Specialtea Teas | Black Tea Information |All about black tea
Black tea is fully oxidized. Black teas are processed by both machine or by hand.
Black tea is also globally known as red tea. Black tea should be brewed with water that has reached a full, rolling boil. Black teas are usually named for the region in which they are grown and produced.
Black tea is a fully oxidized tea prepared from Camellia sinensis. All teas, white, green, oolong, and black teas are all from one plant. There are typically many different names for black teas as they are usually named after the region in which they are produced or by the look of the leaf, a legend, etc. Black tea is known as red tea in China because of either the leaf color or the resulting color after brewing. To most of us, red tea more commonly refers to Rooibos.
Lapsang Souchong, Keemun, Yunnan are some examples of Chinese black Teas. Assam, Darjeeling and Nilgiri are some examples of Black teas from India. Ceylon teas are from Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon.
For black tea, the tea leaves are plucked, withered, and processed. The tea leaves are then rolled by hand or machine or processed by a method called Crush, Tear, Curl (C, T, C). CTC is also referred to as the unorthodox method since the leaf has been manipulated and cut into very small pieces and hardly resembles its original form. CTC teas are usually used in tea bags.
The orthodox method refers to a process by which the leaves are specifically kept as close to original full leaf form and flavor (while the leaves may experience some breakage in handling or rolling, it is not intentional). Higher quality tea leaves are usually processed by this method.
After processing by machine or by hand, the bruised and broken leaves begin to oxidize. The leaves are allowed to fully oxidize for a period of time greater than the processing of oolong teas. Leaves are then dried by pan firing or heating in an oven.
Black teas are best brewed with water that has come to a full, rolling boil. Black tea should steep for 3-5 minutes depending upon the nature of the tea and your personal preference for strength. Black teas are strong in flavor and stand up well to added sweeteners, milk, or lemon. Many prefer black tea - black - with nothing added.