Everything You Need to Know About Black Tea
By Emilie Holmes
Whether black, oolong, green or white, all tea comes from one plant - Camelia Sinensis. It is what happens after the leaves are picked that determines which type it becomes. Despite having seen a decline in consumption over the last few years, thanks to an increasing variety of teas available, black tea is still the most widely consumed of the tea types in the UK. So what is black tea?
How Black Tea is made
After the leaves are picked, they are gently bruised and allowed to fully oxidise. During this process the leaves will turn from the green you see on the bush to the brown we recognise as tea, before finally being dried.
Flavour of Black Tea
The most full-bodied of the teas. Expect rich and robust flavours, from a malty Assam to a lively Rwanda with notes of caramel and currants.
Benefits of Black Tea
Get up and go: thanks to their high caffeine content, black teas will give you that kick to get you out of bed in the morning. Unlike coffee, the caffeine in black tea is slow-release and therefore leaves you feeling energised for longer.
Prevent disease: black teas are also naturally high in flavanoids, powerful antioxidants known to help lower cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
A couple of our most popular Black Teas
A rich, malty black tea grown in the region from which it takes its name in North Eastern India - the largest growing region in the world. The tropical climate here contributes to the rich, full body and in particular the malty flavour for which Assam teas are best known, make them a perfect partner to milk for a punchy breakfast tea.
An aromatic, yet full-bodied black tea grown high in the Himalayas, Darjeeling is known as the ‘champagne’ of teas. Celebrated for their wine-like profile, thanks to a unique musky-sweetness, Darjeelings make for a delicious, fragrant afternoon tea. While the 1st Flush, the first ‘picking’ of the year and therefore the youngest leaves, is typically delicate, fresh and even vegetal, the more mature leaves of the 2nd Flush, harvested in May/June, tend to have a more pronounced muscatel flavour, as well as a fuller body.