What we call Black Tea in the West was first referred to as Red Tea in China. Black Tea is also often mistakenly referred to as “fully oxidized” tea. However, Black Tea is not one-hundred percent oxidized but around ninety percent oxidized. (Tea Oxidation Guide)
Picking and Processing:
Black Tea is made from the young leaves of the tea plant. The pickings are then either rolled, by hand or mechanically, in order to bruise the leaves. The bruising of the leaves releases the essential oils of the Camellia Sinensis, which react with the light and oxygen in the air, resulting in the oxidation of the tea leaves. Black tea is also exposed to humid and heated environments that enhance the oxidation processing.
Steps of Processing: Fresh leaves are Picked, Withered, Rolled, Oxidized, and Dried. (Tea Processing)
Mind and Body:
Because of the oxidation process the effects of the tea leaves on the mind and body change. This is why Black tea has different effects to White and Green teas, with which oxidation is carefully avoided. The oxidation of Black tea increases the levels of Xanthines and decreases the levels of Catechins. Catechins are responsible for the metabolic benefits of tea, while the Xanthines, in Black tea, is beneficial for the stimulatory effects of the Xanthine compound Caffeine. Black tea is also a great source of antioxidants. Caffeine levels of Black tea depend highly on many factors regarding the variety of the plant, time of year of picking, and more. Caffeine is also more controlled in Black tea than in coffee due to the calming effects of the tannins.
The oxidation of the tea leaves is a key contributor to the flavor of Black tea. During oxidation a category of Polyphenols in tea called Flavonoids are modified. A compound of Flavenoids called Flavanols are converted to Theaflavins and Thearubigins, which create the dark color and rich, robust flavors of Black tea. Flavonols are also considered responsible for properties of antioxidants. The most prominent flavors in Black tea are notes of malt, cocoa, caramel, vanilla sweetness, dried fruits, and deep florals.
Chinese Black tea is known for being the best of its kind in the world. Chinese Black teas are mostly produced in the Fujian, Yunnan, and Anhui provinces. Black tea is also known for being grown in Darjeeling-India, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and Kenya.
Keemun Breakfast Tea 1oz $6.50 ADD TO CART
Origin: China, Anhui, Qimun County
Flavor: Toasted, Fruity, Floral, Smoky Finish
Keemun Black tea is one of the most consumed black teas in the world and is most notably used in the blend of Black teas known as English Breakfast. Our Keemun Mao Feng Premium is a top quality leaf tea from Qimun County, Anhui Province in China. This tea is composed of tightly rolled whole leaves with high oxidation and produce a distinctively deep flavor. This Keemun Mao Feng has a rich amber liquor with a brisk, full bodied, toasty flavor and a fruity floral aroma of spring orchards. This tea is also special for its long lasting sweetness, rich aftertaste!
Golden Eyebrow 1oz $8.00 ADD TO CART
Origin: China, Fujian Province
Flavor: Honey, Malt, Sweetness, Vanilla Notes
Jin Jun Mei, Beautiful Golden Eyebrow in Mandarin, is a modern Chinese tea known for its auburn golden hue and slender leaves. Jin Jun Mei is made of slim black and gold tips, covered in a delicate golden fuzz. Once steeped, it has a smooth body and well rounded mouth-feel and sweet, honey, malty, velvety smooth flavor with hints of vanilla.
Golden Buds 1oz $9.75 ADD TO CART
Origin: China, Yunnan Province
Flavor: Buttery Malt, Cocoa, Cinnamon Notes
Our Yunnan Golden Special is grown and cultivated by craft tea farmers with a distinguished history going back for many generations. Yunnan Golden Special is cultivated at the highest altitudes in a cool climate that is home to natural woodland. It is harvested between the end of March and the middle of April. Yunnan Golden Special produces a bright copper coloured cup that yields a buttery, strong, malt flavor, with finishing cinnamon notes and the signature soft earthy Yunnan character.
Black Dragon Pearls 1oz $8.50 ADD TO CART
Origin: China, Yunnan Province
Flavor: Raisin Sweetness, Earthy, Cocoa
A high proportion of young buds are used along with the leaves to make this premium, expertly large pearl rolled tea from Yunnan. Black Dragon Pearls slowly unfurl in your cup to produce an infusion that has a naturally sweet flavors, similar to raisins with notes of earth and chocolate. Hints of cocoa whisper as the leaves unfurl, producing an aromatic and delicious brew to be savored. Allow plenty of room for the tea to expand and unfurl in order to release all the flavor of your Black Dragon Pearls!
Lapsang Souchong 1oz $6.50 ADD TO CART
Origin: China, Yunnan Province
Flavor: Clean Smoky Pine
The infamously smoky Lapsang Souchong originated in China accidentally centuries ago. Tea was carried by horse in from Yunnan to Tibet and continental Europe, acquiring its signature smoky aroma along the way thanks to exposure to the smoke from the fires burned for warmth during the cold nights. This Traditional Lapsang Souchong is a deeply aromatic leaf, similar to a smoky campfire, yet infuses a cup with distinctive smoothness and signature smoked pine. To create the refined smokiness, freshly plucked leaves are withered over an open fire to infuse naturally before being panfired, then individually hand rolled. After rolling, the leaves are pressed and stored in wooden barrels, covered with cloth and allowed to complete their oxidation. Our Traditional Lapsang Souchong smoked tea contains only the highest grade loose leaf black tea and works well as an accompaniment to savory dishes.
Japanese Black 1oz $8.50 ADD TO CART
Origin: Japan, Kagoshima Prefecture
Flavor: Melony, Green Bananas, Brown Sugar notes
Wakoucha Japanese Black is a rare and wonderful tea grown in Kagoshima prefecture. This tea is a real treat, with light melony notes and aroma. It is a fully oxidized tea, which provides a rich and deep copper color with a light to medium body. This is a bright tasting, refreshing tea with a slight maltiness and little astringency. It has the perfect brightness for a pick me up tea and might also be enjoyed cold or iced!
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