A cup of black tea

An Advanced Guide to Choose the Best Black Tea

We can choose the best type of black tea because there are tons of variations. In the west black tea is the most famous beverage. But, the popularity of black tea doesn’t end here because it’s one of the world’s most popular drinks.

There are hundreds of varieties to choose from when it comes to black tea. Moreover, there are many ways that you can follow to prepare the best black tea.

From the Assam black tea of India to English breakfast tea, there are many variations to discover.

We know it can be a daunting task for you to jot down the best black tea flavor along with the health benefits.

Read on to discover the best black tea flavors, their recipes, and health benefits.

What is Black Tea?

Black tea is a classic drink made from the Camellia Sinensis Tea Plant. Many other teas like green tea and white tea also comes from the same plant.

cup of black tea

Black tea is one of the most famous tea when it comes to its aroma and robust flavor.

Besides the fact that all tea comes from the same plant, but due to cultivars, many black teas are unique. The flavor may depend on different factors that include:

  • Growing Conditions of the Tea Leaves
  • Age of the leaves
  • Territory
  • Processing and harvesting methods

The things we mentioned above are the reason behind the uniqueness of every tea flavor.

You can buy the tea as loose leaf or tea bags. Moreover, the classification of the tea depends on cultivation and growth. The domination of the tea goes to China, India, and Africa.

How to Choose the Best Black Tea?

Of course, you can find the best tea based on your taste preference. But here we jotted down some tips for you to choose your favorite:

  • Always brew the tea at the right temperature
  • Try to go for high quality organic black teas
  • Steep the tea for a proper amount of time

Black tea needs more steeping time as compared to delicate white tea. If you overdo it, you may get a bitter taste, and short steeping might give a weak brew tea.

a kettle of best black tea

You should steep the tea in hot water that’s 85-96.5 degrees Celsius for 3-5 minutes. In most cases, 206 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature.

But the steeping duration depends on you. Because longer time will make your tea taste stronger.

The Seven Best Black Teas

Chinese Versions

1) Yunnan Black Tea

The tea got its name from the Yunnan province of China. The tea is popular in the region and has a different name called The Dianhong.

The Yunnan tea has a high amount of delicate leaves called golden tips.

The unusual thing about this tea is that it creates an orange color rather than black when brewed. This tea is one of china’s most robust and refined teas of all time.

The tea also tastes good with ingredients like chocolate and honey.

2) Keemun Black Tea

Keemun tea is a unique variety of black tea in the Anhui province of east china. The people of the region also call this tea the Qimen Hongcha.

The oxidation and dryness period of this tea is more extended than the other tea flavors.

The Keemun tea has a smooth flavor and aroma due to fruits, flowers, and pine notes. But, you can also enjoy this tea with milk and honey for a different taste.

It would be best to brew the Keemun tea for 2-5 minutes at 190-194 degrees Fahrenheit.

3) Lapsang Souchong

The name of this fantastic tea might feel challenging to pronounce, but it’s easy to make. It is also called the whisky of tea because of the tobacco and pine flavors.

The origin of this tea is from the high mountains of Wuyi of the Fujian Province, China.

best tea leaves.

The production process of this tea makes it unique from the rest of the flavors. The leaves of Lapsang Souchong are dried over a hot pine fire.

The aroma of this tea stimulates the senses, and it has a delightful smoky flavor. The tea is one of the highest black quality flavors, and it’s best for people who love intense flavors.

Indian Versions

1) Darjeeling Black Tea

Darjeeling is a unique flavor of tea found only in the high mountains of Darjeeling, India. Due to its fruity and floral notes, many tea lovers call it the Champagne of tea.

The types of Darjeeling tea vary in flavors that depend on the harvesting season of the tea.

The tea harvest occurs four times over a year, starting in spring and ending in fall.

The spring flush of the tea has a green taste. The summer flush has a spicy and fruity taste. In comparison to this, the fall flushes have intense flavors and bitter tannins.

2) Assam Black Tea

The Assam tea got its name after the region of Assam, India. Assam is the most significant tea-producing region in the world.

Because of the rainfall, the Assam tea has an earthy and unique chocolaty flavor.

You can drink the simple Assam tea, or you can add honey or milk according to your taste.

3) Nilgiri Black Tea

The Nilgiri tea, also known as blue mountain tea, comes from the Ghats Mountains of Southern India.

Tea is among the highest-grown teas in the world.

a glass of nilgiri tea

The Nilgiri tea doesn’t get bitter and cloudy that why it tastes best as iced tea. The tea features a sweet flavor because of the fruity hints.

Sri Lankan Version

1) Ceylon Black Tea

The origin of the Ceylon tea is Sri Lanka which was call the island’s nation. The tea production of Sri Lanka reached international fame back in the 19th century.

During the British rule, Sri Lank was called Ceylon. And it’s still known for its colonial name for tea production.

The tea has a spicy and robust flavor and produces a burgundy-brown brew. The tea tastes better with lemon, nut milk, and honey.

Best Black Tea Blends

1) Earl Grey Black Tea

Earl Grey tea is a black tea flavored with bergamot oil and black tea leaves. The tea is a classic for of the earl grey tea and got famous in Britain.

The lady grey tea, known as the partner of earl grey tea, contains lemon with bergamot oil. Both of these teas got popular in the US and worldwide for their rich and unique taste.

2) English Breakfast Tea

This tea is a mixture of different types of Black Tea. The traditional blend of this tea consist of the Assam, Kenyan, and Ceylon black teas.

morning breakfast table

English breakfast tea has a unique flavor that blends with sugar and milk. Also, the tea is usually paired with breakfast and often garnished with the lemon slice.

3) Masala Chai

As the name suggests, the masala chai features a lot of spices combined with this tea.

Masala chai has brewed Assam tea along with spices. And the herbs include cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and black peppercorn.

People often consume the Masala chai as a latte or with milk. Moreover, the sugary flavors of milk and honey help to balance the spicy flavors of the chai.

4) Irish Breakfast Tea

The typical Irish tea features different blends of the Assam tea. The Irish breakfast tea features a more robust flavor than the English breakfast tea.

Red colored tea

For a balanced flavor, it would be best to consume the tea with milk. The Irish breakfast tea has dark red color than the typical black color.

How to Prepare a Classic Cup of Black Tea

Here we jotted down a list of tips on how to prepare a perfect cup of black tea:

1) Loose Leaf vs. Tea Bags

It would be best that you use loose leaf tea than tea bags. The tea experts use the cut-tear-crush method for the preparation of teabags.

The teabags have tea leaves cut into small pieces with the help of machines. You can go for tea bags as they are cheaper but may have to compromise on the quality as well.

Always go for organic loose leaf tea because it contains handpicked leaves. These tea leaves release a unique flavor because the leaves expand in hot water.

2) Steeping Process

The steeping time of the tea always depends on the type of tea you choose. The general steeping time of the tea is 3-5 minutes.

But if you steep the tea leaves for a more extended time, it gives a more pungent taste.

3) The Quality of Water

We suggest that you use filtered water instead of tap water. The filtered water allows the tea to infuse the original tea flavor.

brewed cup

For brewing the black tea, the temperature between 200 and 212 F would be perfect.

To wrap it up!

It is no doubt that this tea is one of the most popular beverages of all time. Because of its rich history and enchanting aroma, people love this tea.

We can’t say that one tea flavor is best because it has many flavors for everyone.

Try the variation of teas from different countries that we mentioned above. We hope that this article will help you in finding your best tea flavor.

Saul Smith
Saul Smith
Articles: 167

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