Chinese Black Tea

Black tea is a variety of tea that is more oxidized than the oolong, green, and white varieties. All four varieties are made from leaves of Camellia sinensis. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the less oxidized teas.Black tea's caffeine is approximately 3 %, which is the highest of all the different kinds of tea, but still lower than coffee.

In Chinese languages and neighboring countries, black tea is known as "red tea" , a description of the color of the liquid; the term black tea refers to the color of the oxidized leaves. In Chinese, "black tea" is a commonly used classification for post-fermented teas, such as Pu-erh tea; While green tea usually loses its flavor within a year, black tea retains its flavor for several years.

Black tea is also known as "Congas" in the international tea trade business. The name Congas is actually taken from the Chinese term Gongfu or Kung-Fu. Northern Congas are also referred to as black leaf Congas, "the Burgundy of China teas", and southern Congas as red leaf Congas, "the Claret of China teas".

Anhui Province
Keemun black tea

Produced in Limen County and the neighboring areas close to Yellow Mountain in Anhui Province, China, Keemun black tea is a competitive type of black tea in China. This is attributed to the high yield and excellent quality of tea trees growing in the region thanks for the rich soil and favorable weather. Being famous at home and abroad for its excellent quality, Keemun black tea is one of the three major sorts of tea with intense fragrance which are globally recognized

 

Fujian Province
Lapsang soughing
正山小种 
is a black tea originally from the Wuyi region of the Chinese province of Fujian. It is sometimes referred to as smoked tea (
熏茶). Lapsing is distinctive from all other types of tea because lapsing leaves are traditionally smoke-dried over pinewood fires, taking on a distinctive smoky flavor.
The name in Fukienese means "smoky variety" or more correctly "smoky sub-variety." Lapsing soughing is a member of the Wuyi Bohea family of teas. The story goes that the tea was created during the Qing era when the passage of armies delayed the annual drying of the tea leaves in the Wuyi hills. Eager to satisfy demand, the tea producers sped up the drying process by having their workers dry the tea leaves over fires made from local pines.

Tanning Gongfu 坦洋
The king of the Fujian Artisan Red Teas. One of the three Famous Fujian Black Tea.
Zhenghe Gongfu
政和  
One of the three Famous Fujian black tea, with a slight honey flavor.
Bailing Gongfu
白琳功夫

 
One of the three Famous Fujian Red black tea.  

Yin Junmei 银骏 Silver Steed Eyebrow
Mount Wuyi Fujian Province, A higher grade version of Zhongshan xiaozhong (aka. Lapsing Soughing)

Jin Junmei 金骏 Golden Steed Eyebrow
MountWuyi Fujian Province ,One of the highest grade red teas in mainland China.

 

Yunnan Province
Dian hong
滇红

"Yunnan Red",is a Chinese black tea which is used as a relatively high end gourmet black tea and is sometimes used in various tea blends. The main difference between Dian hong and other Chinese black teas is the amount of fine leaf buds, or "golden tips," present in the dried tea. Fermented with lychee, rose and longan, Dian hong teas produces a brew that is brassy golden orange in color with a sweet, gentle aroma and no astringency. Cheaper varieties of Dian hong produce a darker brownish brew that can be very bitter.

 

Guangdong Province
Ying De Hong
英徳紅
The tea has a cocoa-like aroma and a sweet aftertaste, one can find a peppery note.

 

Zhejiang Province
Jiu Qu Hong Mei
九曲红梅
This tea is characterized by tight fishhook-like leaves with a lustrous black color. The infusion is brightly reddish and has a long smooth aftertaste.

mixing black tea 宜兴红茶

 

Sichuan Province
Tibet
藏茶A unique tea that can also be called brick tea; it is well known as "Tibetan tea" for centuries.

