How is Tea Made?

large flat basket of green tea leaves

The Tea-Making Process

All types of tea begin with the leaf from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis. How the leaf is processed after it is picked determines if it becomes white, green, oolong, black or pu-erh tea. Tea can be manufactured using one of two approaches, orthodox or CTC. Orthodox production methods, whether done by hand or by machine, generally preserve the integrity of the tea leaf. 

On the other hand, CTC manufacturing (or “crush-tear-curl”) uses machines to mince, shred or crush the leaf. Both methods can produce excellent teas, however, the orthodox method is typically considered the more “traditional” and produces tea that is generally more complex in flavor and aroma.

The information here is a summary of the research on the potential health benefits of tea compiled by TeaUSA. For more information, visit