Many consumers think that green tea, white tea and black tea are different varieties of tea leaves. In reality, black tea is a green tea that has undergone oxidation (confused with fermentation). Very popular in the West, especially among the English, black tea is available in an infinite variety of flavors.
History of black tea
The history of black tea is quite amusing.
According to the most famous legend, in the 17th century, a ship coming from China and heading to England, imported green tea.
It was stored below the waterline, and suffered from the heat. With the duration of the voyage, the tea and experienced an oxidation, making its leaves black.
Far from stopping the English, they consumed it, and preferred it to green tea for tea-time. So much for the myth.
The true origin of black tea is not well known, which does not affect its popularity in Europe.
Black tea is cultivated in Asia, mainly in China, where it is called red tea, because of the color it gives to the water during the infusion. Moreover, the name red tea is confusing, because it can refer to rooibos.
Black tea producing countries
Tea comes from the tea plant, a shrub that answers to the name of Camellia Sinensis. It originates from the Far East where it has been cultivated for centuries for its leaves which give the famous drink.
China is the first producer in the world of tea, all colors included. But, surprise, black tea has many other origins. Thus, we can find black teas that come from different countries.
For example, India is the second producer country. This is explained by its colonial past by the British, who loved tea.
Then comes Kenya, followed by Sri Lanka, Turkey and Iran as well as Japan.
Black tea from India
India is the second largest producer of black tea, including excellent teas. Its gardens are very famous and its teas are very appreciated in the world, especially in Great Britain, a former colony.
The black tea of Assam
Assam tea is a black tea that constitutes half of the production in India, on the slopes of the Himalayas. The tea plant is a cousin variety of Camellia Sinensis. The summer harvest is the most sought after. With its spicy notes and full-bodied taste, it will make your palate travel.
One of the most famous Indian black teas. In fact, it is called the champagne of teas. Its specificity lies in its cultivation at high altitude, combined with the variety of tea plants originating from China, which gives Darjeeling its particular taste.
Ceylon tea is one of the most famous black teas. Originally from Sri Lanka, it owes its popularity to an English colonist who brought the tea plant from China. Another colonist, Irish this time, bought many plots and then marketed the harvests in retail.
Black tea from China
Known to be the largest producer of tea, China exports its black teas.
Originating from the Fujian province, Lapsang Souchong is a smoky black tea with a full-bodied and very fragrant flavor, which can be enjoyed with salty dishes, which it enhances very well, as well as sweet ones.
The keemun tea is a tea that also comes from China. Its origin is exclusive to the county of Qimen. It has a light smoky taste and is low in bitterness. There are several Keemuns, all very fragrant. This black tea can be used in the composition of Oolong, an infusion between black and green tea.
There are also teas of less reputed origin , but they are not to be ignored. They also have interesting health benefits. In any case, prefer organic black tea, and imitate the Chinese: don't botch the preparation, or you will be disappointed.