What is Black Tea?
Black tea or Red tea is fully fermented and stronger in flavor than the other types of teas like white and green tea. The level of antioxidant in this type of tea is almost zero because of full fermentation.
The most popular types of teas in the Western tea culture like sun tea, sweet tea, iced tea or other blended teas are typically made using black tea as based tea. Even the famous English breakfast tea and Earl Grey tea are made from the black loose leaf teas.
But in Asian countries like Japan and China, the green tea is more popular.
Typically two types of tea production methods are used to produce black tea or red tea.
Orthodox is a type of tea making process. It is a time-consuming method where tea leaves remain whole or partially broken during the production process. Leavers are withered after plucking from the garden to reduce the moisture content and then withered leaves are rolled in various ways in order to bruise the leaves.
Then rolled or shaped leaves are allowed to fully oxidize. This process will determine the type, flavor and the color of tea. After oxidization, these leaves go through drying process at 65°C to 110°C. Orthodox teas are whole leaf teas and easy to brew mixing with plain hot water.
In this type of tea process, withered leaves are cut into pieces instead of rolling. After cutting, leaves are allowed to fully oxidized. After oxidization, these cut leaves go through drying process at 90°C to 130°C.
This CTC type of tea process helps leaves to oxidize quickly and produce small size, consistent and strong flavor black tea easily fit into tea bags. In order to get the best taste from CTC tea, it should be brewed mixing milk, sugar, and cardamom.
All most all tea producing countries around the world produce black teas. But, black teas from India, China, and Sri Lanka are more popular than the other producing countries.
Most popular types of black tea or red tea
Here, I’m talking about four most popular types of black tea or red tea of the world.
Have a look-
Assam Black Tea:
It is a black variety of tea, which is produced in Assam and most popular in the brand name of Assam Black Tea in the national and international market and among the tea Connoisseur.
Assam tea is well known as breakfast tea because of its briskness, malty flavor, and strong test and bright color. Assam tea is made from the buds and leaves of the native plant Camellia Sinensis var Assamica.
Assam tea is most often included in English breakfast or Irish breakfast tea. Assam is the largest tea producing region in the world and contributes about 51% of the total production of the country.
Assam has approximately 312,210 hectares of land under tea cultivation and produces almost 507 million kg of tea annually.
Ceylon Black Tea:
This type of tea is produced in Sri Lanka and called Ceylon Black Tea. There are mainly two types of Ceylon Black Teas – lighter black tea and the other one is heavier bodied medium black tea which has a fruity sweet flavor. This type of tea is usually consumed as afternoon teas.
Darjeeling Black Tea:
Black teas come from Darjeeling region of India is called as Darjeeling black tea. Darjeeling tea is unique in test and aroma, which is not available in other tea brands around the world. The Muscatel flavor makes Darjeeling black tea world-renowned premium brand.
Darjeeling tea has also GI (Geographical Indication) mark. Darjeeling tea is the first tea brand in India to acquire such mark. In Darjeeling, tea is grown at an elevation range of 6,700 ft and the Chinese variety of small leaf tea plant Camellia Sinensis var. Sinensis is used for cultivation and tea production. This type of tea has two varieties – First Flush, which gives refreshing muscatel flavor and the other type is Second Flush which is popular for mellow, smooth and earthy flavor.
Keemun Black Tea
It is a Chinese black tea and most often used as ‘breakfast tea’. This tea type gives a very deep, rich and bold smoky flavor while brewing. This tea is produced in Qimen country in the Anhui province of China. In British tea market, Keemun Black Tea is considered as top class tea.