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BLACK TEA

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Black tea  红茶 [hóng chá]
 

  1. Appearance
Before brewing, the tea leaves are mostly black or brown. After brewing, tea soups are red or reddish brown.  The complete tea leaf shape is curly, the sharp bud has a greyish glow.
 
  1. Taste  
Black tea tastes strong, fragrant and long-lasting silky. “Gongfu" black tea smells like honey or apple, while “Xiaozhong” smells smoky.
 
  1. Features
Black tea is almost fully fermented (70%-95%). It is made with new buds as the starting material.The fresh tea leaves loses 30-45% of their weight by withering to increase enzymatic activity. It contains nutrient elements: carotene, vitamin A, Calcium etc.
 
  1. Functions
-reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
-controls blood sugar
-reduces the risk of ovarian cancer
-contains polyphenols which scavenge for cell-damaging free radicals (especially damage caused from by smoking and toxic chemicals.
-lowers the risk of developing kidney stones
-lowers the risk of Parkinson’s
-enhances accuracy and self-reported alertness. 

 
  1. Brew temperature
Black tea is brewed at a temperature of 90 - 100°C.
      
  1. Main types
Qi Hong, Huo Hong, Dian Hong, Yue Hong, Su Hong, Chuan Hong
 
  1. Famous varieties
Qi Hong (Qimen), Dian Hong (Yunnan), Ying Hong (Yingde)
 
  • In fact, in China “black tea” is called “red tea” 红茶 [hóng chá]. 400+ years ago, Chinese defined Red tea because of the soup’s color red! In 1662, Portuguese Princess Catherine brought Chinese precious granulated sugar and red tea “Zhengshan Xiaozhong” to Britain. It was her dowry. They immediately became the hype of the upper class.  Ignorance made them combine both products. In 1675, East India Company started to monopolize the tea market by acquiring red tea from south China. When they looked at the black leaves, they simply decided to call the red tea “black tea”… So, if you go to China now and try to buy black tea, traditional Chinese may kindly give you the “real” black tea. Which they call 黑茶 [hēi chá] (dark tea)…
 
  • During the production, tea leaves are sieved multiple times to remove small particles. Different big aromatised tea brands buy this residu to use it as addition in their teabags.


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