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04Nov2020
Understanding More About Black Tea

Understanding More About Black Tea

By: Dan & Eileen DurandComments: 0
How is BLACK TEA different?  Black tea is a variety of tea that is fully oxidized, and therefore more oxidized than the oolong, green, or white varieties. All four varieties are made from leaves of Camellia Sinensis, but black tea is generally stronger in flavor and contains a little more caffeine than the less oxidized teas (mainly because it is brewed with hotter water), but still much lower than coffee.  According to teausa.com, in 2019, black tea accounted for almost 85% of all tea consumed in the U.S.
 
In Chinese languages and neighboring countries, black tea is known as "red tea", a description of the color of the liquid; the term "black tea" refers to the color of the oxidized leaves. In China, "black tea" is the commonly used classification for post-fermented teas, such as Puer tea. While delicate green tea usually begins to lose its flavor within a year or two, black tea generally retains its flavor for several years.
 
India has been a major exporter of black tea since the British East Indian Company’s development of the tea industry in the early 1820’s, particularly the Assam, Nilgiri and Darjeeling districts, and rapid expansion in the 1850’s.  The island of Sri Lanka, previously known as Ceylon, was a coffee-producing country in the 1800’s until coffee failed due to a fungus and then tea was developed there. In 1995, Sri Lanka accounted for 23% of the total world export, but is now surpassed by Kenya. China may produce much more but it also consumes tea within China, and does not export like Sri Lanka.
 
Black teas produced in Indian and Sri Lanka tend to have bold and powerful taste profiles, as compared to China black teas which are generally softer and smoother.
 
Choosing between “orthodox” or flavored BLACK TEA?  Flavored or scented black teas have one or more blended ingredients included that modifies the taste and aroma (and sometimes appearance). Since black tea isdarker and more robust in flavor, the flavorings blended with white tea also tend to be a little stronger. As a general rule, “orthodox” natural unflavored/unscented tea is usually a higher quality choice since the taste/aroma/appearance must stand on its own (but there are exceptions). Another definition when referring to orthodox tea: tea that is processed in the traditional and complex manner that includes hand plucking, withering, roiling, oxidation, and firing. The opposite of orthodox is CTC (crush, tear, curl) which is a modern mechanized way of producing large volumes of lower quality tea.
 
How to make BLACK TEA properly? The true aroma, taste, and quality of black tea can be enjoyed through correct brewing. Many tea types have their own unique flavor that prefers a unique way of brewing. Black tea brewing in the U.S. has longer infusion times (compared to oolong or green tea), typically 3 to even 5 minutes.  Black tea brews best, extracting the most flavor, when higher temperature water is used, typically between 200°F to 212°F boiling.
 
