About Loose Leaf Black Tea
Among the six major categories of tea in China, loose leaf black tea is a relatively special type, with an overall oxidization level reaching 70% to 90%.
During the production process of loose leaf black tea, there is a significant change in the composition of fresh tea leaves, especially in tea polyphenols. After undergoing enzymatic oxidation reactions, tea polyphenols decrease by more than 90%, giving rise to new components such as theaflavins, thearubigins, and theabrownins, along with aromatic substances.
The characteristics of loose leaf black tea include a deep and clear red liquor, a rich aroma, a mellow and sweet taste, and a very gentle nature with minimal astringency. It is most suitable for consumption during periods of lower temperatures. During the winter season, choosing tea gift sets themed around Chinese black tea can be a delightful and healthy present for family and friends, offering a combination of deliciousness and well-being.
Changes in the Production Process of Chinese Black Tea
1.Traditional Craft of Black Tea
Loose leaf black tea, originating in China, has its earliest form known as Lapsang souchong. It was created by the ancestors of the Jiang family in Tongmu Village, Xingcun Town, Wuyishan City, Fujian Province, in the mid to late Ming Dynasty (around 1568).
In the production process of the earliest loose leaf black tea, there were steps involving smoking fresh leaves with pine wood and drying and kneading the tea leaves with pine wood. These steps imparted a distinctive smoky flavor to Lapsang souchong.
2.Modern Craft of Young Black Tea
In the subsequent development, different black tea types gained popularity in China and around the world, leading to the emergence of various varieties. Among these, two young Chinese loose leaf black teas stand out: Yunnan Black Tea and Yingde Black Tea.
The production process of Yunnan Black Tea and Yingde Black Tea to a large extent reflects the characteristics of modern loose leaf black tea production. For example, the omission of smoking processes, the use of large-leaf tea varieties, and a greater emphasis on the richness and smoothness of black tea flavor.
Loose Leaf Black Tea also Varied in Oxidization Levels
1.Light Oxidized Black Tea
Light oxidized loose leaf black tea has a pale yellow color, a mild aroma, a gentle taste, and the tea liquor appears yellow. Lightly oxidized loose leaf black teas are relatively less common; examples include some non-smoked versions of Souchong Black tea and Jinjunmei.
2.Medium Oxidized Black Tea
Medium oxidized loose leaf black tea features a vibrant red color, a rich aroma, a full-bodied taste, long-lasting sweetness, and the tea liquor appears reddish-brown. Medium oxidized loose leaf black teas are more common, and a well-known example is Yunnan Black Tea.
3.Heavy Oxidized Black Tea
Heavy oxidized loose leaf black tea has a deeper color, a more pronounced taste, and the tea liquor appears deep red. There are also many dark oxidized loose leaf black teas, such as Yingde Black Tea and the smoked version of Souchong Black tea.
Black teas with a medium level of oxidization are generally more suitable for the taste preferences of most people. However, individual preferences vary, and some may enjoy the stronger taste of heavy oxidized black tea, while others may prefer the lighter taste of lightly oxidized black tea.
Tea Sampler: Discover the Black Tea That Suits You
Souchong Black Tea:
Souchong black tea, hailed as the progenitor of world black teas, originated in Wuyishan, Fujian Province, China, with a history spanning several hundred years. Over time, Souchong black tea has developed into smoked and non-smoked versions.
The smoked version of Souchong black tea, when brewed, reveals a deep and rich red hue in the tea liquor, accompanied by the aroma of pine smoke and a robust taste with a hint of lychee sweetness. Even when mixed with milk, the tea aroma remains fragrant.
The non-smoked version of Souchong black tea, compared to the smoked version, is sweeter and carries a delicate floral and honey fragrance.
Yingde Black Tea:
Yingde Black Tea is produced in Yingde City, Guangdong Province, and is a specialty of Guangdong, recognized as a geographical indication product in China.
Yingde Black Tea is characterized by its symmetrical and elegant appearance, a lustrous black and red color, a bright and vibrant red liquor, and a strong and pure aroma. It has gained much appreciation for these qualities.
Yunnan Black Tea:
Yunnan Black Tea, a specialty of Yunnan Province, thrives in its warm and humid climate, providing an ideal environment for tea leaf growth. The leaves of Yunnan Black Tea tea bushes remain tender, even when growing up to 5 to 6 leaves.
Yunnan Black Tea stands out with its plump tea leaves, golden tips, a rich and elegant taste, showcasing distinctive quality. The tea is highly favored for its robust aroma and refreshing taste.
Drinking Black Tea is Suitable for Cold Seasons
Chinese loose leaf tea offer various health benefits, and among them, loose leaf black tea is particularly suitable for consumption during cold seasons due to its warming properties, immune-boosting effects, and assistance in digestion.
1.Warming and Heartwarming
In the cold winter, marked by a sudden drop in temperature and chilling winds, fully oxidized loose leaf black tea quickly warms both the body and the spirit, providing comfort and soothing the cold.
Loose leaf black tea is rich in theaflavins, thearubigins, and other antioxidants, which enhance the immune system and help combat viruses that can cause colds and flu. In the cold winter, when the risk of catching a cold increases, regular consumption of loose leaf black tea can assist the body in better resisting external threats.
3.Aid in Digestion
Winter is a season of many holidays and festive meals, often leading to digestive issues. The tannic acid components in loose leaf black tea contribute to promoting digestion and alleviating discomfort in the stomach.
4.Alleviate Joint Pain
The cold and dampness of winter can exacerbate joint pain, especially for individuals with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in loose leaf black tea help alleviate joint pain, improve inflammation symptoms, and provide protection for joint health.
5.Promote Cardiovascular Health
The theaflavins in loose leaf black tea aid in lowering cholesterol levels, maintaining blood vessel elasticity, and reducing the risk of hypertension. This is particularly important for individuals prone to high blood pressure during the cold season.
Beyond physiological benefits, loose leaf black tea also positively influences mood. Rich in theanine, an amino acid known to elevate mood, loose leaf black tea can help reduce stress, anxiety, and improve overall mood. In winter, when people are affected by reduced sunlight and shorter days, a cup of black tea can assist in relieving stress and lifting spirits.