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Black tea is a type of tea that is more oxidized than lighter teas such as white, green, and Oolong teas. This type of tea is darker and stronger than other teas and is generally believed to have originated in China. Now, black tea, beverages, and food products made from black tea are enjoyed world-wide.
Black teas are generally named after the region they come from and many regions have signature flavors that identify their teas. Regions generally include China, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and others.
When most people think about black tea, they think about traditional beverages that are made from blended back teas. These beverages can be hot or cold and serve different purposes depending on the culture where they are served.
If you are in America:
Black tea is often the tea of choice for sweet and unsweetened tea. Generally, sweet tea is a southern American favorite. Brewed from black tea and mixed with sugar, this is a staple beverage of the southern states. From the Midwest to Western states, unsweetened tea is more common.
The tea itself is a good choice, but the sweetening can be a real problem for good health. Skip the sugar and see if you can learn to drink it with just lemon or some cream. If you must have some sweetener I recommend stevia or erythritol or honey, rather than sugar.
If you are in England:
Tea is a primary beverage in England. The presentation and the style of tea is tied to long-standing traditions and culture. Depending on the time of day, a different variety of black tea may be preferred.
Morning tea- Earl Grey and English Morning Teas are the norm.
Afternoon tea- English Afternoon Tea is a milder version of Morning tea. Generally, English teas are accompanied with milk and sugar.
If you are in India:
Masala Chai tea is a blend of tea, native Indian spices, milk, and sweetener. This type of tea has become the most consumed tea in the world with Indians being the largest population of tea drinkers.
A little bit of a story for you from my life. I am not a coffee drinker at all. I do drink tea regularly and I learned to drink it from Pakastani friends when I lived in Philadelphia years ago. They always served us tea when we visited them and it always had lots of milk and sugar. So I learned to drink my tea with milk and sugar. In years to come I switched from sugar to honey. And then when I went low carb I switched to liquid stevia drops. But I still drink a cup of tea daily (these days it is roiboos with cream and stevia).
How do you take your tea? There are unlimited ways to enjoy black tea, try one or all and expand your tea drinking profile.
- With lemon
- With milk and sugar
- Black tea lattes
- London Fog
Benefits of black tea
Black tea contains catechins (the powerful antioxidants in tea that fight cancer-causing cells and help prevent heart disease), tannins (the naturally occurring chemical compounds that give black tea and red wine their astringency), guanine (a natural stimulant) and xanthine (another natural stimulant, similar to caffeine).
A single cup of black tea contains an average of 200 milligrams of flavonoids, a polyphenol that aids in disease prevention. Many doctors now recommend getting 600 milligrams of flavonoids per day for a range of health benefits. The flavonoid polyphenols in black tea known as thearubigin and theaflavin act as especially powerful antioxidants. Interestingly, these two flavonoids are more concentrated in black tea than in green tea.
Some of the known benefits include the following list:
- Boost heart health
- May fight cancer
- Reduces risk of diabetes
- May prevent strokes
- Calms an upset stomach and helps against diarrhea
- Antibacterial and antioxidant powers
- Lowers stress hormones (1)
Black tea is a wonderful beverage and has so many options for preparation. Explore these options and get a taste of what the world enjoys on a daily basis. Try using black tea in foods such as a quick bread or muffins. Get creative and use tea in a sauce, soup, or stew. Use tea as a brine or marinade. Experiment and play with all the possibilities and make black tea a staple in your life.
One of my favorite ways to drink black tea is in kombucha. I make my own and try and have a cup daily. If I time it right in the fermentation process, the result is really tasty.
Do you drink black tea? How do you like to drink black tea?