Black tea - Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon and Keemun are the best known black teas. These teas are heavily oxidized and processed, compared to white and green teas, giving this tea its namesake dark, dusky appearance.
Black teas are graded according to the size of the leaves - Orange Pekoe (OP) is full leaf tea, while BOP is broken leaf black tea.
Black tea's flavor profile is strong, bold, smoky and malty.
Black Tea Fun Facts and Trivia:
Black tea is called red tea in China.
Black tea constitutes about 75% of teas consumed globally.
When stored properly, black tea does not lose its flavor for many years. This is the primary reason why it was traded extensively in the past. In the 1800’s, blocks of black tea was even used as currency by the Siberians, Mongolians and Tibetans.
The caffeine content of black tea is low at 40 mg per cup. In contrast, a cup of brewed coffee has 85 to 200 mg.
The black tea’s health benefits come from flavonoids, which are antioxidants that help neutralize the cellular damage done by free radicals. Scientific studies have demonstrated that the consumption of 3 or more cups per day significantly lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke; and also lowers the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
Three hundred and forty cases of black and green tea from India were thrown into the sea during the Boston Tea Party, an act of protest carried out by the Americans against the British government in December 1773.
Drinking black tea after an indulgent meal can help counteract the adverse effects of eating too much fatty food.
Brewing black tea at higher temperatures releases more antioxidants. Ideally, it should be brewed close to boiling point.