Black tea is a fully fermented tea. It has a rich taste, mellow and full, mellow in the mouth, and is durable for brewing for a long time. It is fragrant on the lips and teeth, has a long-lasting sweet aftertaste and promotes body fluids, and has a fragrant aroma at the bottom of the cup. If you're curious about the taste and flavor of black tea, read on to learn more about black tea flavor.
What Does Black Tea Taste Like?
The taste of loose leaf black tea is characterized by its smooth and pure texture, melting upon contact, lingering in the mouth, leaving behind a lasting aroma. It has a sweet and mellow flavor with a sustained aftertaste, minimal bitterness, no sourness, and it doesn’t cause dryness in the throat. Tasting it provides a comforting experience.
If you want a more pure taste, it is recommended to buy high-quality loose leaf black tea.
Smoothness is the gentlest sensation, like holding the finest soy milk in your mouth, creating an extremely gentle feeling. It offers a mild and comfortable experience, creating a sense of calmness and ease in the mind.
"Melting upon contact" is a sign of well-aged tea and fine wine. For raw Pu-erh tea, achieving this level of smoothness usually requires aging for over a decade in an ideal environment.
The lively texture of tea is a delightful display of its elegance in the mouth. This sensation, akin to the charm of aged wine, is rather abstract and requires multiple tasting experiences to discern, impossible to convey through words alone.
After drinking the tea, there’s a sandy sensation in the mouth, reminiscent of the texture experienced after drinking a bowl of red bean soup. This sensation brings a comforting feeling to the mouth.
In relation to the texture of Pu'er tea, a denser substance dissolved in water creates a thicker and denser sensation in the mouth.
Opposite to thickness, a thin texture lacks the expansive and relaxed demeanor in the mouth. Some Pu'er teas might appear thin in their texture.
When the texture is excessively thin, it can give a sensation akin to touching a sharp edge, creating a feeling of discomfort and rejection.
6 Major Aromas of Black Tea
Black tea, revered for its smooth and delicate taste, captivates the hearts of many tea enthusiasts. However, it’s the elevated and profound aroma that draws the affection of most. For aficionados of black tea, understanding these seven aromas is crucial.
1、Sweet Potato Aroma
Named for its resemblance to roasted sweet potatoes, it's considered a "standard for distinguishing black teas" by connoisseurs. This fragrance emerges from the roasting process of black tea. The high temperatures during roasting break down the tea leaves' sugars and amino acids, enhancing the tea’s sweetness, resulting in notes reminiscent of caramel and roasted sweet potatoes. Generally, Dianhong (Yunnan black tea) carries this aroma, varying in intensity based on processing techniques.
Keemun black tea boasts its own unique aroma, resonating globally. Described as reminiscent of "flowers, fruits, and honey," its distinct fragrance proved challenging to capture accurately when Keemun black tea was first introduced overseas.
Floral fragrances, with their gentle and refined nature, attract immense favor. However, these aromas are elusive and only present in specific tea tree varieties after withering, offering scents akin to natural flowers such as orchid, gardenia, honeysuckle, and magnolia.
The formation of fruity aromas is linked to fermentation. Slight adjustments during fermentation or in the processing methods can yield various fruity fragrances like longan, peach, and lychee, resembling the succulent sweetness of these fruits.
Commonly encountered, the formation of this aroma is also associated with fermentation. Alongside specific "chemical reactions" during fermentation, the tea’s aromatic compounds and amino acids increase, intensifying the honey-like sweetness within black tea, making it easily discernible.
6、Pine Smoke Aroma
Pine smoke aroma, distinct and captivating, is treasured by some while being deemed overpowering by others. Its formation primarily depends on the drying method. During the drying process of tea leaves, using pine, cypress, maple, or yellow rattan for smoking imparts the characteristic pine smoke aroma onto the leaves. This fragrance is notably prominent in souchong black tea.
Note: Tea aromas are multifaceted, influenced by tea variety, geographical and climatic conditions, processing, brewing methods, and not singular. Teas exhibit varying aromas based on seasons, leaf maturity, processing techniques, baking temperatures, etc.
For instance, the English Black No. 9 variety leans towards floral aromas. However, depending on seasons, fermentation levels, drying temperatures, and picking maturity, it might display floral, fruity, sweet, sugarcane, downy, or sweet potato fragrances. The charm of teas lies in the diversity of aromatic substances' boiling points and their activation by different water temperatures.
For example, Keemun black tea presents a blend of floral, fruity, and honey-like aromas, while Dianhong tea exhibits both honey and sweet potato fragrances. Souchong black tea embodies both pine smoke and lychee scents, showcasing the diversity of tea aromas.
Representative black teas:
● Chinese Black Tea
Tea has a long history that dates back centuries. Chinese black tea tends to be slightly lighter and milder, lovely when consumed on its own without the need for milk or sugar.
Keemun Black Tea
Quality characteristics: Keemun black tea ranks as one of the top three high-aroma teas globally and is the only black tea among China's ten famous teas. The appearance of Keemun black tea is tightly knotted with slender and beautiful tips, showcasing a rich, dark color.
Souchong Black Tea
The tea leaves are thick and solid in appearance, displaying a dark color when steeped. The souchong aroma is long-lasting, carrying a pine smoke fragrance, and the taste is mellow and robust.
Yunnan Black Tea
Exhibits flavors of caramel, malt, and a sweet honey aroma, offering a rich and smooth taste.
Yingde Black Tea
The tea leaves are tight, plump, and solid in appearance, with a glossy color. Yingde Black Tea emanates a fresh, pure, and rich aroma with a strong, sweet, and smooth taste, featuring a bright red soup color.
● Indian Black Tea
Black teas produced in India are typically derived from the Camellia sinensis plant and tend to have deeper, richer, and more robust characteristics. Many Indian black teas derive their names from renowned planting areas like Assam and Darjeeling.
● Other Black Teas
Countries such as Japan, Nepal, and Vietnam also cultivate black tea. While the scale of black tea production in these countries may not be as extensive as in larger tea-exporting countries like China and India, they are renowned for producing high-quality specialty black teas.