Black Teas

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What Is Black Tea?

If you live in western culture, when you think of tea, black tea is what probably comes to mind. Black tea is used in many popular tea blends such as English Breakfast Tea, Earl Grey Tea and more. If you enjoy a cool tall glass of iced tea, more than likely it has been made with black tea.

Black tea is from the Camellia sinensis plant, the leaves are fully oxidized (fermented) which gives the tea its’ dark brown and black color and rich flavor. The leaves are harvested and allowed to wither, they are then cut or rolled to bruise the leaves which starts the oxidation process. Once oxidized, the leaves are heated to stop the oxidation. At this point the tea is tested for quality and prepared for packaging.

Black tea has a wide bold flavor profile. It can range from a sweet floral or citrus note to a malty, earthy, or smoky flavor. Due to its strong flavors, many people enjoy adding milk, sweeteners, and other flavorings to black tea. But it can also be enjoyed on its own, making it a zero-calorie drink. Perfect for when you are trying to manage your weight.

Why You Should Drink Black Tea

Black tea contains the highest amount of caffeine of all the teas, 16 – 61 mg in an 8-ounce cup. Coffee contains 95 – 200 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. The caffeine content and its strong flavors make black tea an excellent transition drink for coffee drinkers that enjoy the added boost from caffeine. Plus, black tea is packed with health benefiting antioxidants such as flavonoids and phytochemicals which benefit cardiovascular health and help protect the body from a variety of health concerns.

drink-black-tea1.pngHealth Benefiting Nutrients in Black Tea:

  • Carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, has antioxidant and protective properties.
  • Thiamin (vitamin B1) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) are both essential for releasing energy from food.
  • Nicotinic acid and pantothenic acid are necessary for the release of energy from fat and carbohydrate.
  • Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is essential for a healthy immune system.
  • Vitamin B6 is involved in the metabolism of proteins.
  • Black tea also affects the bacterial enzyme glucosyltranferase which is responsible for converting sugars into the sticky matrix material that plaque uses to adhere to teeth.

Black Tea Benefits

  • Benefits Digestive Health
  • Supports Cardiovascular Health
  • May Aid with Alertness & Natural Energy
  • Benefits Metabolism
  • May Aid Weight Management

Brewing Black Tea drink-black-tea-1.png

  • Amount of Tea: 2 - 3 teaspoons of loose-leaf tea per 8 oz cup, depending on how strong you prefer or 1 teabag. If using loose-leaf tea, you can leave the leaves loose or use a tea strainer or re-useable teabag.
  • Hot Water: Add hot water to your pot or cup before you start. This will keep the tea hotter. Dump out this water when you are ready to make the tea. Start with cold water and bring up to 190 – 212 degrees, just boiling.
  • Steeping: First pour a small amount of water over the tea leaves, then dump it off. This will let the tea leaves start to bloom and decrease bitterness. Next pour the hot water over the tea leaves in your pot or cup and let the tea steep 3 – 5 minutes. Remove the tea leaves immediately to avoid increased bitterness. Good quality black tea leaves can be infused several times before flavor goes flat.
  • Finishing: Add your favorite milk, sweetener, or flavorings if desired. Drink and enjoy!

You can do more with black tea than just drink it. Try cooking with it! You can add flavor and health benefits to your meals just by adding black tea to your recipes. Try making a strong tea to use as part of a marinade or add to soup and gravies. Or just put some tea leaves in a reusable tea or spice bag and drop into your soup!

Learn How To Make The Perfect Cup Of Tea!