Black tea is a widely popular type of tea. The reason black tea is so beloved by many is due to its taste, and it also offers numerous health benefits. Among the various benefits of black tea, its warming benefit on the stomach is something many people have heard about. So, why does black tea have this warming benefit on the stomach?
The Core Production Step of Black Tea - Oxidation
Although loose leaf black tea comes in different varieties such as Keemun black tea, Congou black tea, and Broken black tea, the basic processing steps typically involve Weidiao (withering), Rounian (rolling), Oxidation, and Drying. Different types of black tea may have some variations within these four steps. Among these steps, the most crucial, one might say the soul of the process, is "oxidation."
The oxidation level of black tea is approximately 70%-90%, which is higher compared to the oxidation levels of loose leaf green tea, white tea, loose leaf oolong tea, and yellow tea. Among the six major tea categories, only dark tea has a higher oxidation level than black tea. Tea leaf "oxidation" specifically refers to the changes in certain compounds within the tea leaves under controlled temperature and humidity conditions.
The oxidation of black tea essentially involves the enzymatic action on polyphenolic compounds caused by damage to the fresh leaf cell structure. This process leads to the formation of colored substances, such as theaflavins and thearubigins, as well as compounds with unique aromas. In this process, a series of oxidation, polymerization, and condensation reactions occur in the inherent substances of the fresh tea leaves, and it is fundamentally a chemical transformation process centered around the deep oxidation of polyphenolic compounds.
The substances generated through this oxidation process determine the unique qualities of black tea: heaflavins influence the brightness of the tea infusion and the freshness of its aroma. Thearubigins affect the redness of the tea infusion. Amino acids contribute to the formation of colored substances and aromatic compounds. Water-soluble pectin influences the concentration of the tea infusion. Alcohols and esters are responsible for the aroma of black tea.
Reasons for the Stomach-Warming Benefit of Black Tea
The essential substance found in tea leaves, known as catechins, has an astringent quality and can stimulate the stomach, with a stronger effect when consumed on an empty stomach. Black tea has a higher level of oxidation compared to other teas. During the oxidation process, the more stimulating catechins in the tea leaves undergo enzymatic oxidation, reducing their content and consequently lessening their stomach-stimulating effect. Additionally, the oxidized derivatives of these catechins can reduce the irritation of gastric mucosa by stomach acid, serving a protective role for the stomach lining.
On the other hand, due to the oxidation process, black tea changes from being cool in nature to warm in nature, offering stomach-warming, pain relief, digestive, and diuretic effects. People with a deficiency of the spleen and stomach are not suitable for consuming cool beverages, but black tea, with its warming nature, is a good choice for this group.
For those looking to try suitable stomach-warming black teas, you can consider iTeaworld's Yunnan Black Tea and Guangxi Black Tea. These two black teas have a relatively high level of oxidation, and as a result, they offer excellent stomach-warming benefits.
Appropriate Consumption Methods
To achieve a certain stomach-nourishing effect with black tea, it is recommended not to brew it too strong. Tea made from Broken black tea leaves often results in a stronger brew. It is advisable to choose Gongfu black tea and Keemun black tea, which belong to the loose-leaf category of black teas. Adjust the tea leaf quantity and water ratio to control the tea's taste. Typically, 3-5 grams of tea leaves per person and a tea-to-water ratio of around 50:1 work well. This will yield a moderately strong black tea with a refreshing and sweet flavor. It's best to use an open-mouthed cup when brewing black tea. Don't wait until the cup is completely empty before adding more hot water; it's better to replenish water when there is about 1/3 left. The best taste is achieved by adding water three times for each cup of black tea.
Furthermore, it's essential to consume black tea while it's hot for its stomach-benefiting effects. Black tea is best freshly brewed and enjoyed immediately. In colder temperatures, tea cools down quickly, so it's advisable to keep the temperature of the black tea moderately warm, as low temperatures can affect its stomach-warming effect.
In addition to consuming plain tea, black tea can also be combined with other ingredients for consumption:
1.Milk Black Tea
3 grams of black tea, 100 grams of milk, 2 grams of salt. Place the black tea in a pot, add water, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the black tea leaves and separately heat the milk in another pot. After the milk comes to a boil, add the tea infusion and stir in the salt. Drink it once in the morning daily to effectively replenish qi and blood and promote overall health.
2.Huangqi Black Tea
15 grams of Huangqi, 3 grams of black tea. Put the Huangqi in a pot, add an appropriate amount of water, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the black tea and simmer together for another 5 minutes. Huangqi has a sweet and neutral taste and is known for its abilities to tonify qi, yang, harmonize the spleen and stomach, moisten the lungs, and dispel phlegm. This combination can effectively invigorate the qi and benefit the stomach, improving symptoms of weakness.
3.Osmanthus Black Tea
7-10 dried osmanthus flowers, 20 grams of brown sugar, 5 grams of black tea. Add dried osmanthus and brown sugar to the black tea, and brew with hot water. This combination can help soothe liver qi and promote digestion.
In this article, we have shared the reasons for the stomach-warming effect of black tea and recommended various methods for consuming black tea. Whether it's in the cold winter or on chilly nights, black tea is a suitable beverage to warm you up. As the days grow colder, consider incorporating more black tea into your daily routine to nourish your body and soul with its warmth.