Advertisement

Black Tea: Origins, Health Benefits and How Does It Different From Green Tea

Black Tea: Origins, Health Benefits and How Does It Different From Green Tea
From Lifehack - October 13, 2017

Some like it hot, and some like it cold, but cultures around the world agree: black tea is an incredible beverage. From Chinese tea ceremonies to British tea-time, this drink has shaped the way that people live their lives for centuries. Although black tea may look humble as it steeps in your cup, it has a storied past and impressive list of health benefits associated with it.Some like it hot, and some like it cold, but cultures around the world agree: black tea is an incredible beverage. From Chinese tea ceremonies to British tea-time, this drink has shaped the way that people live their lives for centuries. Although black tea may look humble as it steeps in your cup, it has a storied past and impressive list of health benefits associated with it.

Black tea has a rich past

Black and green teas actually come from the same plants: Camellia sinensis assamica and Camellia sinensis sinensis.1 Green and black tea are processed differently, which results in distinct color and flavor profiles.

China has been brewing green and oolong teas for thousands of years, but black tea didnt come about until the 1730s. After a green tea factorys production was held up, green tea leaves started to oxidize.2 The oxidization led to the distinct flavor and color of black tea, and the accident became one of the most popular drinks worldwide.

There was lots of money to be made in the tea trade in the 1700s, but green tea didnt retain its quality as well in transport as black tea. This is why most British tea culture revolves around black tea, while Eastern traditions favor green tea.

The Wests insatiable desire for tea led businessmen to take tea plants and seeds from China so that they could start tea plantations in other countries. India was among the most well-known of these locations, and tea became one of the main imports from the British East India Company.3

Youve probably had black tea before, but you may not have realized it

Iced tea, sun tea, Earl Grey tea, Ceylon tea, and English breakfast tea are all variants of black tea. Black tea is served hot, cold, sweetened, and unsweetened. People often add milk, sugar, lemon, or honey to their drinks.4

All the varieties of black tea have different flavors, and taste preferences can define a region. The American South, for example, is known for its sweetened iced tea. The British have hot tea and pastries in the mid-afternoon. In Turkey, black tea is served hot in small glasses with the option to sweeten it with sugar cubes.

Many black teas are named for their region of origin. For example, Ceylon tea comes from Sri Lanka, and Darjeeling tea comes from India. Other designations, such as sun tea, refer to the manner in which the drink was prepared.5

Black tea vs. Green tea

As two of the most popular varieties of tea, you might be wondering what the difference between black and green tea is. As previously mentioned, green tea is made from unoxidized tea leaves, while black tea is fully oxidized. Green tea leaves are dark green in appearance, and when they are brewed, they produce a light greenish or golden drink.

The oxidization process gives black tea leaves their dark color. When brewed, the resulting beverage is a dark reddish-brown color. This is why black tea is often referred to as red tea in China. Green tea has a light flavor, while black tea tends to have a more robust taste.

Flavor can also change depending on the way that the leaves are prepared. Some of the highest quality green and black teas are loose-leaf varieties, which produce a better taste than bagged teas. Matcha, tea made from powdered leaves, is another fine variant.6 Most often, matcha is made from green tea leaves, but it is possible to get black matcha as well.

Tea bags were an accidental invention that became popular for people on the go, but if youre a tea aficionado, its worth looking at the quality of the leaves packaged in that manner.7 Often these are finely chopped, and they tend to be low-quality compared to loose leaf varieties.

Black tea contains 25-48 mg of caffeine per eight ounce glass compared to green teas 25-29 mg per cup.8 Depending on the quality of the leaves and the preparation methods, green and black tea can have roughly equivalent amounts of caffeine, but youre more likely to get a bigger jolt from drinking black tea. These teas have significantly less caffeine that coffee, which averages about 95-165 mg per cup.

5 Amazing Health Benefits of Drinking Black Tea

1. Its rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols, catechins, thearubigins, and theaflavins. Antioxidants can reduce illness and signs of aging by preventing damage to your DNA.9 These same antioxidants may lower your risk for getting certain types of cancer.10

Heres how to brew yourself a cup of delicious black tea

The quality of your ingredients matters

When it comes to a good cup of tea, timing is everything

Enjoy a calming and refreshing drink

Advertisement

Continue reading at Lifehack »