Black tea is commonly made from leaves that have been fully oxidized, and it is the process of oxidation that differentiates black tea types from green ones. Black tea types are innumerous, each possessing its own taste and flavor. Let us get acquainted with some of them closer.
One of the most famous black tea types is Assam tea, known for its strength, rich flavor and brown and gold leaves becoming "orange" when dried. The major tea growing area where Assam tea is cultivated is the Brahmaputra valley, spreading from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengals. Traditionally, the best leaves are picked during the last week of May and in the first two weeks of June.
The black tea with a peculiar muscatel flavor, which is often called the "champagne of teas", is Darjeeling grown in the Himalayas. The best Darjeeling is believed to be produced from the first plucking; however, all crops of Darjeeling are very high quality.
Earl Grey tea, a favorite flavored blend in many countries, is known for its fragrant aroma of the bergamot, exciting history and continuous rivalry for this blend ownership. The tea was named after the second Earl Grey, who was presented a recipe by his friend, a Chinese tea-loving mandarin in 1830.
A blend of Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka and either Indian or Kenyan black teas is called English Breakfast. The Indians call it "bed" tea for its strength and ability to stimulate the metabolism. The blend of African teas and Assam teas is known as Irish Breakfast.
Yunnan teas, grown in the Yunnan province in China, are famous for their leaves which are larger than those of teas growing in other parts of the country, and for their generous strong aroma and taste. There are also Nilgiri teas, which are used mostly for blending and which are appreciated for their bright amber brew color and strongly refreshing flavor and taste. One more interesting black tea type is Keemun tea, which comes from Qimen country, Anhui Province. A wine-like flavor is a peculiar feature of Keemun tea.
Many black tea types are available nowadays, and many researches are conducted in order to find out as much as possible about black tea health benefits. The major discoveries in this field are the following: according to the reports published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the Journal of The American Heart Association, drinking tea can be very beneficial for heart disease prevention or recovery after a heart attack. In the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers announce that they have found a chemical in tea that increases the body's defenses. Tea contains antioxidants, and it is a common knowledge that these very antioxidants protect our body from the effects of pollution and slow down the processes of aging. One more black tea health benefit is that it protects our bones and teeth. Generally, it is the sugar added to tea, which spoils our teeth. Tea itself contains fluoride, tannins and many other beneficial chemicals, important for keeping bones, teeth and gums in sound condition.
Many other examples of the health benefits of drinking tea can be given here. But the idea is that we have a lot of reasons to drink tea and enjoy it, to discover new tea types and new unforgettable tastes and flavors.