“A simple cup of tea is far from a simple matter.”
– Mary Lou HeissBlack tea comes from leaves of the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis, a member of the Theaceae family. Black tea’s combination of flavors stimulate your senses and get you activated and in the zone after rolling out of bed; another reason why black tea is a crowd favorite as a morning wake up call is because of its higher caffeine content than its other tea counterparts. We check off a quick list of benefits and how to make black tea, well…black.
BenefitsBlack tea has similar health benefits as green tea, which are both best recognized for their antioxidants to help fight free radicals. Other supportive benefits include:
- Improving heart health
- Lowering cancer risk
- Reducing high blood pressure
- Helping improve bone density
- Decreasing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis
- Protecting against Parkinson’s disease
Our 9 AM Agenda is blended with assam black tea and yerba maté. Add it to your morning routine rotation for an ideal amount of caffeine, without the crash.
Black Tea ProductionBlack tea is traditionally processed in four steps: withering, rolling, oxidizing, and drying. These four procedures release the plant's inherent organic compounds and benefits, which add to its unique final color and flavor.
Step 1: Wither
Fans are used to draw and push air across freshly picked tea leaves that are laid out in an orderly layer in metal trenches. Depending on the temperature and air quality, the tea is allowed to wilt (or "wither") for 10 to 14 hours. During this period, the humidity is closely controlled, since getting the right quantity of moisture loss is critical to achieving the desired flavor in the finished tea.
Step 2: Roll
The cell walls of the tea leaves must be split apart during the rolling process, which can take anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes, to start the oxidation process that gives black tea its color and flavor. Massaging the tea leaves by hand or machine releases enzymes and essential oils and exposes their components to the air, stimulating chemical reactions with tasty effects.
(Photo: courtesy of Xian Chan Tea, Inc.)
Step 3: OxidizeAfter the leaves have been activated by rolling, they oxidize for up to eight hours. A striking transition from light green to a rich golden brown happens during this stage. This process continues until the leaves are dried under heat, as oxidation occurs spontaneously across a wide range of ambient temperatures.
Step 4: DryAfter allowing the leaves to react with the air, they’re finished in a drier. The heat used in this last phase stops the oxidation process and seals in the properties that have been created to precisely the correct degree. The normal drying temperature is between 175 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes.
The Final Cup
When all four processes are followed correctly, you'll get a lovely, fragrant, perfectly balanced black tea that's astringent rather than bitter when brewed and has rich flavor chords that include caramel, cocoa, rose, and even stone fruits or candies. To effectively awaken its strong flavors, you may opt for it with a dash of milk. The powerful flavor and soothing scent you face the day, rain or shine.