Opinion | Capitalism, craft and India’s CTC tea
From the industrial revolution to post-independence India, how the machine-made CTC became a pantry staple
My morning cup of milk tea reminds me that we are a country of CTC drinkers. Machine-made tea, CTC (cut-tear-curl) is granular in texture, with a consistent flavour—completely different from orthodox tea. It’s not posh or expensive, and cannot really be enjoyed without milk and sugar. Some have wondered if the making of chai was a way to mask the tea’s inferior quality. Frankly, I think there is some basis for the CTC’s popularity and it has one of the most fantastic backstories, one that takes you back to the industrial revolution, a newly independent India...and the Titanic!