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Black Tea

The variety of tea where the tea leaves have been allowed to oxidize

Black tea, also referred to as "red tea," describes the variety of teas where the tea leaves have been allowed to oxidize (ferment). The longer the tea leaves are fermented, the darker the tea becomes. Black tea has a stronger flavor than green, oolong and white varieties of tea. There are four basic steps in the production of black teas: withering, rolling, oxidation and finally drying. The rolling (and shaping) of tea leaves before heating results in the release of chemicals inside the tea leaf that aid in the oxidation process. The methods and time during each of these four basic steps greatly influences the flavor of the tea.

Varieties of Black Tea

Darjeeling Tea
Grown in the foothills of the Himalayas, Darjeeling is prized for is flavor and aroma. Darjeeling is often called the "Champagne of teas."

Lapsang Souchong
From the Fukien region of China, Lapsang Souchong teas are smoked during the drying process to produce a smoky flavor to the tea.

Oolong Tea
Oolong teas are semi-fermented teas. Processed in much the same way as black teas, Oolong teas are fire-dried after only the edges of the leaves have oxidized. Depending on the amount of oxidation (which can vary from 20-60%), oolong teas have a flavor somewhere between green and black teas. Oolong teas from Taiwan are especially prized.

Yunnan Teas
The Yunnan province of China grows a variety of tea plant with larger leaves which produces a rich flavored tea.

  • Chinese
    lapsang souchong
  • English
    red tea, Darjeeling tea