What Everyone Needs to Know About black tea
There are 6 major types of teas that are produced in the different providences of china. Chinese tea bushes also known as Camellia Sinensis are grown in sub-tropical and tropical mountain areas where there is enough humidity and sunlight for healthy growth.
The quality and type of tea is determined by the way, tea is harvested, prepared, dried, and if other things are added like fruits, flowers and herbs.
Here is one one of the diffrent tea types.
Black tea is made in four stages: withering, rolling, oxidation, and firing also known as drying. What sets Black tea apart from other teas is that is the only one that is fully oxidized, or as some call it fermented (however fermented doesn’t seem to fit). The first stage in making black tea is withering. Basically the leaves are spread out in warm air for quite a few hours until the leaves began to wither and the moisture in the leaf is reduced to about 70%. It is important that the leaf still have a little moisture so it is soft and pliable so they can begin the next stage.
Next they take the pliable leaves and they roll them. The reason that they roll the leaves is to start the oxidation process. By rolling the leaves they break the cells within the leaf. By doing this the cells release natural juices and chemicals. Usually this is done with a machine that twists the leaves and presses them to ensure that the cells are fully ruptured. During this process it is common for the leaf to break into smaller pieces. Here is where the first grading system comes into play.
The smaller pieces are separated and the process is continued with them and that is where you get your broken leaf teas. While the whole leaves are kept and usually run through the process again to ensure the cells are broken internally and they then continue the process and this is where you get your whole leaf grade tea
The next stage the in making black tea is oxidation. This is where the tea’s flavors really began to come out as well as the teas aroma. For this stage they spread out the leaves (or the broken leaves for the broken grade tea) in thin layers. This is done in a cool and humid area. This is probably the shortest stage for making the tea as this is only done for about 30 minutes depending on if the air quality is cool and humid enough.
The Tea leaves are then placed into a dryer that blows hot air to dry the tea leaves and stop the oxidation process. The hot air is about 250 degrees and the purpose it to remove the remaining moisture from the leaf.
Then the tea is packaged and we drink and enjoy it. When brewing Black Tea, it provides a dark bold flavor. While green tea flavor will begin to fade after about a year, Black tea has been known to keep its bold strong taste for a few years. This is one of the reasons it was popular in the past as the shipping times took longer due to slow travel