Black tea or ‘chai’ is the hot drink tis the commonest form of tea consumed in the world. This tea gets its name from the colour it obtainsafter brewing. This tea is believed to have come from China and gradually spreading across Europe and other parts of Asia. This beverage is enjoyed globally for its relaxing and medicinal properties.
Origin of Black Tea Recipe
There are many stories associated with the origin of tea. It is believed that once a leaf from a tea bush fell into a pot of warm water and thus tea was discovered. Some also say that the first tea bush originated from the eyelashes of a Buddhist monk when he had cut and thrown them away. Whatever the story may be, this tea is sure to have originated from China. However it is strange that in China, green tea is more preferred than this tea.
This variety of tea is savoured across most of Europe. It was considered to be a low quality tea by the Chinese and was thus exported. However nowadays it is relished and enjoyed by people all around the world.
Constituents of Black Tea
This particular beverage helps to keep people awake and alert. This tea contains more caffeine and has more amount of anti oxidants. This particular tea is more oxidized than white tea or green tea. Compared to other types of tea this particular tea can retain its flavour for a longer period of time. It is sometimes sold in bricks.
Ingredients Prescribed by Black Tea Recipe
There are only two ingredients prescribed in the black tea recipe– black tea and water. However, after the tea is brewed one can add a number of ingredients to enhance the flavour of the tea. The recipe specifies a few simple steps that one needs to follow in order to get a great tasting tea.
Popular Methods of Preparing Black Tea
Preparing this tea is an art in itself. The black tea recipe suggests the infusion of the tea leaves in hot but not boiling water. The tea leaves double in size as soon as they are infused in water – thus one needs to be careful about the amount of leaves used. It also depends on the kind of black tea used.
It is suggested in the black tea recipe that using a mesh for infusing the leaves gives more flavour to the tea. Timing the infusion is recommended as brewing the leaves for a longer period may make the tea taste bitter. Tea bags are a popular choice nowadays as they are easy to use.
The black tea recipe also recommends warming up of the pot in which the tea leaves are brewed. The pot needs to be warmed at a certain temperature otherwise the tea will not taste good.
Serving and Drinking Black Tea
Regular tea drinkers prefer to consume tea all throughout the day. Different cultures recommend the tea to be drunk at a particular time of the day. The Europeans, especially British, prefer drinking black tea in the morning as well as in the evening. They like the tea to be served along with scones, cookies, biscuits or cakes. In many other cultures tea is preferred as an after dinner drink.
Types of Black Tea
There are various types of black tea. Though the black tea recipe for most of them remains the same, the quality of teas differ due to many reasons. Black tea can be classified regionally into India (Assam tea), China (Yunnan tea) or Sri Lanka (Ceylon tea). The tea that comes from these regions also can be categorized into different types.
Darjeeling tea, a type of Indian black tea is fruity in flavour whereas Assam tea, another variety produced in India has a distinct taste of its own and is very strong in flavour.
Among the different varieties of Chinese black tea, one is smoky in flavour whereas another has the flavour of plum. Also there is another type of Chinese black tea which has the flavour of cocoa.
Popular Variations of Black Tea Recipe
Black tea can be drunk without adding anything to it or some external ingredients can be added to this tea to derive maximum flavour. Ideally black tea should be consumed as it is but a few people prefer to sweeten their tea with sugar or honey.
Lemon or fresh ginger is also added to black tea.
The tea is made light or strong depending on the taste. Various flavour infused tea bags are also available for this kind of tea .
Black Tea Benefits: Health and Nutrition
- Black tea has immense health benefits.
- It helps to lower cholesterol and prevent gastritis.
- It also is said to have properties which prevents tooth decay.
Black tea can be consumed by everyone but over consumption of this tea may lead to certain side effects.
- Although it is called black tea, it is actually bright copper red in colour.
- The tea is sometimes used as dye for clothing.