What Is Black Tea?
When it comes to tea, it’s hard to go wrong with Black Tea. One of the most well-loved blends in Western culture, black tea is a popular drink. Made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, black tea is the basis of many popular teas, such as English Breakfast Tea and Earl Grey Tea.
All tea (besides herbal tea) is made from this plant. Camellia Sinensis has two varieties: Camellia Sinensis (Sinensis), which originates from China, and Camellia Sinensis (Assamica), native to the Assam region in India.
Most black tea is made from Camellia Sinensis assamica. The Camellia Sinensis assamica tea variety became famous in 1823 and is now the most popular variety of black tea.
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Where Does Black Tea Come From?
Tea is widely known to come from China, with green tea and semi-oxidized oolong tea being the most popular what westerners know as black tea is called red tea in China. Traditional black tea in China is known as fermented tea (Pu-Erh). Europeans favored black tea due to its ability to retain its flavor for years - making black tea an excellent trade item.
In 1610, the Dutch brought black tea to Europe, later arriving in England in 1658. Black tea improved concentration and health and was enjoyed by royal families and the common folk alike. During the 1700s, demand for Black Tea grew immensely. When the Camellia Sinensis (assamica) plant was discovered in India, Black Teas production exploded, allowing tea growers to create a wider variety of teas with bolder flavor.
How Is Black Tea Made?
Black tea traditionally goes through a five-step process:
- Picking: Black Tea leaves must be picked. The bud and top leaves are selected, and then they are sorted for uniformity
- Withering: Passive oxidation begins once the leaves are plucked and left to wither. The leaves wilt and soften; this prepares them for rolling.
- Rolling: Either by machine or hand, the leaves are shaped by rolling them. This process wrings out juices and helps facilitate oxidation. When the leaves are rolled, the cell walls are broken apart, hastening oxidation, just like when you cut an apple open, and it browns faster than if you hadn’t cut it.
- Oxidation: Black tea leaves must be oxidized. Oxidized is just a fancy way of saying that the leaves wither after being picked as they are exposed to oxygen. The leaves darken to a black or brown color in this chemical reaction. Oxidation can be controlled by adjusting the room temperature, and it is stopped by exposing the leaves to heat (steaming, pan-frying, or baking).
- Firing: The final step is firing the leaves. Firing stops oxidation and removes moisture from the leaves. The finished loose leaf Black Tea is then ready to be enjoyed.
What Does Black Tea Taste Like?
There are many flavors that you can get from black tea. Usually savory, you will experience full-bodied flavors from sweet and malty to peppery and smoky. Our blends use the base of Black Tea and build on it with premium herbs and spices, giving a fresh and unforgettable experience with each sip.
Is Black Tea Acidic?
Black tea has some acidity but is less acidic than coffee.
Is Black Tea Caffeinated?
Black tea is one of the most caffeinated teas you can drink. Depending on how strong the tea is, there can be 45 to 70mg of caffeine per 8 oz. The average cup of coffee can have around 100mg of caffeine.
Differences Between Black And Green Tea
Green tea comes from the same plant as black tea. The main difference between black and green tea is oxidization; black tea is oxidized, and green tea is not. Research has shown that black tea has fewer antioxidants than green tea. Lastly, black tea has a more pungent taste than green tea.
How To Brew Black Tea
Add 1 tsp of Black Tea to an infuser or our Drawstring Tea Bags. Let the tea steep for 3-5 minutes in 8 oz of boiling, filtered water. After the tea is finished steeping, remove the infuser and enjoy!
If you’re looking to make your brewing experience more accessible or enjoyable, we have a few tea accessories to improve your entire black tea experience. First, if you want something that will allow you to make your favorite Black Tea while on the go, then we recommend you check out our Full Leaf Vacuum Flask Tea Infuser. This unique brewing device was created to keep your tea hot all day, regardless of exterior temperature or time. With an infuser that secures inside the bottle, this specialty Vacuum Flask Tea Infuser is perfect for on the go.
To round out your brewing needs, we also offer Natural Paper Drawstring Tea Bags made from durable and natural fibers and our Full Leaf Signature Leaf Infuser, which has a unique design perfect for casual and casual permanent tea consumers alike.
Where To Buy Black Tea
Black tea can be found online! Shameless plug: As of writing this, we sell 15 different types of black teas. We’re USDA certified organic, and our products are vegan and free of GMOs. To top it all off, we have over 10,000 positive reviews, so feel free to try us out! However, if you’re more of an in-store person (we get that), you can find loose leaf black tea at any organic or wellness store such as Whole Foods.Shop Black Tea →