Tea School # 3
What is Black Tea exactly? We’re not referring to a cuppa without milk, we’re getting technical here. Read up on our ten bite sized chunks of tea facts and you’ll be amazed at how little you knew before.
- When it comes to black tea, there are two main methods of processing; orthodox and CTC
- Black tea is called black tea because of oxidisation during processing
- Oxidisation turns the leaf black
- It is from the leaf camellia sinensis (the same as Green or White tea) and has been oxidised which is the reason for its brown tannic quality
- Oxidisation is where the leaf is cut and the inside is exposed to oxygen
- CTC – Means Crush (or cut), Tear and Curl which is the process that teas go through to ensure that the tea pieces fit into their teabags
- The black tea that we know and love is usually a mix of strong CTC teas: Assam and Kenyan
- We Brits like our tea especially strong because we drink them with milk
- The orthodox method of processing is usually used for loose leaf teas while CTC processing is predominantly for teabags
- Teas such as Earl Grey and Darjeeling are lighter in taste and can be drunk without milk
To celebrate National Iced Tea Day, we have created super easy recipe for a refreshing Darjeeling Iced Tea.
- Boil up 1.5L fresh water (filtered if poss)
- Brew 3 tea bags per 700ml for about 5 mins
- Meanwhile, make up some sugar syrup by heating up 240ml of water and 200g of caster sugar for about 3-5 minutes.
- Add sugar syrup to the tea with the juice of a lemon.
- Leave to cool before chilling in the fridge (if you do not leave to cool your tea will be cloudy!)
- Serve with ice and a sprig of mint or lavender