The history and main types of Black Tea

Black Tea, Featured — By on March 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Black TeaBlack tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Its flavor is stronger because it’s more oxidized than other teas. Black tea maintains its flavor much longer than other teas, possibly because the oxidation and fermentation process is longer which turns the leaves black. Green and white teas preserve their flavors for about a year while black tea can continue to be flavorful many years. Black tea can be blended with citrus fruits such as orange or lemon and spices such as cinnamon to create the perfect flavor. Black tea is best when steeped for 3 to 5 minutes in freshly boiled water. Irish breakfast, Darjeeling, Orange Spice, English breakfast and Earl Grey are a few of the popular blends of black tea.

Irish and English breakfast goes well with milk and sugar and has a more robust, full bodied flavor. Earl Grey contains bergamot oil to bring about the orange flavor. Orange Spice combines black tea leaves with dried orange zest or spices such as cloves, cinnamon or allspice.

There are two theories detailing the beginning of the tea. The first involves the shift from compressed tea cakes to loose leaf tea production in the Ming Dynasty in the Wuyi Mountains. While trying to perfect the new system, tea producers noticed that tea leaves would turn red as a sign of fermentation. The color of the leaves brought forth the alternate name of red tea in China.

The second theory takes place in the Chinese village of Tong Mu. This theory credits the invention of black tea to army soldiers. The soldiers stopped brewing green tea and made beds out of the piles of tea leaves. When they left the village the leaves had turned black and people starting brewing tea from those leaves inventing black tea.

Black tea is a great energy booster that is perfect for mornings and afternoons. Studies have been conducted showing that black tea may help maintain healthy cardiovascular and circulatory systems. It is high in antioxidants which help to fight cancer, arthritis, viruses, fat and boost the immune system.





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