Black tea is the most oxidized variety of teas. So its flavor is stronger than that of other teas, namely, green, oolong and white teas. But the flavour and the strength of black tea depend on its variety. Black tea is usually made with the large-leaved Assamese tea. The other varieties are made from the small-leaved Chinese variety.
Types of Black tea
The type of teas depends on the place where they are grown and they are often named after the places.
1. Darjeeling black tea
This is called the ‘champagne of teas’. It is considered to be the world’s best tea. This is produced in Darjeeling, in northern India. It has a delicate fruity, floral flavor, which is preferred all over the world. It is light and best without milk and sugar, if you want to enjoy its wonderful world renowned flavor.
2. Keemum black tea
This variety of black tea comes from Anhui province of eastern China. It is known for its distinctive aroma and flavor. It is smooth and wine- like in flavor. It can be fruity, floral and sometimes has a tobacco-like favor. Its flavour is somewhat bold and so, it can be taken with milk and sugar.
3. Assam Black tea
These are large leaved tea grown in the state of Assam in northern India. It has a bold and malty taste. It is the much preferred breakfast tea in Ireland and England. Some varieties of this tea is termed as of lower grade and are used in tea bags. But there is also high quality Assam black tea.
4. Yunnan black tea
Yunnan black tea is produced in the Yunnan province of china. It is otherwise known as pu-erh tea. These are partially fermented variety. The tea has a chocolaty or malty flavor. It is darker than many varieties.
5. Ceylon black tea
This tea exists in many flavours. It is very strong and tends to have a chocolaty or spicy flavour. So it can be taken with milk, lemon, sugar or honey. This forms the common base for Earl Grey tea.
There are also a few more minor varieties of black tea like Earl Grey back tea, Nilgiri black tea etc.
Benefits for hair
Black tea rinse is considered to be very effective in stopping hair fall and encouraging hair growth. The caffeine contained in black tea is responsible for this. It penetrates the hair follicle and encourages hair growth. You can pour black tea on your hair after shampooing. Keep it for some time under a plastic cap and then rinse it off before applying deep conditioner.
Black tea gives volume and luster to your hair. It adds body and bounce to your hair. In short black tea has a conditioning effect on hair. It is easy to manage your hair after the black tea rinse. It also gives your hair a darker color. Studies show that it can nullify the damage done by chemicals in the shampoo. Decaf tea should not be used for rinsing, since it does not have caffeine.
No major side effects of black tea are reported. However, it causes minor insomnia. In some people stomach upset and palpitation of heart are reported. Pregnant women are advised against black tea because of the caffeine content. It may have an adverse effect on the baby.
Organic black tea
Organic black tea is the tea grown, taking into consideration a lot of environmental factors. This is grown without using chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Usually the tea grown at a higher altitude is organic tea since pollution is minimal at high altitudes. There are agencies that certify a tea as organic tea. Even the soil quality is taken into consideration while certifying the tea.
Milk, lemon, honey and sugar
Black tea can be taken plain or with sugar, honey, milk or lemon. Milk added to tea reduces the anti-oxidant quality of tea, since the milk proteins bind with the flavanoids, reducing its beneficial effects. It is better not to add milk to tea to exploit its health effects completely. At the same time some people feel that it reduces the harshness of caffeine. About lemon tea also, a difference of opinion prevails. Some are of opinion that it increases the immunity as lemon contains vitamin C. Others say that it makes the neutral tea, acidic and so it is not advisable to add lemon to tea.