Black, White, Green, Oolong, Pu-erh, and Purple Teas – all originate from the camellia Sinensis plant, albeit from different varieties of this plant. The varieties of the plant and its processing techniques, result in the varied taste and look of each type of tea. Our focus today is Black Tea – a highly oxidized version of the leaves of the plant, which results in a dark reddish-golden hue with a hearty and mildly astringent taste, and contains half the amount of caffeine when compared with coffee. As a tea lover (or not!), you would be familiar with black tea – the glorious robust flavored tea that is available in a large number of varieties, flavors, and blends.
Types of Black Tea:
The main producers of this type of tea are India and China, while Srilanka, Nepal, Kenya, and Vietnam are not far behind in black tea production. With such a wide range of black teas available, you can easily choose the best black tea for you.
Indian Black Tea
The Indian Black Tea is brewed from the assamica tea variety of the camellia Sinensis plant and is grown mostly in Assam and Darjeeling. English and Irish Breakfast Teas use the Indian black teas, and have a dark, rich, and full-bodied ‘character’.
Chinese Black Tea
As the name suggests, this tea has its origin in China and is usually a milder and lighter tea, which usually does not require the addition of milk or sugar. In China, this tea is referred to as ‘red tea’, while aged and fermented teas (such as pu-erh) are referred to as ‘black tea’. Some of the well-loved Chinese black teas are Lapsang Souchang, China Keemun, and Golden Yunnan.
Sri Lankan Black Tea
These black teas are light but have a light, crisp, and floral flavor. These teas have a light orange hue, with mild bitterness.
Kenyan Black Tea
Kenya follows China and India in tea production. This black tea is full-bodied and robust, with a rather alluring mix of star anise, citrus, cardamom, and chocolate.
Malaysian Black Tea
This tea (Teh Tarik) is a popular beverage in Malaysia and Brunei and is drunk mixed with milk. Teh Tarik is made from black tea dustings, with the addition of sugar and condensed milk. You would find this tea sold in copious amounts in tea stalls, usually as an accompaniment to roti and curry.
Best Black Teas - Scented/Flavored/Blended
Black teas are used to create some of the most loved, tasty, and popular tea blends across the globe.
English Breakfast Tea
English Breakfast Tea has a mild malt flavor this is a strong and full-bodied black tea. It contains a mix of Assam and Darjeeling teas.
Earl Grey Tea
Earl Grey Tea has a distinct citrus flavor – it is a blend of one or more black teas, mixed with bergamot essential oil. This can be had with or without the addition of milk.
Masala Chai Tea
While this is not a typical type of tea, it is an exciting beverage made from a mix of black tea leaves, spices, milk, and sugar – extremely popular across India and South Asia. The soothing rich flavor is a boon in the cold months.
There are several more such blended/flavored black teas: Yunnan Red (China) which comes in four varieties, Taiwanese Bubble or Pearl Milk tea that can be drunk hot or cold, Thai Milk Tea, Japanese Royal Milk Tea, Irani Chai, and more.
Black tea is one of the most loved and hence most commonly found type of tea. It makes for an awesome ‘introduction’ into the wondrous world of tea for beginners. This popular beverage has varied nuances – specialty black teas, blended/flavored black teas, and black teas from around the world that have their own distinct and unique qualities. Get yourself a cuppa of happiness and health!
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