Manufacturing Process of China tea---Black tea

Unlike the enzyme inactivation process of green tea, the enzyme activities are completelyutilized in black tea processing to form the pigments (theaflavin茶黄素 and thearubigin茶红素).Although the processing methods vary with the producing regions, the general black tea processing is: fresh tea leaves plucked采摘 withered萎调 rolled 揉捻→ fermented发酵(actually it's oxidation). Among those four steps, the fermentation process is crucial to the quality of the final black tea product, which is predominated with the oxidation of catechinsand production of oxidation reaction products.The typical plucked tea flush for black tea processing is one bud and two leaves.

On arrival at the factory, they are spread out on large trays, racks or mats, troughs,or a machine and are left to wither by natural air current under sunshine or indoor controlled ventilation/aeration通风有氧 with the aid of warm-air fans. The moisture in the leaves evaporates and the leaves become limp and flaccid. Subsequently, the leaves are processed by orthodox roller or rotor vane, or CTC (crushing, tearing, and curling)machine, or LTP (Laurie tea processor) machine. Most of the black tea in India,Sri Lanka, and Kenya is manufactured using the CTC process, while that in Chinais processed principally by traditional orthodox rollers. The objective of the rolling to break the leaf cells and release the oxidases, including polyphenol oxidase andperoxidase多酚氧化酶和过氧化酶, and initiate the process of catechin oxidation with oxygen in the air.Importantly, CTC can be used to handle efficiently large volumes of tea leaves, rapidlyrupturing withered tea leaves to small particles and forcing out most of cell sap,which leads to sufficient fermentation充分氧化.After rolling, the broken tea leaves are transferred to the fermentation room android out thinly on trays, in troughs, or on the floor at a little warm (25–35°C), high humidity (>95%) atmosphere for fermentation. The fermentation time ranges from a half hour to 3 hours, depending on the variety of tea plants, the age of tea leaves,the particle size of broken tea leaves, and the fermentation condition. Among these factors, the rupturing technique plays a key role. Generally, tea leaves macerated使浸软by CTC machine need a short time, from 30–60 minutes, while tea leaves ruptured by orthodox roller take a long time, from 2–3 hours. In this process, the broken tealeaves set to fully oxidize, which starts during rolling. Due to the oxidation, green leaves gently turn to golden russet黄褐色 color and the greenish leaf note turns to a fresher floral aroma.As the optimum 最佳效果的fermentation is achieved, the leaf mass is dried or fired to inactivate the enzymes and halt the fermentation. Continuous driers are usually used,in which hot air is generated by electrical heater or coal furnace. In this process,the leaf turns dark brown or black, the aroma changes to floral, and the moisture is reduced to less than 6%.The crude black teas produced in the world are mainly congou (Gongfu) blacktop and CTC black tea, which are processed by orthodox rolling and CTC machine,respectively.

 

Apart from those two, there is still a minor productivity Soughing black tea produced in the Wuyi (Bohea) mountain area in China. It is said thatsouchong black tea was created in the middle of the fifteenth century, and lapsangsouchong (Zhongshan Xiaozhong正山小种) is known to be the origin of black tea. The processing lapsing soughing is similar to that of congou black tea, except that the fermented drool (refers to the tea leaf during fermentation, noted for its coppery color) is fired at 200°C for several minutes and rerolled before final drying. In addition,soughing black tea can be further processed by the absorbance of the scents released from the burning pine branches to smoked soughing black tea, which is known for its smoked flavor.

 

Similar to crude green tea refining, crude black teas are refined through sifting,cutting, grading, blending, referring, and packing. Through the refining, the stalks,fibers, and impurities in crude tea are removed. The fine teas are graded to four varieties as whole leaf grades, broken, fanning, and dusts. Moreover, each varieties subdivided into several categories as summarized in the following list. 

