Added/Modified on March 20, 2014
Also known as: Camellia sinensis: black tea is a semi-oxidized form of tea leaves from the plant Camellia Sinensis.
The name comes from the color of the tea leaves.
There are other names for black tea, mainly translations of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean words for the tea.
These include: ◦Red tea, which describes the color of the brewed liquid ◦Hongcha tea ◦Kocha tea
The term ‘black tea’ can also be used to reference any type of tea which is served hot but without milk or cream.
Sometimes black tea is packaged and named including the country of origin in the name, such as Vietnamese black tea or Thai tea.
Black tea is also the tea used to make flavored Earl Grey tea.
What is Black Tea? Black tea is the leaves of the plant Camellia Sinensis, dried for brewing.
The leaves are allowed to oxidize more than other teas which originate with this plant such as green or white tea.
The tea is easy to ship because it holds its flavor for several years and withstands compression to allow shipment in large bales.
Benefits and Uses of Black Tea:
Black tea has 40 mg of caffeine per 8 oz serving.
The tea drinker experiences a boost of energy from this high caffeine content, which is about the same as a small cup of coffee.
Other benefits include:
Reverses endothelial vasomotor dysfunction, a circulatory disorder, but this benefit is only experienced if the tea is taken without milk or cream.
Anti-aging and anti-cancer due to anti-oxidants in the tea, but this component is lower than in some other teas.
Black tea is a beverage of choice for millions of tea drinkers around the world.
It can be taken hot or iced, sweetened or unsweetened, flavored or not.
Earl Grey is one of the best loved oil-flavored breakfast teas in the world and is drunk around the clock.
Black tea is purchased either in tea bags or as loose tea.
Either way, the tea is brewed by pouring boiling water over the tea bag or leaves and allowing it to steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
The longer it is permitted to steep, the stronger the flavor; adjust steeping to the length of time that produces the right flavor for you.
The tea can be sweetened with sugar, honey or a calorie-free sweetener.
Hot black tea is often served with dairy products, but this negates the vascular health benefits, so if you are drinking this type of tea for health, do not add milk or cream and do not consume any type of dairy product while drinking the tea for optimum results.
You can squeeze a slice of lemon or lime into the cup of tea after brewing.
Side Effects of Black Tea:
Studies of the tea itself are limited, however black tea is a source of caffeine which is a stimulant of the central nervous system and may cause insomnia.
Pregnant or nursing women should consult your doctor before drinking black tea due to the caffeine content.
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