By Claire Hou
Black tea, as opposed to Pu’erh, is more common in Western countries and widely consumed. Beloved variants such as iced tea and sweet tea are usually made using lack tea.
Tea is known to have originated in China, but thriving trade routes and abundant exports meant that people all over the world could get their hands on tea. Demand for tea, and strong black tea in particular, spiked in England in the 1700s.
Black tea production increased significantly in the 19th century, when the Camellia sinensis assamica tea plant variety was discovered in a region of India. In 1835, the English started planting tea gardens near Nepal, and these different varieties of black tea became popular in England. The well-known English Breakfast and Earl-Grey teas are made from black tea leaves.
How is it made?
What differentiates black tea from green tea is that the leaves are fully oxidized before applying heat and being dried. This oxidation gives black tea its dark color as well as a distinct smoky flavor, depending on the variety of tea.
What are its health benefits?
Tea is well-known for its health benefits, and black tea in particular has antioxidant properties, which help decrease cell damage in bodies. One study showed that theaflavins in black tea reduced cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and therefore risk of diabetes, obesity, and other related heart problems.
Black tea can also provide a small caffeine boost. It contains less caffeine than green tea, and significantly less than coffee, so if you are looking for a small energy boost but not to pull an all-nighter, black tea is a great fit!
How should it be brewed?
Check out our previous article about the right way to brew tea, and bon appetit!