Black Tea

Black Tea

Black teas originated in China (where they are known as “red tea”). Today, however, they come from many growing regions throughout the world, most notably India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.

The leaves are plucked and treated in a four-step process: withering, rolling, oxidation, and firing. Withering removes moisture from the freshly plucked leaves so they can be rolled. First-grade teas are hand-rolled: Each leaf is curled along its length and slightly twisted, to break apart cells and release enzymes that interact with the air, causing oxidation. During the oxidation process, the leaves are placed in a cool and humid room for about five hours.

The fourth and final stage is firing, which stops the oxidation. During firing, the leaves are placed in hot pans or drying chambers which maintain a constant temperature of 120° F. The resulting black tea infusion can vary from light, flowery, and crisp to rich and robust to sweet and even to a malty flavor.

Brewing Instructions:

 TEMPERATURE: Pour 212°F water (that is, water at the boiling point) over the leaves

 TIME: Steep black tea for 2-3 minutes

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