One of the most treasured beverage of all times, Black Tea has been brewed for its miraculous benefits and uplifting taste since ages. Produced from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis, the first Black Tea; Lapsang Souchong was discovered in the Fujian province of China in around 17th century AD, when green tea leaves were accidently oxidized to the flavour and colour, distinctive of black tea today. Since then, it has experienced an overwhelming acclaim and love worldwide, considering, it has a longer shelf life and can be transported over long distances without losing its vigour.
What Lies Within
Black Tea is 100% oxidised and has earned the name due to the colour which the leaves gain post the processes of withering, rolling, oxidization, and drying. It is also called Red Tea in China, owing to the colour which its brew attains.
Black Tea leaves have a robust composition that enrich your body with its wholesome goodness. They are rich in antioxidants, especially polyphenols such as flavonoids, catechins, theaflavins, and thearubigins that boost your overall health. Apart from that, it is also rich in amino acids, enzymes, caffeine, vitamins, minerals and a great range of aroma compounds for good health and rejuvenating flavour.
The Elixir Effect
Black tea bestows its enthusiasts with a myriad of diverse health benefits that nourishes, refreshes and uplift your body and soul.
1. Rich in Antioxidants: Black tea contains combinations of polyphenols, which help to promote and maintain all-round good health. They remove toxins and free radicals from your body and help it to heal.
2. Boosts Heart Health: The flavonoids in Black tea are beneficial for a good heart health, they help reduce the risk of stroke, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and also help to lower the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) in body.
3. Aids in rapid metabolism: Flavones present in Black Tea are helpful for weight management. A study shows that people who consume three cups of black tea everyday showed increased metabolism.
4. Strengthens Immunity: Antioxidants in Black Tea protect and enable your body cells to function at their optimum levels and thereby, boost your immunity.
5. Boosts Energy Levels and Metabolism: The caffeine in your tea helps to stimulate the brain, heart, kidney, respiratory system, and metabolism rate, making you feel rejuvenated and energised.
6. Improves Gut Health: The Tannins present in tea have a therapeutic effect on gastric and intestinal illnesses. Moreover, black tea consumption promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut which helps fight against diseases and also maintains the health of your digestive tract.
7. Lowers Risk of Cancer: Antioxidants like polyphenols and catechins, may help reduce the risk of cancer, especially, skin, breast, stomach, prostrate and ovarian cancer.
8. Reduces Risk of Diabetes: Black Tea contains catechins and theaflavins which make the body more insulin sensitive and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
9. Promotes Bone Health: It tends to develop stronger bones, improve your bone density and lowers the risk of arthritis, osteoporosis and fractures.
10. Relieves Stress: Black Tea helps to relax your nerves and reduces the stress hormones in your body.
11. Improves Focus and Attention Span: L-theanine in tea helps to boost functioning of your brain and strengthens and elongates attention span.
12. Promotes Healthy Skin: Black Tea helps to rejuvenate the skin, fights against skin infections, prevents blemishes, helps to delay aging and prevents puffiness.
13. Enhances Hair Life: Black tea can be used for white and grey hair issues as it imparts natural hair colour and also acts as a dyeing agent. Additionally, its intake stimulates hair growth, prevents hair fall and adds lustre to it.
Preparing Black Tea at Home
You can make tasty black tea at home with tea bags as well as loose leaves.
Tea Bags: Place your tea bag in your cup, pour boiling water in it and let it steep for three to five minutes. Remove the tea bag, your cup of good health is ready to sip in.
Tea Leaves: Boil 250 ml water and pour over 1 teaspoon tea leaves. Steep for 1 to 3 minutes. Strain, sip and enjoy with a dash of milk if you’d like. Whole tea leaves can be steeped 2 to 3 times, producing new flavours with each brew. You can sweeten it with sugar or honey to customise your tea to your palate preference.
Consumption Methods; Variety is the key
Black tea is favoured equally, whether Hot or Cold. You can create reviving hot brews or refreshing Iced Teas. You can customise your Black tea by brewing it with a range of other teas, spices, herbs and even experiment with untried ingredients such as chocolate, vanilla, pumpkin, smoke or wood to create exotic and distinct infusions. The worldwide favoured ones being, the traditional masala chai or the simply adored ginger tea, you could also try the non-traditional Decaff Black, Dessert Rose Black and fruity infusions such as Garden Strawberry and Mango mania for that soothing allure.
Additionally, you can create a plethora of other beverage options too, including smoothies, flavoured latte, cocktails and mocktails. You can also make a variety of edibles such as cookies, cakes, scones, dressings and sauces.
Lemon Tea: To make black tea with lemon, follow the same procedure and add a few drops of lemon juice to your brewed black tea for that tangy and refreshing essence.
Indian Style: You can make authentic black tea Indian style as well. For that smoky and rustic taste and aroma, you can brew it in a kettle on a handmade mud stove and best serve it in a kulhad (a mud cup) for those earthy tones in your cup of tea.
Which is better black tea or milk tea?
Ideally, to reap the all the benefits of Black tea, avoid adding milk to it as it prevents the absorption of antioxidants present in black tea.
Green tea or black tea, which is better?
From health point of view, Green Tea may reap in more benefits since it contains more antioxidants and is lower on caffeine level.
How many calories are there in black tea?
Your cup of black tea holds only 2 calories, which is almost insignificant and hence is great for your health. The calorie count can vary, depending upon the addition of honey, sugar or milk, as the palate desires.
How much caffeine is there in black tea?
Due to its intense oxidation black tea contains more caffeine than other forms of tea.
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