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Black Tea

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

Although green tea likely comes to mind first when considering Asian teas (particularly of the Japanese variety), black tea — sometimes called red tea — is huge across the continent. Besides the different mouthfeel and taste between green and black teas, the process of how a tea becomes “black” is also different. While green tea is unoxidized, black tea is left to ferment, which oxidizes the leaves and turns them dark; the darker the tea, the longer it’s been fermented and the stronger the taste will be. Because of the oxidizing, black teas have the most tannins of all tea types which contributes to a sometimes bitter taste and dryer mouthfeel. This is especially potent in certain types of black teas when they are oversteeped.

The process of making black tea involves four main steps: withering, rolling, oxidation, and drying. Since all true tea comes from the same species of plant (although within that plant is the potential for genetically varied cultivars), the differences in tea variety and flavor are primarily the result of differences during the harvesting and production process. In other words, black tea, green tea, even white and oolong tea — all were once the same plant.

Black tea can be found in our tea-dedicated aisles alongside the other varieties like green and white.