In recent years, green tea has taken precedent over other more traditional teas. This is due to its high antioxidant content. However, antioxidants are often added to many of the foods we consume during the production process. Caffeine can be harder to come by, particularly if you aren’t a fan of coffee. In addition to a vast variety of flavors and blends, black teas are also very high in caffeine. Here is everything you need to know about to black teas.
In contrast to the more common green and white teas (which are typically created by using the tiny bud leaves), black teas are made from the fully mature, rich leaves of the Camellia sinensis. This category of black teas can be further broken down into several subcategories, depending upon the origin of the plant. Common black teas include Assam (from India), Yunnan (from China), and Ceylon (from Sri Lanka). Each one of this has a unique flavor all of its own, and all are worth sampling, if only to determine which ones you have a personal preference for.
In addition, black teas have substantially more caffeine than other varieties. When selecting a tea, this is an important factor to consider. Some people enjoy more caffeine in their teas, while others like next to none. Contrasting, black teas have less antioxidants (the anti-cancer and anti-aging agents) than other common teas, particularly green teas.
Blends of black tea
Often, experimental measures are taken to combine certain types of black teas, resulting in an even more potent and flavor infused blend of tea leaves. Some common black tea hybrids are:
Traditional earl grey
While now white and green Earl Grey teas are now available, the original Earl Grey tea contains black tea and bergamot oil. The combination is a unique one. Consider adding a bit of lemon juice for an even better flavor.
The United States specials
Often found in Florida and Northern California, these black teas are made from citrus rinds, in addition to spices such as cinnamon and vanilla. Not to be confused with citrus teas, United States Specials are high in caffeine.
Irish breakfast tea
Ironically enough, there is no black tea originating from Ireland in this blend; rather, the name denotes nation of invention. Irish Breakfast tea is a fantastic blend of Indian Assam teas. (Occasionally, other varieties can be found as well) This tea is best with a bit of sugar and lemon.
English breakfast tea
While referenced regularly in popular culture, English Breakfast teas vary. Kenyan black teas are often used, although higher society members may drink a blend Keemun tea, a black tea native to China.