Tea is currently the most widely consumed tea type in North America and
Europe. The most common Black teas include: Earl Grey, Orange Pekoe and
English Breakfast. Although those teas are very popular, they are just
the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to selection. Black Teas can be
flavoured with essential oils, blended with a variety of teas from
different regions, smoked, or served as untouched estate grade tea. The
finest teas in India, China and Sri Lanka make up the majority of the
worlds Black Tea production.
Here's how Black Tea is Made:
The Creation of Black Tea begins with the withering of the leaves of the 'Tea Plant' (Camellia Sinensis). A type of tunnel, called a withering trough, is used to wither the leaves. It has fans, which blow air into the trough, causing the leaves to wither. The tea leaves are turned over two or three times to even up the withering process. After withering, the leaves are rolled and ground to break their cells, so that the process of fermentation can be evenly carried out. Finally, the fermentation / oxidation process is halted by using various drying techniques. Often times the drying process is carried out using an ECP drier (Endless Chain Pressure drier) and a Fluid bed drier. Once dried, the Black Tea produced has a water content of 3 - 5%.
Black Tea and Health:
Regular consumption of Black Tea has been linked to a wide variety of health benefits. The active ingredients in Black Tea include Caffeine as well as Flavonoids. Flavanoids help make blood cells called platelets less prone to clotting, and act as antioxidants, countering the artery-damaging nature of free radicals in the bloodstream.
How to Make a Perfect Cup:
Just as there are hundreds of Black Tea flavours, there are a number of different ways to prepare tea. We believe in keeping the process simple. Due to the nature, and balance of Black Tea, we suggest using a Tea ball, Tea Press or strainer, infusing 1 cup of boiling water for each tea spoon of tea, and letting that steep for 3 minutes. Simple! That being said, feel free to adjust to your own taste!