When it comes to robust, full bodied flavor, black tea is the way to go. Black tea, like green, white, and oolong teas, come from the same plant: Camellia sinensis. What makes black tea different from the rest is the level of oxidation involved.
Oxidation is the same process that makes bananas and apples brown. While you might not like eating a brown banana, the browning of tea is desirable. As tea leaves brown, the become deeper, richer in flavor.
To speed up oxidation, tea leaves are bruised or crushed during processing. This releases the enzymes responsible for oxidation. The oxidation is halted at a specific time by heating up the leaves, deactivating the enzymes in the tea. The leaves are then dried and packaged.
Black tea comes from many parts of the world. The most common black teas come from India or China. Indian black teas tend to be maltier, deeper bodied, and more astringent than Chinese black teas. In contrast, Chinese black teas tend to have a more complex character with slight sweet notes. This is due to a number of reasons, one of which being that Indian and Chinese teas are often made from different varieties of the Camellia sinensis plant.
Black teas from the mountainous Darjeeling plantations in India are a bit different. They tend to have a crisper, cleaner taste than black teas from lower elevations in India.
Another popular category of black teas are breakfast teas. You might have heard of the ubiquitous English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast teas. Breakfast teas are a blend of different types of black teas. For example, a malty Assam is complimented by the slight citrus notes of a Ceylon (Sri Lanka) black tea.
As for health benefits, black tea is not as famous as green tea, but it still has a lot going for it. The most healthful antioxidant in green tea: epigallocatechin gallate is converted into thearubigin and theaflavins. These converted antioxidants have heart and circulatory health benefits.
Organic English Breakfast: An exceptional medium-bodied blend of Organic Black Teas from India (Assam) and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). A great all-around breakfast tea.
Organic Earl Grey: Another popular black tea blend with a superior oil of bergamot on an organic full tea leaf from Nilgiri, India.
Organic Golden Needle Tea: One of our favorite Yunnan teas. Hand picked tea buds from Ancient tea trees in Yunnan Province make up this premium blend. The flavor is buttery smooth and full bodied with lingering chocolate and honey notes. The big, wiry leaves are soft with downy hairs and are a beautiful golden and black color. The leaves brew a deep caramel color, with a pleasantly complex scent. This is a tea to savor.
Organic/Biodynamic Darjeeling 2nd Flush: Grown in the foothills of the Himalayas, our Organic/Biodynamic Darjeeling 2nd flush is harvested in June and produces an amber, full bodied, muscatel-flavored cup. A great afternoon tea.
Organic Lapsang Souchong: Organic black tea from the Fujian province of China. A bold leaf with full bodied flavor, smoked over a pine fire to give a clean, slightly cool smokiness.
Steep: 3-5 Minutes
Amount: 1 tsp. per 1 cup Water
Water Temp: 212°F