Hey, welcome to the Friends of Tea! Here you will find a selection of high quality black teas from India and Nepal. We also want to tell you more about the history, cultivation and processing of black tea!
Black tea, often referred to as red tea in Asia, is the most drunk tea in Europe and large parts of Asia. It has become popular because of its full-bodied and sweet taste and the simplicity of its preparation.
The origin of black tea
Originally, small quantities of black tea were only grown in China and imported to Europe by the colonial power Holland. However, the English quickly acquired a taste for it and also planted the popular tea in their colonies of India and Sri Lanka. The British were the first to focus strongly on the cultivation of black tea, on the one hand to make themselves independent of the Chinese tea market and on the other hand to satisfy the tastes of the European market.
The production of black tea
The basis for black tea is of course the leaves of the tea plant Camelia Sinensis. To make sure that black tea gets really black, the leaves are subjected to a withering process after careful harvesting. Then the cell walls of the tea leaves are broken open by careful rolling. For high-quality black teas, like the Imperial Black the leaves are only torn on the surface and not crushed, so that the leaves stay nice and big. When the cell sap leaves the leaves, it reacts with the air and an oxidation process is started. After a while the leaves turn red-brown.
The oxidation, i.e. the reaction of cell sap and oxygen, is stopped after a few hours, depending on the decision of the tea master, and the tea is finally dried again.
Storage and shelf life
Correctly stored, good black tea can last up to two years and even longer. It is particularly important that the tea is stored in a cool and airtight place. But not in the refrigerator, as moisture can enter there, which can lead to mold. In addition, black tea should always be stored dry and dark to prevent the tea leaves from spoiling.
A little tip: It's best to put your tea not on the spice shelf. There it spoils faster and the porous tea leaves also like to absorb foreign flavors.
The correct preparation
To a quantity of approx. 175 ml of water, add two teaspoons of black tea. The water temperature should be between 95°C and 100°C. Two minutes infusion time is sufficient to achieve a nutty and aromatic taste. The longer the infusion, the more intense the taste. With high-quality black teas, such as our Imperial Black, two infusions can also be made. In this case, however, the tea should steep for one or two minutes longer.