 

Whole leaf grade: flowery orange pekoe白毫 (FOP), golden flowery orange pekoe(GFOP), tippy golden flowery orange pekoe (TGFOP), finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe (FTGFOP), special finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe (SFTGFOP), orange pekoe (OP), pekoe (P), flowery pekoe(FP), pekoe soughing (PS), soughing (S)

 

Broken: flowery broken orange pekoe (FBOP), golden flowery broken orange pekoe (GFBOP), golden broken orange pekoe (GBOP), tippy golden broken orange pekoe (TGBOP), tippy golden flowery broken orange pekoe(TGFBOP), broken orange pekoe (BOP), broken pekoe (BP), broken pekoesouchong (BPS)

 

Fanning:orange fanning (OF), broken orange pekoe fanning (BOPF), pekoefannings (PF), broken mixed fanning (BMF)

 

Dusts: pekoe dust (PD), red dust (RD), fine dust (FD), golden dust (GD), superred dust (SRD), super fine dust (SFD)

How to Make a Good Cup of Tea --- Brewing Black Tea

There are 2 ways to brew the black tea:brewing pure tea and brewing laced tea. To brew pure tea,each gram of tea leaves needs 50ml to 60ml of water. If the broken black tea is brewed first,each gram of tea leaves needs 70ml to 80ml of water.To brewed laced tea, the condiments such as sugar, milk, honey, and lemon juice are added into the tea soup. The quantity of the tea leaves depends on the taste of the drinker.

Tea ceremony for the Black Tea--- Keemun Black Tea

1,Tea appreciation:The keemum Black Tea has tight and slender strips and good tips. It looks black and moist. The dry tea has a gray luster, know as “ Treasure Light”

2,Tea application:Push the black tea into the teapot with a tea spoon

3,Warming up the tea set:Pour boiling water onto the tea set to raise its temperature.

4,Water pouring:Pour in boiling water from a lifted teapot, let the tea leaves fully tumble in the turbulent water, and fully set free the tea leaves “color, aroma, and taste”

5,Warm up the teacup:Keep on warming up the teacup with the water warming up the teapot.

6,Tea soup allocation:Pour the brewed tea soup into the GongDaoCup and then allocate it evenly into the drinking teacups.

7,Presenting the tea.Present the tea to the guest.

8,Tasting the tea.The keemun black tea has a sweet and moist aroma, which contains flower fragrance. The tea soup is brilliantly red and bright. Along the rim of the teacup is an obvious “Golden Ring”. It tastes mellow with a lingering aftertaste.

Health Benefit of Drinking Black Tea

Black tea is one of the most widely consumed teas. This tea is prepared from the leaves of the shrub Camellia sinensis and is more oxidized than oolong, green and white teas. Thus, it generally has a stronger flavor than other varieties of tea.

The method of black tea production makes it different from other varieties of tea. After being plucked, the tea leaves are set out to be withered in order to release the moisture from them. When they lose maximum amount of moisture, the leaves are rolled either manually or with the help of machines through exposure to high temperature. Once the leaves are oxidized fully, they are sorted according to their size.

The name of black tea can be attributed to the darkness of the tea’s liquor. However, technically it is dark amber or orange in color. Hence, the Chinese referred to it as red tea. The caffeine content in any tea is often a cause of concern. As far as black tea is concerned, one cup of tea has about half the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee.

Health Benefits Of Black Tea:

Black tea is a good option to form part of your diet because of its several health benefits, most of which can be attributed to its favorable nutritional profile. Due to increased oxidation, black tea is more flavorful and caffeine laden than its other counterparts. Moreover, the flavor of black tea can be retained for a much longer time than other teas. The black tea benefits for health are given below.

1. Cardiovascular Benefits: Research has proved that consumption of black tea reduces the propensity of cardiovascular problems. The antioxidants such as flavonoids present in black tea prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. It prevents the damage to blood stream and artery walls and lowers the risk of heart disease. In fact, consumption of black tea has been found to reverse a coronary artery disease called endothelial vasomotor dysfunction. This dysfunction also leads to other coronary diseases. Black tea flavonoids are effective in improving coronary vasodilation and reducing blood clots. Polyphenols and manganese present in black tea reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by helping cardiac muscle function.

