Born by chance in the holds of a boat, the black tea has conquered the planet. Through a rigorous manufacturing process, the tea leaves are oxidized to produce a unique beverage. From Darjeeling to Assam, organic black teas develop a wide range of flavors. Well prepared, their health benefits are numerous. Journey to the heart of Asia to discover the secrets of black tea.
- The legend of black tea
- The making of the black tea infusion
- Black tea varieties
- The preparation of black tea
- The benefits of organic black tea
The legend of black tea
According to the legend, the discovery of the black tea is accidental. A shipment of green tea from China to England became oxidized during the ocean crossing. By the time it reached its destination, the tea had turned black. At first surprised by the strange appearance of the tea leaves, the English ended up preferring them to the original green teas. Today, black tea, of Ceylon or Darjeeling, this is the centerpiece of the traditional "cup of tea" enjoyed at breakfast or tea time.
The making of the black tea infusion
Black tea is made by oxidizing the leaves to change the taste and color. The list of nutritional compounds is also altered. However, the black tea does not designate the same drink in all latitudes.
Defining the name of black tea
The black tea as we know it here is called "red tea"in China. In the West, red tea is the infusion of rooibos. For the Chinese, black tea isoolong double fermented. It is a rare and luxurious variety of tea. However, in India, the name of the tea is the one used by the English.
Methods of oxidation of black tea
Since the 19th century, the methods of oxidizing plain black tea have not changed much. They change the flavor and color of the tea. The two main methods are the orthodox method and the CTC method.
The orthodox method
The orthodox method is the most used and the most natural. It consists in letting the tea dry in the open air to make it lose half of its water content. Then the tea leaves are rolled and placed in a warm and humid atmosphere.
When the leaves have oxidized enough, they are dehydrated. The green tea has become black tea. The leaves are crushed and sold in bulk or in bags. Each tea variety adapts this process to its leaves. It is the way of oxidizing that best protects the "health" virtues of the drink.
The CTC method
The CTC method is faster. It consists in wilting the leaves, crushing and shredding them before drying them in a mechanical barrel. The process has therefore lost the natural and artisanal side of the product.
This method alters the quality of the leaves. The aromatic notes are less pronounced and the health benefits are partially lost.
Black tea varieties
Apart from the traditional "cup of tea"There are many recipes for black teas. World tour of organic black tea.
Chinese black teas
China is, not surprisingly, a major producer of white tea, green and black. Although it is customary to drink tea with lemon, it offers many varieties that go well with the English milk cloud.
The black teas from China the most common are :
- L'oolong, the only black tea for the Chinese;
- Smoked black tea (Lapsang Souchong), the most surprising;
- Yunnaz black tea, with notes of honey;
- The keemun black tea, the best.
Indian black teas
Oxidized teas from India are the most consumed teas in the world. Their characteristic taste sometimes unites them in a gift box for delicate taste buds.
The black teas from India the most famous are :
- Organic black tea from Darjeeling, the champagne of tea;
- Organic black tea fromAssam, the strongest, often associated with "breakfast";
- Nilgiri organic black tea, ideal for iced tea;
- Organic black tea from Sikkim, the luxury version of Darjeeling;
- Organic black tea from Ceylon, the most widespread.
If the ceylon black tea is often associated with India, yet it originates from Sri Lanka. It is nevertheless an exceptional black tea to be ordered in a gift box dedicated to the taste buds.
Black teas of the world
Besides the traditional Darjeeling, Ceylon and other oolongs, there are other excellent oxidized teas. Their list is long and their origins very diverse.
World tour of the best "cup of tea" :
- Milima black tea from Kenya;
- Panchthar black tea from Nepal (similar to Darjeeling black tea in India);
- Caykur" black tea from Turkey;
- The black tea "Hoang Su Phi Den" from Vietnam.
These teas are not usually available in bags. But you can easily order them in bulk, in a box.
Flavored black tea
The organic flavored black tea with spices or fruits is more and more appreciated. It offers a new flavor to those who do not like the bitterness of plain black tea.
The most famous organic teas flavored with fruits or spices are :
- L'Earl Grey, assam black tea with bergamot;
- Christmas tea, a black tea flavored with spices and citrus fruits;
- The Irish breakfast, different notes of Assam black tea;
- Masala Chai, black tea flavored with spices;
- Oriental rose tea, scented with Damask rose.
However, the list of flavored teas is infinite as you can create your own recipes. With Ceylon or Darjeeling black tea, the spices and fruit peels allow you to compose your own version of Earl Grey. Christmas black tea can also be made to your liking with, for example, lemon notes.
The preparation of black tea
No need to run to India or China to order black tea, but a few precautions should be followed to obtain a quality drink. Focus on the method ofinfusion of black tea. The goal is to enhance the taste while preserving the health benefits.
The traditional method
From Ceylon or Darjeeling, the aromas of organic black tea are fragile. The traditional method consists in preserving them by "heating" the teapot and the cup before the preparation. To do this you put hot water in it and let it heat up. Once this is done, you prepare your infusion of organic black tea.
The duration of infusion of black tea
The infusion times are not details. Indeed, it is at this moment that the water is perfumed. If the infusion is too short, it prevents the development of the taste palettes. Too long an infusion brings too much bitterness to the drink and crushes its fragrant roundness.
In general, the organic oxidized teas brew for 3 to 5 minutes. Lovers of dark teas sometimes push the duration to 7 minutes. The organic flavored teas such as Earl Grey sometimes only brew for 2 minutes to avoid overpowering the aromatic notes of the spices or fruits.
Some additional tips
For a black tea successfully, never boil the leaves. This deteriorates the taste and the antioxidants. The tea loses its health benefits. Water between 80°C and 90°C is perfect.
The recommended dosage is half a teaspoon of loose black tea for one cup. This corresponds to 2.5 g, the weight of a bag. However, it is better to order loose tea because, according to professionals, its flavors are richer.
The benefits of organic black tea
Black tea, especially organic tea, has many health benefits. According to specialists, the information currently available allows black tea to be associated with better overall health.
Black tea is associated with the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Its richness in antioxidants would reduce the risk of heart attack. At the same time, these same compounds would improve circulation. Catechins are much more present in loose tea. The use of lemon as an accompaniment to black tea reinforces the effect.
According to scientists, black tea is also protective in the fight against cancer. The available information highlights this in the context of prostate cancer and breast cancer. In this case, organic tea is to be preferred.
The list of benefits of black tea is still long. Indeed, black tea, whether it is Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon or oolong, seems to play a role in the protection of osteoporosis, cavities or depression. It would also be beneficial in the case of certain digestive affections and migraine.