What is black tea?
If you indulge in a daily pot of black loose leaf tea or you’re a tea bags kind of guy or gal, you’re by no means alone. Rich, robust black tea is virtually the most widely drunk beverage right across the globe, second only to water! People everywhere are warming the teapot and drinking it hot, or dunking and dipping then sipping the lot.
Everybody enjoys a steaming cup of hearty breakfast tea to start the day (think English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, Darjeeling or even an aromatic cup of simply sumptuous Earl Grey!) but then black tea has also been hosting the most elegant afternoon tea parties for centuries! Come supper time and what are we supping? Black tea with milk and sugar of course!
Black tea leaves are the most oxidised of all teas which is how black tea gets its tantalising depth of colour and flavour. Definitely not the shrinking violet out of all the camellia sinensis plant’s offspring, black tea has the most muscles in the tea family.
Classic, traditional and loved by all, the best-selling T2 black tea types taking centre stage in British homes include the dulcet tones of elegant French Earl Grey, our trusty English Breakfast and its faithful cousin Irish Breakfast, the jovial Aussie brew known as Melbourne Breakfast, the ever-so-cheery Morning Sunshine and the suave and sophisticated New York Breakfast.
Is black tea good for you?
For a humble cuppa the list of black tea health benefits is surprisingly long! Black tea is a super-rich source of high-achiever antioxidants which can reduce the risk of heart disease and protect from cell damage caused by risky free radicals.
While we know the best black teas taste aahhh-mazing and make us feel fab, the potential health benefits of drinking black tea are pretty impressive too! Drinking one or two cups of black tea every day may take us from sipping to skipping with a new zest for life! Studies show that drinking black tea may improve heart health and reduce the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, elevated blood sugar levels, some cancers - and may even lower cholesterol levels!
Not only are the health benefits of black tea a good reason to get your lips a-sipping especially given it has a lower caffeine content than coffee, the good news doesn’t stop there. The practice of popping the kettle on and brewing up a delicious pot of black tea is also a calming and comforting ritual with positive effects on our emotional wellbeing. Take a look at our wellness teas.
Always up for some excitement, black tea is also the type of tea to spice things up a bit when life becomes ho-hum. Invite a cheeky chai blend over to play and its black tea leaves will leap into your cup, providing a warm and spicy brew inspiring you with its mystical, magical chai-type ways.
Does black tea have caffeine?
Lively black tea, along with all its brothers and sisters from the camellia sinensis plant, contains caffeine. Being the most oxidised of all the teas, black tea also claims to be the tea with the highest caffeine content, with oolong, green and white teas following.
Black tea can’t compete with coffee for a caffeine hit though, for coffee rightfully claims to pack the most punch when you need some oomph in your crack-of-dawn brew.
The exact caffeine content in tea is difficult to measure, but it’s way less than coffee. Black tea is naturally grown in many regions around the world and the caffeine content can vary from district to district making it hard to determine.
How to make black tea?
Traditional tea rituals have been observed throughout many ancient cultures. Nowadays, you might use our tea making tools including our T2 scoop to pop the perfect measure of black tea into your handy T2 teamaker, tea diffuser cup, your glamorous, gorgeous designer teapot!
As grandma probably told you, when making tea you should warm the teapot with a little boiling water by swishing it around and discarding it. Add a scoop per cup of your favourite black tea, pour in the boiling water and pop on a tea cosy while your tea brews.
Most black teas are happy with the water at 100°C, but some, like Darjeeling, prefer a temperature of no more than 90°. Follow the brewing guide on the pack or online and you’ll be sure to brew a perfectly lovely cup of tea!
Some black teas like to brew for longer than others. Most breakfast teas and chai will reveal their charming selves after about two to four minutes while an elegant cup of French Earl Grey needs just two to three minutes to emerge its very best.
Pu-erh is a black tea with a difference. Flexible Pu-erh will laze around for between one and five minutes depending on how you like it. The moral of the story? Check the brewing guide for each black tea to ensure a perfect cuppa!
What are the benefits of black tea?
Aside from all the juicy goodness black tea provides our hearts, studies have shown that the flavonoids and catechins in black tea, green tea and pu-erh teas can aid weight loss!
If weight loss is your goal drink your black tea ‘au-naturale’ (not you, the tea!) because adding milk and sugar will increase the calories. And the obligatory chocolate biccies that go hand in hand with your morning and afternoon cuppa? Got to go, sorry!
But if you have a sweet tooth we promise you’ll be happy to trade your biscuits for our best-selling black tea with hints of maple dancing to the delicate notes of cinnamon, vanilla and butter. Sound delish? That’s our sleek and chic black tea blend known as the famous New York Breakfast Loose Leaf Tea.
Where to buy black tea?
You can shop for the best black teas online at T2, it’s convenient, easy and quick. But you can also visit a T2 store and experience the magic of a shop full to the brim of all sorts of tantalising and aromatic lively black teas.
Tea-rrific T2 stores are everybody’s cup of tea. They excite and inspire tea lovers with exquisite teawares and accessories, herbal and fruit tisanes, and every type of white, green, oolong and black tea you can think of! And if you can’t stop thinking about your next brew, be sure to join the T2 Tea Society and get rewarded for your love of tea!
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