What is Black Tea?
Black tea is the most common tea in the UK, used for our Strong Black tea as well as in our Earl Grey tea. It is stronger in flavour and caffeine than its green and white counterparts, and is the best tea for drinking with milk or sugar. It can be stored for several years without losing its flavour.
This is why it was an ideal product for shipping back from India and China during the days of British colonial rule.
To create black tea, the leaves are plucked and laid out to wither for somewhere between 8 and 24 hours, during which time the water evaporates. The leaves are then rolled to crack their surfaces, exposing the enzymes inside to oxygen in the air.
During this oxidisation process, the leaves turn a deep black. For teabags, the tea is cut into fine granules. Its greater surface area allows a smaller mass of tea to produce a powerful flavour and caffeine hit. For loose-leaf tea, the dried leaves are left whole.
Black Tea Process: Withering → 1st Rolling → Oxidizing/Fermenting → Drying (110°C/65°C)