How is BLACK TEA healthy? Green tea gets most of the press, but black tea is also healthy due to some of the same essential components found in other tea classifications: Tannins, Epigallocatechin Gallate and Other Catechins, Theaflavins (TFs), Thearubigins (TRs), and Antioxidants.
  • Can Reduce Inflammation: Black tea can not only reduce inflammation but also combats other symptoms that cause inflammation in your body. Many studies also suggest that if consumed regularly black tea can decrease the risk of chronic inflammation mainly caused by diabetes, cancer, etc.  The catechins are also known to reduce the muscle's inflammation.
  • Cardiovascular Benefits: Research has proved that consumption of black tea reduces the propensity of cardiovascular problems. The antioxidants such as flavonoids present in black tea appear to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. It prevents the damage to the blood stream and artery walls and lowers the risk of heart disease. In fact, consumption of black tea has been found to reverse a coronary artery disease called endothelial vasomotor dysfunction. This dysfunction also leads to other coronary diseases. Black tea flavonoids are effective in improving coronary vasodilation and reducing blood clots. Polyphenols- and manganese-levels present in black tea reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by helping cardiac muscle function.
  • Cancer Prevention: The antioxidants called polyphenols found at high levels in black tea help in preventing the formation of potential carcinogens in the body, resulting inpreventionof certain cancers like ovarian, lung, prostrate, colorectal and bladder cancers. Studies have revealed that black tea is effective inpreventingstomach, prostate and breast cancer. Black tea contains a compound called TF-2 which appears responsible for causing apoptosis (programmed death of cancer cells) while the normal cells remain unaffected. Additionally, black tea can also significantly reduce the risk of oral cancer in those who smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products. Black tea also helpspreventcancer by inhibiting the formation and growth of malignant tumors.
  • Eliminates Free Radicals: Free radicals in the body can cause various cell damages such as blood clot formation, cancer and atherosclerosis. Consumption of unhealthy food increases the number of free radicals in your body. The antioxidants present in black tea remove or mitigate these harmful free radicals, thus protecting the body from diseases such as Alzheimer’s and heart diseases. Black tea with lemon is a good choice to make for this action.
  • Boosts the Immune System: A strong immune system is necessary for fighting bacteria and viruses that can cause illnesses. Black tea contains high levels of substances called ‘tannins’ which have the ability to fight viruses such as influenza, dysentery, hepatitis, colds and flu. One such tannin called ‘catechin’ helps in suppressing tumors. The alkyl amine antigens in black tea boost immune system responses. Drinking 3 to 4 cups of black tea each day helps in lowering inflammation and helps eliminate harmful pathogens.
  • Oral Health: The catechin antioxidants contained in black tea help in the reduction of oral cancers. Polyphenols and tannins act as antibiotics, thus inhibiting bacteria that cause tooth decay. Black tea contains fluoride which helps fight bad breath and prevents tooth decay by eradicating harmful bacteria from oral cavity. A daily dose of two cups black tea provides around 1.5 mg fluorides.
  • Stimulates the Brain and Nervous System: Black tea contains lower levels of caffeine than coffee. The low amounts of caffeine promotes blood flow in the brain without stimulating the heart and improves mental alertness and concentration. The amino acid L-theanine found in black tea can help a person relax and concentrate fully on tasks. Consumption of four cups of black tea daily for one month has been found to reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The caffeine in black tea boosts memory and studies have suggested that consumption of black tea on a regular basis protects against Parkinson’s disease.
  • Benefits the Digestive Tract: The tannins in black tea are usually beneficial for digestion. These tannins help combat gastric and intestinal illnesses by having a healing or restorative effect. Besides, they exercise an anti-diarrheal effect and help in decreasingintestinal activity. The polyphenols help in lowering intestinal inflammation suffered by patients of irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Healthy Bones and Connective Tissue: The powerful phytochemical in black tea help strengthen bones and connective tissues. In fact, research has proved that black tea drinkers often have comparatively healthier bones.
  • More Energy: Due to caffeine, black tea is usually considered as an energizing drink which increases efficiency. Caffeine, when taken in moderation, acts as a stimulant by increasing brain function and alertness. In fact, the stimulating effect of caffeine in black tea is often higher than coffee and cola, because it combines with the antioxidants’ effects on the body. Black tea has another compound called ‘theophylline’ which stimulates the respiratory system, heart and kidneys. Thus, these compounds help in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.
  • Aids in Weight Loss: Being ultra-low in sodium, fat and calories, black tea is highly beneficial for people who want to lose weight and helps in maintaining a healthy weight. Thus, it acts as an effective substitute for unhealthy soda drinks by preventing the intake of weight-gain causing calories. Beverages containing higher amounts of fat can cause lethal conditions and diseases. Black tea also typically boosts metabolic activity and thus, aids in weight loss.
  • Lowers Cholesterol: Some studies of black tea find that it is effective in decreasing a person's triglycerides. It can reduce your LDL or bad cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. Drinking several cups of black tea is sometimes recommended to improve the functioning of arteries and reducing cholesterol build-up inside them.
  • Other Benefits: The antioxidants' catechins strengthen blood vessels and tannins can increase the resistance of the body against various infections. In addition, black tea can inhibit allergic responses, retard tumor growth and can even sometimes delay the onset of diabetes.

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