If we are talking about black tea, you might get those more oxidized types of tea than the oolong, yellow, white and green teas. Black tea also has a stronger flavor compared to the other types. But they do have one thing in common, all of these teas use leaves of the shrub Camellia sinensis plant.
The process of making black tea is also different from the other teas. Black teas are mostly oxidized or fermented before they are dried. Whereas the other teas are steamed or fried to inactivate oxidation before they are dried.
High quality black tea offers a wide array of flavor profiles. That could be due to the oxidation process it has gone through. A black tea may offer malty, smoky, brisk, earthy, spiced, nutty, metallic, citrus, caramel, leather, fruity, sweet taste and honey flavors.
What Are The Different Types of Black Tea
Tea connoisseurs may know all the teas that are available around the world. But even if you are not an expert, you can still get some information that might be useful, especially if you are a tea lover.
What you will find below are some of the common varieties of black tea that you might have or haven’t tried yet. Check them out and see which one picks up your interests or let’s say, your taste buds.
Tea plantations in Assam, India have produced their own black tea and it has been named after that region. Assam tea is a black tea manufactured specifically from tea leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis var. Assamica. and is native in Assam.
Assam black tea has also become a common ingredient in black tea blends, as it gives a stronger base and depth. The flavors of the Assam tea can be brisk, smokey, earthy, musky and strong. It can also be a lighter cup with chocolate, cocoa, or even sweet and spicy notes.
That flavor profile makes the Assam tea a good part of flavored iced teas with milky taste. This Assam black tea is strong tea, enough to be incorporated with a sweet condensed milk.
If you are looking for a famous Chinese black tea, Keemun tea would be a perfect choice. Keemun teas were first produced in the late 19th century and it quickly became popular in the West. Up to these days, Keemun tea is still used for a number of classic blends.
Qimen or Keemun black tea originates from Anhui province, and it is a light black tea characterized by stone fruit and slightly smoky notes in the aroma. It also has a gentle, malty, non-astringent taste that is like an unsweetened cocoa.
The keemun black teas are said to have floral aromas and wooden notes. Drinking these kinds of black teas may help prevent tooth decay. It is also said that the keemun black tea has anti-aging properties, helps in lowering blood sugar, anti-cancer, anti-radiation and lose weight.
The Darjeeling tea is a tea made from tea leaves of Camellia sinensis var. Sinensis. This tea plant is grown and the tea leaves are processed in the Darjeeling or Kalimpong Districts in West Bengal, India.
Darjeeling tea offers a soft flowery scent, which you will get in the aroma when you drink a cup of this black tea. Once you have a sip of this black tea, you will have that delicate taste with a fruity apricot peach flavor.
Due to its delicate flavor of darjeeling teas, avid tea drinkers and connoisseurs prefer to have this black tea on its own, without the addition of milk. If you are looking for a robust black tea, get a darjeeling tea bag and let it sip for a few minutes.
This tea drink is made from boiling black tea in milk and water with a mixture of aromatic herbs and spices. Masala chai is originally from India, but it has gained worldwide popularity where it has been featured in many coffee and tea houses.
Masala chai black tea certainly tastes great as it has soothingly sweet notes of cinnamon that add a full-bodied flavor, together with a kick from ginger. Aside from its sensory-activating flavors, Masala chai has some great health benefits.
Like the other black teas, this tea is considered one of the best healthy drinks for its antioxidant properties. That means a cup of this black tea could provide immunity-boosting and anti-cancer benefits.
Lapsang Souchong provides a sweet, refreshing, yet smoky flavor that is unique to this tea, thanks to its distinct oxidation process. The taste of lapsang souchong black teas are infused with the flavor of pine resin, as pine needles and pine wood are used to smoke and dry the Camellia sinensis tea leaves.
The smoking process can be done with either of the two options. A cold smoke of the raw leaves as they are processed or as a hot smoke of previously processed leaves.
Aside from its delicious and distinct taste, lapsang souchong black tea is also good for cardiovascular health. It increases blood flow, as well as reducing the amount of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. It also contains a great antioxidant which helps prevent infections.
Not all ceylon teas are made from black teas. There are other ceylon varieties that are also made from green tea, white and oolong tea leaves. But the ceylon black tea is specifically made in Sri Lanka.
But unlike the other black teas from other countries, the one made in Sri Lanka provides more floral, brisker and even fresher taste. Ceylon black teas are actually produced in the highlands of Sri Lanka. Its notes of citrus and full-bodied taste are due to the unique environmental conditions in which the tea leaves are grown.
Ceylon black tea is also rich in antioxidants and helps in improving heart health and controlling blood sugar level, as well as weight loss. It is best to drink this Ceylon tea in the morning to regulate blood pressure, which is important for maintaining the heart’s health.
How to Choose the Best Black Teas
Just like other teas, black teas produce a high antioxidant content as they also come from the same camellia sinensis tea leaves. These antioxidants help the body in many ways, like it gets rid of free radicals and promotes cellular health. It also prevents degenerative diseases and certain forms of cancer.
Tea industry is doing their best to produce only the best products. Tea brands are campaigning for other health benefits of drinking black teas. Several studies show that a black tea also helps in boosting heart health. Black teas have flavonoids, a special nutrient compound that holds the key to many of black tea’s important health benefits.
Some black teas, like kenyan black teas, are not only promoting heart health, but they also improve digestion and soothe stomach troubles. One good example of a black tea that is rich in flavonoids would be the nilgiri tea.
There are also special breakfast blends from Assam, Ceylon and Kenya. These breakfast teas are the most popular blended teas, common in British and Irish tea culture.
How to Prepare a Perfect Black Tea
You don’t need to get a tea leaf to prepare your black tea. There are already available options that are usually put in a tea bag for a more convenient black tea experience.
If you are going to brew a black tea that is not in tea bags, make sure to heat your water until it reaches a full boil. For every 6 ounces of water, use 1 teaspoon of black tea leaves. Let the black tea infuse the water for up to 5 minutes.
If you don’t want a stronger black tea taste, infuse the tea leaves for about 3 minutes. The longer it sips, the more robust it becomes. Since the black tea leaves would expand once exposed to the hot water, make sure to use a teapot, tea infuser, or tea filter to allow room of expansion for the leaves.
You can also make those flavored black tea. There are recipes that you can easily find online. Iced tea, milk tea, and other tea blends would be perfect if you want to explore a more bold flavor.