What is Black Tea? | (Almost) Everything About Black Tea

We've answered the most FAQ about black tea: taste, caffeine content, health benefits, side effects, and comparison with other tea types. Here's (almost) everything there is know about black tea.

What is black tea?

Black tea is one of the many types of tea made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Of these various tea types, black tea is one of the most oxidized teas out there. During tea production, tea leaves are exposed to oxygen in the air. The longer the exposure, the more oxidized the tea is. As a result of oxidation, the tea leaves will darken and the flavor and aroma will become more intense. This explains why white tea, which is the least oxidized, has a lighter shade and less intense flavor than black tea. 

What Does Black Tea Taste Like?

Being one of the most oxidized teas out there, black tea has a deep red hue and aroma that complements its bold flavors. The flavor of black tea is generally on the sweet, nutty spectrum with a hint of bitterness. It’s also astringent like red wine, so it may give you that similar dry feeling in the mouth. Chinese black tea is generally dark and malty, Indian black tea is malty and herb-like, and Sri Lankan black tea is strong and spicy. Unlike these black tea types, Taiwanese black tea is lighter, naturally sweeter, and has less astringency.

What types of black tea are there?

There are many types of black tea in the world. Varied by the country of production and production method, some black tea can be stronger, bolder, and more astringent than others. For example, black tea produced in India and China generally have a stronger and bolder flavor than other countries. Taiwanese black tea has a unique sweet taste and less astringency compared to other black tea types. 

Does black tea have caffeine?

Black tea has a higher caffeine content than other teas. While an 8 oz cup of green tea has 30-50 mg of caffeine, a cup of black tea can contain around 50 mg of caffeine. This is quite low compared to a cup of coffee, which contains 95 mg of caffeine. Quantity of tea leaves, water temperature, and steeping time all affect the amount of caffeine in a cup of tea. Learn about the caffeine in tea vs. coffee.

What are the health benefits of black tea?

Drinking black tea is good for you because the health benefits of black tea are endless. Some black tea benefits include helping you lose weight, keeping you alert, lowering bad cholesterol (LDL), and lowering blood pressure. Compared to coffee, black tea has a low caffeine content so it can give you a burst of energy without the caffeine crash. Black tea is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, which help break down cholesterol build up and reduce inflammation. Learn about the health benefits of black tea.

Are there any black tea side effects?

Excess consumption of black tea may lead to headaches, irritability, and dizziness due to its caffeine content. Aside from that, there are no black tea side effects. It is recommended to limit your consumption of black tea to 4-5 cups a day. 

Health benefits of black tea vs coffee

Black tea is a great alternative to coffee when you want to reduce your caffeine intake. Equivalent to 1/3 of the caffeine content in coffee, black tea can keep you energized throughout the day without giving you a caffeine crash. Unlike coffee, black tea contains caffeine and L-theanine, an amino acid known to increase focus and alertness. Because of L-theanine, black tea can do a better job of keeping you alert than coffee. Also, coffee often leads to a caffeine crash and can cause dizziness, anxiety, and an increased heart rate for people sensitive to caffeine. In addition, both black tea and coffee have been proven to help prevent heart disease and cancer. Though, black tea is more effective for weight loss than coffee. 

Health benefits of black tea vs green tea 

Black tea and green tea are more similar than different because they come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The major difference is that black tea is more oxidized than green tea, hence, black tea has a more intense flavor and darker color than green tea. Plus, black tea has theaflavins whereas green tea has epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Theaflavins found in black tea can support antioxidant production, protect your heart and blood vessels by reducing plaque buildup, reducing inflammation, and more. ECGC in green tea, on the other hand, has been studied to protect your liver, reduce Alzheimer’s and cancer, and improve your microbiome. But overall, both teas contain similar polyphenols, like catechins, that can improve your heart health and lower chances of diseases. 

Where can you buy the best black tea?

Black tea is a common tea sold online and in many stores. To buy the best black tea, check the origin of the tea, the source of the tea, and choose loose leaf tea over chopped tea. One of the places you can buy the best black tea leaves is Us Two Tea. The Manhattan Black black tea contains high quality whole loose leaf tea directly sourced from small, family-owned tea farms in Nantou County, Taiwan. Because of the clean environment and high elevations that the tea leaves are grown in, black tea from Taiwan has a naturally sweet flavor with aromatic notes of honey.

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