BLACK TEA

Until the mid 17th century (Late Ming, Early Qing Dynasty), most of the tea enjoyed in China had been of the green and oolong varieties.

The story goes that while a passing army entered the Fujian province, they decided to take shelter at a nearby tea factory. This held up production at the tea factory, where leaves were left out in the sun, causing them to oxidize for a longer period of time and resulting in darker leaves. Despite this surprising liquor colour, tea production had to go on, and after the army used up all the charcoal, the standard agent for drying tea leaves, pinewood was used instead. The strange chemical reaction between the leaves and the pinewood imbued the tea with a smoky and fruity or, Long An, flavour - thus, the story of Lapsang Souchong black tea, which became one of the very first black teas. 

What is Black Tea?

Black tea is the most well known in the western world. Also knowns as as “red tea,” it was discovered in China in the mid 17th century. Producing black tea leaves involves either the orthodox or CTC (crush, tear, curl) method of processing. CTC, a mechanized process, results in the dust and fanning leaves used in teabags while the orthodox method, done by hand, makes up everything else.

The production of black tea continues to derive from China, India, as well as Sri Lanka and Africa. Due to its bold flavor, versatility, and ability to give you a boost of energy, more and more people are falling in love with this “dream tea.” 

How Black Tea is Made

Green Tea Leaves

1

Withering

Freshly harvested tea leaves are spread out in an even layer in metal troughs, and fans are used to pull and push air across the leaves. The tea is left to wilt (or “wither”) for 10 to 14 hours, depending on the ambient conditions.

Green Tea Leaves

2

Rolling & Oxidizing

Rolling, the  act of massaging the tea leaves, releases their enzymes and essential oils and exposes their compounds to the air, catalyzing chemical reactions with flavorful results. Once the leaves are activated through rolling, they are left to rest for up to eight hours of oxidation.

Green Tea Leaves

3

Drying

After the leaves have been allowed to react with the air for a sufficient time, they are placed in a dryer for finishing. The heat involved in this final phase halts the oxidation process and locks in the qualities developed at just the right levels.

9 key Black Tea Benefits

  • High in Antioxidants
  • Prevents Cancer
  • Relieves Stress
  • Reduces Risk of Heart Ailments
  • Increases Energy Levels 
  •    Maintains a Healthy Gut
  • Improves Skin & Hair Health
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Hones Mental Focus

How to Brew Black Tea

Green Tea Crepe Cake
  • Preheat a teapot by pouring boiling water into it, raising the temperature of the teapot to at least 100°C or almost at the boil.
  • Discard the water. In your teapot, or filter, add 1 teaspoon of loose tea for each cup of tea you're brewing.
  • Pour the fresh, hot water over the tea. This super-saturates the tea, allowing the perfect extraction of the flavor. Let the tea steep for 3-4 minutes. Always cover your tea when steeping, the tea leaves will unfurl more uniformly and the tea will taste better if the teapot or teacup has been covered.
  • Pour the tea through a strainer into the cups. Enjoy.

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