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All About Black Tea

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Black tea—the classic cuppa tea that’s ruled Western tea drinking since it arrived from Asia centuries ago. Also called “red tea” in China, after the reddish color of its infusion, black tea is universally recognized for its distinctive flavor and signature kick.

All varieties of tea, including black, come from the Camellia sinensis plant, which has been extensively cultivated and hybridized over the centuries. Black tea is made from two different varieties:  Camellia sinensis assamica and Camellia sinensis sinensis.

 

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The Varieties

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Camellia Sinensis Sinensis

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This variety yields shorter leaves and is used primarily in China and nearby East Asian countries, most typically to make green and white teas. It evolved as a shrub growing in drier and cooler, though still sunny, climates. It thrives in mountainous regions, due to its high tolerance for cold. 

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Camellia Sinensis Assamica

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This variety of black tea yields larger leaves and is used in different parts of India and Sri Lanka. You’ll find Camellia sinensis assamica growing in warm, moist climates—it’s copious in sub-tropical forests.

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Types of Black Tea

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Black tea is grown all over the world. The three largest producers are India, Sri Lanka and Africa, with India producing more than half the world’s supply. Some of the most well-known styles of black tea coming out of these top-producing countries include:

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INDIAN BLACK TEA

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Darjeeling: Like champagne, tea can only be called Darjeeling if it comes from its namesake region—a small, mountainous district in West Bengal, India. This prized variety is seen as one of the world’s finest. Light to medium-bodied, it has floral and fruity notes, along with a touch of briskness. Darjeeling is a common base for India’s popular tea drink, Chai.

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INDIAN BLACK TEA

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Assam: This tea comes from the largest tea-growing area in the world, India’s Assam region. Typically bold and malty in flavor, it’s a perfect transition variety for coffee lovers looking for that strong punch. It’s also a popular choice for blends and can hold its own through multiple steepings.

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SRI LANKEN BLACK TEA

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Ceylon: This tea is considered among the finest in the world. While Ceylon teas can vary depending on where they’re grown, they are typically a deep mahogany, strong and brisk with a touch of spice. You may also see Ceylon teas with a light golden color.

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Caffeine

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Caffeine Content of Black Tea

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While coffee packs the most caffeine per cup, black tea has the strongest caffeine kick among teas, followed by green tea. However, many factors determine caffeine levels in any individual cup. The longer the steep time, the more caffeine in the teacup. And while most black teas, like our Darjeeling can, be steeped multiple times, the caffeine content will lessen each time it’s steeped.

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At Grey and Bash Teas, we strive to provide our customers with the most up to date educational information on loose leaf teas, offer pre-orders on early releases, send free samples once you reach a certain amount of bags of tea’s purchased, discount coupons randomly throughout the year, random gifts included with online purchases and the list goes on. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to join our exclusive Cuppa Club!

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Drop Us a Line

Don't be shy. Let us know if you have any questions!

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Dialogue is an essential part of any script

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Dialogue is an essential part of any script

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