The "Newest of Teas"
Black tea can be traced back to the late Ming Dynasty of China (1368-1644) when the first black tea was produced in the Fujian province. It is believed that black tea was created to extend the storage life of tea after western trade began. The East India Tea Company were the first to introduce tea to England, it was later made popular in the1660s by King Charles II and his wife the Portuguese Infanta Catherine de Braganza. In 1706 Thomas Twining opened the first tea shop in London where afternoon tea was popularized and enmeshed in the British culture.
Black tea is the most common tea variety in western culture, it is due ti its versatile flavor profile that we see it used in sweet tea, flavored tea, and as the base for the popular chai tea. High quality black tea is not only full flavor and caffeine, it is also packed with unique free radical fighting antioxidants such as thearubigins and theaflavins. Not all black tea is created equal, each high quality black tea should cultivated should have its own unique identifiable flavor profile similar to wine and specialty grade coffee.
Black Processing: Plucked, Withered, Rolled/Bruised, Fully Oxidized, Dried