2. Cancer Prevention: The antioxidants called polyphenols found in black tea help in preventing the formation of potential carcinogens in the body, resulting in prevention of certain cancers like ovarian, lung, prostrate, colorectal and bladder cancers. Studies have revealed that black tea is effective in preventing stomach, prostate and breast cancer. Black tea contains a compound called TF-2 which is responsible for causing apoptosis (programmed death of cancer cells) while the normal cells remain unaffected. Additionally, black tea can also significantly reduce the risk of oral cancer in those who smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products. Black tea also prevents cancer by inhibiting the formation and growth of malignant tumors.

3. Eliminates Free Radicals: Free radicals in the body can cause various cell damages such as blood clot formation, cancer and atherosclerosis. Consumption of unhealthy food increases the number of free radicals in your body. The antioxidants present in black tea remove these harmful free radicals, thus protecting the body from diseases such as Alzheimer’s and heart diseases. Black tea with lemon is a good choice to make for this action.

4. Boosts the Immune System: A strong immune system is necessary for fighting bacteria and viruses that can cause illnesses. Black tea contains substances called ‘tannins’ which have the ability to fight viruses such as influenza, dysentery, hepatitis, colds and flu. One such tannin called ‘catechin’ helps in suppressing tumors. The alkyl amine antigens in black tea boost immune response. Drinking 3 to 4 cups of black tea each day helps in lowering inflammation and eliminates harmful pathogen.

5. Oral Health: The catechin antioxidants contained in black tea help in the reduction of oral cancers. Polyphenols and tannin act as antibiotics, thus inhibiting bacteria that cause tooth decay. Black tea contains fluoride which fights bad breath and prevents tooth decay by eradicating harmful bacteria from oral cavity. A daily dose of two cups black tea provides around 1.5 mg fluorides.

6. Stimulates the Brain and Nervous System: Black tea contains lower levels of caffeine than coffee. The low amounts of caffeine promote blood flow in the brain without stimulating the heart and improve mental alertness and concentration. The amino acid L-theanine found in black tea can help you relax and concentrate fully on tasks. Consumption of four cups of black tea daily for one month has been found to reduce the levels of stress hormone cortisol. The caffeine in black tea boosts your memory and studies have suggested that consumption of black tea on a regular basis protects against Parkinson’s disease.

7. Benefits the Digestive Tract: The tannins in black tea are beneficial for digestion. These tannins help combat gastric and intestinal illnesses by having a therapeutic effect. Besides, they exercise an anti-diarrheal effect and help in decreasing intestinal activity. The polyphenols help in lowering intestinal inflammation suffered by patients of irritable bowel syndrome.

8. Healthy Bones and Connective Tissue: The powerful phytochemical in black tea help in strengthening the bones and connective tissue. In fact, research has proved that black tea drinkers have comparatively healthier bones.

9. More Energy: Due to caffeine, black tea is considered as an energizing drink which increases efficiency. Caffeine, when taken in moderation, acts as a stimulant by increasing brain function and alertness. In fact, the stimulating effect of caffeine in black tea is more than that of coffee and cola. Black tea has another compound called ‘theophylline’ which stimulates the respiratory system, heart and kidneys. Thus, these compounds help in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.

10. Aids in Weight Loss: Being ultra-low in sodium, fat and calories, black tea is highly beneficial for people who want to lose weight and helps in maintaining a healthy weight. Thus, it acts as an effective substitute for unhealthy soda drinks by preventing the intake of weight-gain causing calories. Beverages containing higher amounts of fat can cause lethal conditions and diseases. Black tea also boosts the metabolic activity and thus, aids in weight loss.

11. Lowers Cholesterol: Black tea is effective in decreasing your level of triglycerides. It can reduce your LDL or bad cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. Drinking several cups of black tea improves the functioning of your arteries and does not allow cholesterol to build up inside them.

12. Other Benefits: The antioxidants catechin strengthen the blood vessels and tannin increases the resistance of the body against various infections. In addition, black tea inhibits allergic responses, retards tumor growth and can even delay the onset of diabetes.