10 Things You Need To Know About Black Tea #3

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.

  1. When it comes to black tea, there are two main methods of processing; orthodox and CTC
  2. Black tea is called black tea because of oxidisation during processing
  3. Oxidisation turns the leaf black
  4. 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
  5. Oxidisation is where the leaf is cut and the inside is exposed to oxygen
  6. 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
  7. The black tea that we know and love is usually a mix of strong CTC teas: Assam and Kenyan
  8. We Brits like our tea especially strong  because we drink them with milk
  9. The orthodox method of processing is usually used for loose leaf teas while CTC processing is predominantly for teabags
  10. 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.

  1. Boil up 1.5L fresh water (filtered if poss)
  2. Brew 3 tea bags per 700ml for about 5 mins
  3. Meanwhile, make up some sugar syrup by heating up 240ml of water and 200g of caster sugar for about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add sugar syrup to the tea with the juice of a lemon.
  5. Leave to cool before chilling in the fridge (if you do not leave to cool your tea will be cloudy!)
  6. Serve with ice and a sprig of mint or lavender