, we crush, tear and curl, but In orthodox, we only roll the leaves. We roll the leaves to break the cell wall so that the inherent juices can come out and mix together.


During fermentation, we give an ideal atmosphere for oxidation. Where the enzymes activate and break down the complex compound into simpler compounds. Fermentation does not only help in changing color; it also helps in developing flavor and aroma and enhances the taste.


Drying stops oxidation and removes moisture. Drying is very important to make the shelf life longer. If the tea contains more moisture than 2%, it is impossible to store it for a long time.


That is why Before packing, we ensure that the tea is well dried.


In shorting, we categorize the tea according to their shapes and sizes and name them accordingly. 

What are the Grades of orthodox tea?

The grades of orthodox tea are categorized into four types- whole leaf grades, brokens, fannings and dust. There are total 22 grades of orthodox tea.

Whole leaf grades-

SFTGFOP- Super fine tippy golden flowery orange pekoe.

FTGFOP- Fine tippy golden flowery orange pekoe.

TGFOP- Tippy golden flowery orange pekoe.

GFOP- Golden flowery orange pekoe.

FOP- Flowery orange pekoe.

OP- Orange pekoe.

FP- Fine pekoe.


BPS- Borken pekoe souchong.

BOPS1- Broken orange pekoe souchong1.

TGBOP- Tippy golden broken orange pekoe. 

GBOP – Golden broken orange pekoe. 

FBOP- Flowery broken orange pekoe. 

GFBOP- Golden flowery broken orange pekoe. 


TGOF- Tippy golden orange fannings.

GOF- Golden orange fannings. 

FOF- Flowery orange fannings. 

BOPF- Broken orange pekoe fannings. 


SD- Special dust.

OPD- Orange pekoe dust.

FD- Fine dust.

GD- Golden dust.

BOPD- Broken orange pekoe dust.

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