Chinese black tea 

by amy perry Friday, April 22, 2011
When black tea is mentioned, many will immediately associate it with English breakfast or Earl Gray. Not many are aware that black tea originated from China and was first exported to the western world during the 6th century. Western societies have since developed their own culture of black tea consumption, such as adding milk and sugar and mixing/blending/fuming teas to produce blends such as Earl Gray. The Chinese in the meantime have continued to refine their black teas and consume them in the traditional way - no milk or sugar, similar to drinking green and white teas. The Chinese black tea has therefore developed in such a way that the original flavors are delightful and completely enjoyable on their own, while the ‘western black teas’ mostly require milk, sugar or lemon to ‘add to’ or ‘tone down’ the flavour and achieve a more palatable taste.

Fermentation plays a crucial part in tea making. While the green teas are unfermented, the black teas are fully fermented. There are many varieties of Chinese black teas. Most of the Chinese black teas are named after the region where they are produced. For example Keemun black tea is produced in Keemun (or Qimen depending on the dialect and translation) and Dian Hong is produced in the Yunnan province (the province is also called Dian). There could be many tea varieties in each group. Yunnan province is a traditional black tea producing area, yielding many black tea varieties. All black teas produced in this area can be called ‘Dian Hong’ and share certain common characteristics, although they all have their individual product names and subtle differences in flavour, like Yunnan Golden Tip.

There has been a long tradition of black tea making in China. There are certain prestigious black teas that have been awarded landmark accreditations, such as Keemun Black tea winning the golden award during the 1915 World’s Trade Fair in Panama. Its aroma is so unique that it is described as the 'Keemum fragrance': with a hint of wine, flowers, fruit and pine.

If you are used to the traditional black teas, but unfamiliar with Chinese varieties, I would recommend you give them a try. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised. The long history of Chinese tea making and the superior quality of the Chinese tea tradition are reflected in every perfect cup: subtle, aromatic, smooth and lingering, and requiring no sugar or milk.

It is also worthwhile mentioning that although all teas help to lose weight, there have been reports indicating that black teas have somewhat more potent effects than the unfermented teas in preventing obesity. There have also been recent publications suggesting that the counter effect of adding milk to teas means more than just additional calories. It masks teas’ fat-fighting abilities by forming complexes between the active compounds (theaflavins and thearubigins) and milk protein.

The Chinese call their teas ‘the dew from heaven’, and Chinese black tea is one such tea. It makes an enchanting morning cuppa to start the day and is a delight when sitting down to relax or catch up with friends.

Resource box: We are proud to have you on our website and we invite you to take a look at our offers for black tea varieties. You should look at the different choices for Chinese black teaand decide on the one that you like the most.

General | Categories: health
0    submitted by amy perry
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