A Guide to Tea Types-Black Tea

Published: Wednesday 05 June, 2019

Black Tea
Black tea is fully oxidised, meaning that molecules in the tea react with oxygen to give the leaves a rich, robust flavour. Aside from that, black tea can vary hugely in taste: a delicate Darjeeling could hardly be more different from a sweet, malty Assam or a smoky Lapsang Souchong.
Many of our black teas are flavoured with fruit, spices or even flower petals, or infused with essential oils to complement the flavour of the tea. Their natural depth and richness makes them the perfect base for a wide range of different flavour combinations – why not get exploring?

How is it Produced?
Black teas are unique for being the only completely oxidised type of tea, giving them a distinctively full body and rich, malty taste.
1. PICKING
More mature leaves are usually chosen for black tea.
2. WITHERING
The leaves are laid out on racks to dry for several hours.
3. ROLLING
Rolling the leaves in large drums triggers
oxidation.
4. OXIDATION
Enzymes in the leaves react with oxygen, changing their taste.
5. DRYING
Finally, the leaves are dried, sorted and packed.

How to Brew
Black tea is more robust than other tea types, so don't hold back: we recommend brewing in freshly boiled water for 3–5 minutes. An exception is First Flush Darjeeling, which is unusually delicate for black tea and should be brewed at around 90°C for no longer than 3 or 4 minutes.