Move-over Green Tea...Make some room for Black Tea on the Healthy Tea List...
Black Tea offers us gastronomical delight and a bounty of health benefits to boot...but when it comes to Black Tea, we tend to think of it as, well, Black Tea right?
What we don't tend to consider so much is the range of Black Teas that are out there and the variety there is in the leaf appearance, the broth color/aroma and the cup characteristics.
I mean Black Tea IS Black Tea...Isn't it?
Ok so, consider this; if both green and black teas come from the same genetic plant, Camellia sinensis, what creates the difference between the leaf appearance, broth color and cup character between green and black tea...let alone different green and black teas?
It is Oxidation that literally defines Black Tea...
The same natural process that turns an apple bite brown will change tealeaves from green to brown, (what we call black tea), unless something is done to prevent that from happening.
In the case of green tea the leaves are processed in such a fashion to preventing the browning of the leaves, and in the case of black teas, the process is fashioned in a way to encourage it.
So, It's the level or amount of oxidation that the tea leaves are processed to that determines the type of finished tea that the leaves have been turned into.
Here's the key to black teas though; there are countless manipulations that can be done with tealeaves during the processing as the tealeaves are oxidizing. The result is an opportunity for artisans and tea masters to create unique greatness by making the most of their leaf material.
In Your Teacup, the Oxidation Conditions...Time & Temperature Were Critical in Determining:
Briskness: A lively and slightly astringent sensation and mouth feel as opposed to a flat of soft broth.
Strength or robustness: Think of it as level of boldness with strong being powerful character.
Thickness: The viscosity or body ranging from water-light to thick almost syrupy.
Aroma: The presence and level of distinct, desirable and fragrant aroma molecules.
Taste: The level of salt, sweet, sour, bitter and umami determined by the concentration of ingredient in the broth.
Flavor: The blending of Aroma and Taste in the flavor center of your brain.
While all of these Tea Characteristics are influenced by oxidation levels, steeping conditions are key to finding the perfect balance in the cup for your unique taste.
The Recipe for Producing Black Teas AND the Secret of Black Tea Greatness...
It all begins with taking care of the tealeaves. As you would imagine, plant care and tea garden management are at the core of tea excellence. Probably 60-80% of the tea goodness results from the unique terroir of the tea with 20-40% being influenced by the processing of the leaves.
From there, the manufacturing or processing consists of plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation, firing, and grading.
The Secret and Key to achieving Black Tea Greatness is within the attention to detail and technique applied at each critical to quality step in the process.
Chemical changes in the leaves along metabolic pathways within the leaves begin the instant a tealeaf is plucked. That change is managed carefully throughout the processing of the leaves to assure the process will yield excellence in the finished tea.
What does all this Mean Relative to Black Tea?
It means Variety. It means that all black teas are what is called Fully Oxidized, but the processing conditions of black tea influence the leaf appearance and cup experience dramatically.
Within all this is the Joy of Black Teas. Growing locations effect the leaf material produced, and creative processing technique manipulates the leaf material is ways to optimize the end result in the cup.
Taking a look at the range of black teas available in our Black Tea Collection begins to give one the awareness of the range of character and enjoyment options available to us...who knew?
Look, never abandon your favorites...I get it. However, be sure to broaden your black tea enjoyment and you will be thrilled you did.
But There is More to that Fabulous Cup of Black Tea than Loving the Taste...that is in Knowing How Good it is For You...
Because Black Tea is Fully Oxidized by definition, the chemical changes in the leaf material result in particular health benefit strengths that developed during the oxidation stage of processing...
Camellia sinensis, the tea plant, offers us a plethora of health advantages beyond our mood-boost when enjoying a great cup of tea. In fact, the ancient Chinese considered tea to be 10,000 Medicines...A Full-Body Tonic.
Here is a short list of the major health strengths of the fully-oxidized black teas; Digestive Health, Cardiovascular Health, Artery Health, Brain Health, Bloodfat & Cholesterol Health.
Knowing when you are sippin' and savorin' that what you are also doing is doing good things for your wellbeing and longevity is a really good feeling that you will want to have again and again.
You see, We Really Can't Simply Say Black Tea IS Black Tea...It's Way More Than That.
Visually comparing many black teas against others, it seems hard to believe that they are all black teas...but they are. That's the amazing part.
It's the range of black teas that is rather astonishing, and that lots of tea drinkers don't even realize exists...and that is where a lot of tea drinking joy is.
Take advantage of Black Teas Flavorful and Healthy and make your tea drinking...even better.