Most of us want to be healthy, and if we can find simple ways to incorporate healthy habits into our lives, it just makes it so much easier. In recent years, new emphasis has been placed on the therapeutic benefits of drinking tea.
Imagine curling up in your favorite chair, with your favorite book, and sipping on a delicious beverage to get healthier! And what makes it even better is that there are so many different varieties of teas to choose from, just about everyone can find a variety they enjoy. If you're new to the world of tea, you may not know the differences between tea types, and you may have many questions about which tea would be best for you. If you're a coffee drinker, you may be wondering how tea compares to coffee. Today, we're going to take a look at black tea.
If you’re in the dark about black tea, you’re certainly not alone. Many people are unfamiliar with this unique, soothing beverage. However, once you learn about black tea, you may be tempted to trade in your morning cup of java for a mug of tea. Let’s take a closer look at what makes black tea so special.
A Geography Lesson
Black tea flourishes at high altitudes, such as those found in the Himalayan Blue Mountains. India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia are the major producer's of black tea, and Assam, a state in northeastern India, boasts more than 800 estates specifically geared toward the cultivation of tea, and constitutes one of the world’s largest black tea producers.
The black tea produced in these areas can be used alone or can be mixed with teas from Africa or Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in order to produce English or Irish tea. This blending often occurs in European cities such as Hamburg or Amsterdam. However, unblended teas are also quite popular. Such teas are known by the term “single estate teas.”
After being picked from the tea plant, the leaves are left to dry and are then crushed or rolled to extract the sap, release the essential oils, and begin the natural fermentation process. The tea is left to ferment until it turns a copper color and is then dried with hot air to interrupt the fermentation process. All tea starts as green in color, and changes from green to copper to black through this oxidation, fermentation, and heating process. The tea is then ready to be packaged and shipped to buyers around the world as black tea has become the world’s most popular beverage, whether served hot or cold.
The Phenomenal Effects of Black Tea
One of the key reasons for the phenomenal popularity of black tea is its soothing nature. Anecdotally, tea drinkers have been saying for years that black tea can help calm unsteady nerves—and now there’s scientific evidence to prove it.