Black tea, a fully fermented tea, is made by processing tea leaves from tea trees through a series of steps including withering, kneading (cutting), fermentation, and drying. The color of the brewed tea and its leaves is red, hence its name "black tea".
During the processing of black tea, enzymatic oxidation of tea polyphenols occurs which changes the composition of the fresh leaves, reducing tea polyphenols by over 90% and producing new components such as theaflavins and thearubigins, resulting in the unique characteristics of black tea including its red broth, red leaves, sweet and mellow flavor.
Black tea is one of the four major black teas, with some of the most popular varieties being Keemun from Qimen County in Anhui, China, Darjeeling black tea from India, Ceylon Highland black tea from Sri Lanka, and Assam black tea from India.
Apart from its delicious taste, black tea also offers various health benefits. Here are some of them:
1. Increases alertness and energy - Black tea contains caffeine which stimulates the nerve center, wakes up the brain, and refreshes it.
2. Cold and flu prevention - Flavonoids in black tea have the ability to kill toxic bacteria in food and reduce the infectivity of flu viruses.
3. Anti-thrombotic - Black tea contains polyphenol antioxidants which have anticoagulant and pro-fibrinolytic effects, preventing the formation of blood clots.
4. Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic - Catechins in black tea can coagulate and precipitate bacterial proteins, inhibiting and destroying pathogenic bacteria.
5. Diuretic - Black tea contains caffeine and aromatic substances which increase blood flow to the kidneys, dilate renal microvasculature, and improve glomerular filtration rate.
6. Improves winter health - Black tea is warm and sweet, heating the body and increasing its ability to adapt to the cold.
7. Regulates blood sugar - Theophylline and theaflavin in black tea promote insulin production and regulate blood sugar stability.
8. Anti-aging - Theaflavins and thearubigins in black tea have strong antioxidant properties which relieve free radical damage and fight against aging.
9. Anti-cancer - Research shows that black tea blocks the formation of carcinogenic compounds nitroso compounds by 65% and reduces the risk of skin cancer with regular consumption.
In conclusion, black tea not only provides a delicious flavor but also numerous health benefits. Whether it's for boosting energy, fighting off colds, improving heart health, or reducing the risk of cancer, black tea is a beverage that's worth trying.