Black tea is a heavenly beverage originated just like the other tea varieties from the tea plant, known for specialists as Camellia Sinensis. Black tea is also traditionally made from a variation of the Camellia Sinensis called Camellia Assamica. What makes black tea so special is the processing of the leaves part. Black tea is fermented, unlike green tea for instance which isn’t fermented at all.
Another special thing about black tea is that it retains its flavor for several years, unlike the green teas which are better to be consumed while still fresh. This interesting fact makes black tea the most exported and the best-sold tea in the Western countries. We can call black tea “the wine of teas” because it gets better with time.
Here’s everything you need to know about black tea & how it’s different from green tea:
What is Black Tea?
Black tea as Westerners calls it represents, in fact, the name given to those teas which have been fermented. The black tea features thus a distinct red color. In China, the motherland of all teas, the so-called black teas in the Western countries, are in fact known as red teas or in Chinese translation “Hong Cha”, “hong” meaning, in fact, red and not black. The true black Chinese teas as they are recognized in China are the post-fermented or ages teas. It is the same process as with good wine, the older, the better.
Black Tea Is Really Red!
How did this confusion in name related to black tea appear? It is, in fact, a historical confusion. The story goes back in the 17th century when Dutch and British traders discovered in their quest for merchandise that some tea leaves were darker than the usual green tea leaves, they were accustomed to until then. So, they naturally named it “black tea” without really making any fuss about the original Chinese name. I guess that they didn’t even know that “hong” referred actually to red color.
The British continued to maintain and sustain that confusion about black tea. They did tea trade in Xiamen City, the province of Fujian, China when they first had a sip of the black tea. The traders were indeed very happy when discovering this heavenly beverage. It was much tastier and flavored than green tea. The great part was that it could be shipped over important distances and so much like wine, it really improved in taste and flavor with time. So, the name, brand, and label of black tea remained the same for centuries in West though now the people are starting to acknowledge the initial trader's mistake.
Types Of Black Tea
Black tea is grown and processed all over the world in varying geographies and climates. Three of the largest producers of black tea today are India, Sri Lanka, and Africa. In fact, half of the world’s tea production comes from India. Some of the most popular styles of black tea coming out of these top-producing countries include:
India’s Assam region is the largest tea-growing region in the world. The rainy, tropical climate produces a tea known for its bold and malty characteristics that stand up well to milk and sugar.
Grown in a smaller, mountainous tea-producing region of India, Darjeeling is a softer, more herbaceous black tea that can change season to season with the climate. Darjeeling is often used as the tea base for India’s popular spiced beverage, Chai.
Much of Sri Lanka’s economy depends on its more than half a million acres of tea gardens that range in location from cool and mountainous to humid and tropical. Most of Sri Lanka’s tea export is black tea, known as Ceylon. Ceylon teas can vary depending on where they grow, but they are generally known to be strong and brisk with a hint of spice. (Sri Lanka is also known for its cinnamon production.)
Being a latecomer to tea production (the early 1900s), Kenya learned fast and now leads Africa and the industry in the CTC style of tea production, producing and exporting black tea. Kenyan tea is known for its assertive, full-bodied style.
Benefits of Black Tea
1. Oral Health
2. A Better Heart
4. Cancer Prevention
5. Healthy Bones
6. Lower Risk of Diabetes
7. Stress Relief
8. Better Immune System
9. Healthy Digestive Tract
10. Increased Energy
11. Happiness Factor
How Black Tea And Green Tea Differ?
Both green and black tea is made from a shrub called Camellia Sinensis, but with different processing methods. In addition to the leaves being withered, rolled and heated, black tea leaves are fermented before the final heating process.
- Green tea leaves aren't fermented and hence, don't go through the oxidation process that black tea undergoes, making it extremely rich in the EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), a popular antioxidant known for fighting cancer, cardiovascular conditions and more.
- Green tea contains 1/4th of the caffeine that coffee has, making it healthier. -Since oxidation is arrested, it is believed that more polyphenols are preserved.
- It supports weight loss programs that include diet and exercise.
- Green tea leaves are good for afternoon breaks and meditation in the evening.
- It is less acidic and so, washes off acidic waste.
- Pure organic green tea creates a detoxifying effect, giving you glowing skin, boosted metabolism and stronger immunity.
- The EGCG in black tea is destroyed during the fermentation process. Hence, green tea is ahead of black tea in its antioxidant quality and quantity.
- Black tea contains 1/3rd the amount of caffeine your coffee contains.
- It hydrates the body and strengthens the immune system with bacteria-fighting antioxidants and promotes blood flow to the brain.
- It improves focus and concentration.
- It's a morning 'eye-opener'.
- Black tea and coffee are more acidic. Mild black tea needs a lemon to kill acidity.
Black tea and green tea may differ in fermentation process but both of them has good effects to the body. Both teas can help the body to detoxify and maintain a healthy body. Despite the confusion in Black tea, it is always readily available in the market and a good substitute for coffee. In this post, I shared with you everything you need to know about black tea & how it’s different from green tea.
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