Black Tea is the most common type of tea in our culture. It is tasty with milk and sugar, with a bit of honey, or by itself. It’s the variety of tea that is more oxidized than the Oolong, Green, and White varieties.
Black Tea is generally stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the less oxidized teas. Two principal varieties of the species are used, the small-leaved Chinese variety plant (C. sinensis sinensis).
These are also used for green and White Teas, and the large-leaved Assamese Plant (C. sinensis assamica), which was traditionally only used for Black Tea, although in recent years some Green has been produced.
In Chinese and culturally influenced languages, Black Tea is known as “Crimson Tea”, perhaps a more accurate description of the color of the liquid. The name Black Tea, however, could alternatively refer to the color of the oxidized leaves. In Chinese, “Black Tea” is a commonly used classification for post-fermented teas, such as Pu-erh Tea. However, in the Western world, “Red Tea” more commonly refers to Rooibos, a South African Tisane.
The Black Tea we are pushing at the moment is from Adagio Teas, a Tea Company that began ten years ago introducing customers to an array of gourmet hand picked, whole leaf teas. Their “mission” is simple; to bring tea lovers in all corners of the United States and Canada fresh seasonal teas with abundant flavor and intoxicating aromas that will delight them daily. Here at Hottest Tea, we certainly approve… and CANNOT recommend their “Sampler Pack” highly enough!!!
Its interesting to note: While Green Tea usually loses its flavor within a year, Black Tea retains its flavor for several years. For this reason, it has long been an article of trade, and compressed bricks of black tea even served as a form of de facto currency in Mongolia, Tibet, and Siberia into the 19th century.
It was known since the Tang Dynasty that black tea steeped in hot water could also serve as a passable cloth dye for the lower classes that could not afford the better quality clothing colors of the time. However, far from being a mark of shame, the “brown star” mark of the dyeing process was seen as much better than plain cloth and held some importance as a mark of the lower merchant classes through the Ming Dynasty.
The tea originally imported to Europe was either green or semi-oxidized. Only in the 19th century did black tea surpass green in popularity. Although green tea has recently seen a revival due to its purported health benefits. Black Tea still accounts for over ninety percent of all tea sold in the West.
The expression “Black Tea” is also used to describe a cup of tea without milk (”served black”), similar to coffee served without milk or cream. Simple right?
Black Tea General Brewing Guidelines
Brewing Temperature: 212° (a rolling boil)
Brewing Time: 3-5 minutes
1 tsp of loose tea per 8 oz cup
If you are new to Black Tea, you can try a sampler of many varieties to get acquainted with them (as shown below) and decide which are your favorites and this is way we recommend going about it:
Discover the world of difference between supermarket tea and the gourmet varieties found in this set. Sample black teas from China, India and Sri Lanka. Six reusable tins in total, one ounce apiece. 5 tins – 60 cups of black tea for only $14.00.