Black tea’s existence started in the mid-17th century when China reinvented making tea for a bolder flavor and longer lifespan. Back then, green tea and oolong tea were at their peak until black tea was discovered.
On the other hand, other historical accounts state that the discovery of tea happened in Assam, a region in India where the tea leaves were first grown. Because India was a colony of Britain, black tea’s prominence also quickly reached the western part of the globe.
How Black Tea is Produced
Like the other types of tea available in the market, black tea starts from Camellia sinensis. What determines the tea produced in the plant’s duration and process.
The Camellia sinensis plant used for black tea is the Camellia sinensis assamica. You can find these plants in the temperate regions of China and India – the two countries leading the world’s top producer of tea in the world.
Camellia sinensis assamica differs from the Camellia sinensis used in making green and white tea. The assamica type has larger leaves more pigmented in color and resembles a tree instead of the typical shrub form. A typical assamica plant could grow up to 15 meters in height.
Before the tedious process of making black tea, tea producers make sure that the leaves are fully oxidized. The goal is for the leaves’ cell walls to be exposed to oxygen and turn them into darker shades of brown and black. The longer the oxidation, the richer the flavor of black tea will be. This process gives black tea its signature smoky, fruity, and bold flavors.
Amidst the automation of tea production in the modern world, the stages are the same as the traditional methods. The usual steps include withering the tea leaves in batches, rolling them to stabilize the flavor, oxidizing the leaves for 8-12 hours, and finally drying them out to stop the oxidation.
Types of Black Tea
With the hype brought by black tea, countries started their versions to share with the world. Many black tea brands, types, and tastes began dominating the market. Among the famous black tea types in the world are:
- Assam Black Tea – originated in India iconic for its malty flavor perfect for milk and sugar.
- Darjeeling Black Tea – originated in India but is produced from younger Camellia sinensis leaves. It is also used as a base flavor in Chai teas.
- Ceylon Black Tea – originated from Sri Lanka, notable for its sweet, spicy, citrusy, and bold flavor.
- Kenyan Black Tea – originated from Kenya, distinct for its intense but smooth flavor.
Benefits of Black Tea
Black tea is famous not only for its taste but also for its beneficial effects on the body. A cup of this pigmented drink provides you with powerful vitamins such as epigallocatechin gallate for inflammations, theaflavins, and thearubigins for weight loss and cancer.
The health benefits of black tea were proven over time and are sworn by many health enthusiasts. Studies show that frequent drinking of black tea protects the body from heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, and other deadly complications.
Black tea could also help speed up your metabolism on your weight loss journey. Black tea is also a popular addition to diets because of its ability to decrease weight by preventing the spread of fat cells inside the body.
The good thing about black tea is that it makes one feel good inside. Black tea is also the holy grail for those who want supple and wrinkle-free skin as it is also a proven remedy for premature skin aging.