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Black Teas

Black Tea

Like green teas, white teas, and oolong teas, black teas are also made from the camellia sinensis leaves. After the leaves are harvested, they are allowed a longer period of oxidization than green or white teas, giving them a stronger, bolder and more astringent flavor. In English-speaking countries, they are called black teas for the color of the leaves; however, in China, they are known as red teas for their color, a rich carnelian red.

Not long after the invention of green tea, black teas began to make their appearance on the world. Bolder, richer and more astringent in taste than its lighter green tea cousin, black tea was quick to gain a following among tea drinkers everywhere. The strong flavor became especially popular in the Western world, spreading in its reach through the influence of the British Empire in the 1800’s. In Europe and North America today, the word “tea” is practically synonymous with black tea.

Black tea is as versatile as it is dynamic. While green tea is typically enjoyed freshly brewed and pure, black tea is regularly served both hot and iced, and some of its most popular selections are blends. European and American teas tend to favor Indian varieties of black tea, such as the delicate sweet and spicy taste of Darjeeling, or the strong malted flavor of Assam tea. These teas also provide the base for some of the most famous of all tea blends, including the invigorating English and Irish breakfast teas, the classic Earl Grey, and the exotic spice of the Indian Chai blend. The southern United States also stakes their claim in the tea world with sweet tea, an iced and sweetened black tea that serves as cultural staple. Whichever variety or style you prefer, there is no question that a fresh cup of black tea is a perfect way to liven up your day.