Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What is black tea?

Tea - Camellia Sinensis
There are four kinds of teas namely black tea, green tea, oolong tea and white tea.
But all four varieties are made from leaves of the same species 'Camellia sinensis'.

Actually it is how the tea is then processed which creates the difference.
For example black tea is obtained after fermentation while green tea is heated to avoid this same fermentation.

Black TeaAs a result thanks to fermentation Black tea is generally stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the other tea varieties which are less oxidized.

And while green tea usually loses its flavor within a year, black tea retains its flavor for several years.

For this reason, it has long been an article of trade, and compressed bricks of black tea even served as a form of de facto currency in Asia into the nineteenth century !

The tea originally imported to Europe was either green or semi-oxidized. It's only in the the nineteenth century did black tea surpass green in popularity.

Although green tea has recently seen a revival due to its purported health benefits, black tea still accounts for over 90% of all tea sold in the West.
We will talk later about the potential medicinal properties of black tea.
So stay tuned ! ;-)