It may come as a surprise to you, but black tea isn’t actually “black tea” after all. In tea’s birthplace China, what we refer to as “black tea” is named “hong cha”- “hong” meaning red, therefore we are actually speaking of red tea here. In China, Black tea is a post-fermented tea in a category all of its own… but since we are in the western market, and not to cause any confusion, we’ll stick to calling it black tea, but we just thought you’d like to know the truth!
Classic and world renown, in the west when someone asks if you would like to have a cup of tea, most of us picture black tea- and more specifically, we imagine bags of orange pekoe served with milk and sugar.
It is unique because traditionally, it is made from a variation of the Camellia Sinensis plant named Camellia Assamica. What makes black tea so special is the way the leaves are processed after the tea is harvested. Black tea has gone through a process of oxidation or fermentation; unlike green tea for instance which isn’t fermented at all. Black tea gets better with age because of this fermentation and will keep for several years. It is the most famous type of tea internationally, and is the base for well-known classics such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Indian Chai, Taiwanese Milk tea, American Iced Tea, and many more.
Chinese black teas are unique in the sense that they are usually given poetic or flowery names, inspired by nature and beauty, such as a lady’s fine eyebrow, or “Big Red Robe”, instead of naming the tea crop after the region or garden where it is grown (for example Assam, Darjeeling, etc…).
Black tea is a true classic, brewing a delicious full bodied cup known for its boost of antioxidants.
Health Benefits of Black Tea
Studies have shown that black tea can help prevent cancer - it contains anti-cancer properties polyphenols. It kills off cancer causing cells while leaving healthy cells unaffected. It also slows down the growth of cancer cells. It can also prevent heart disease - it prevents heart attack by saving arteries, can help reduce cholesterol and strengthen the blood vessels’ lining to regulate blood flow. Black tea drinkers have a 50% less risk of heart disease! Black tea is known to prevent diabetes. Black tea can help reduce and balance blood sugar levels. Prevent tooth decay. Black tea contains a small amount of fluoride, and fluoride ions combine and adhere with calcium in the teeth protecting them from acidity. Not to mention that black tea has just the right amount of a boost to help you make it through your day.
We suggest following the specific suggestions on your bag of tea, but here are some guidelines.
1-1.5 tsp of loose tea for every 8oz of water. 205F/95C for 3-3.5 minutes.