Black tea, especially Ceylon Black Tea can be found in any household around the world, due to its typical malty black tea taste and many flavourful variants that have been introduced over the years. But why is this particular type of tea popular among many households when compared to other types such as chamomile tea or even green tea? This can be attributed to its ability to infuse well in gastronomy, mixology as well as many health benefits. Read our quick guide to Ceylon black tea!
History of Black Tea
The origins of black tea go all the way back to the Chinese Empire, when no formal currency was established, and bartering was still a means of purchasing goods. Tea, being a useful type of currency in the days of old, the East Asians, such as China, Mongolia, and Tibet to name but three used this type of tea as a form of currency due to its long-lasting nature.
Processing of Ceylon Black Tea
When comparing black tea and green tea, one can easily identify that the main difference is the colour and taste of the beverage when brewed. The difference of colour and taste between the two teas come from the processing of the leaves. While green tea contains leaves that are not oxidised for a long period of time, black tea is very much about its oxidation process. In fact, it is the oxidation process that gives this type of tea its signature red colour and malty taste.
Popularity of Ceylon Black Tea
The popularity of Ceylon Black Tea harks back to the days of the height of the British Empire in the 19th century. From its inception, Ceylon Black Tea has always had a strong taste, regardless of the region it was grown in. Couple that with the many unique tastes of black tea produced by the different regions of the island, and you have got one of the most desired teas in the west. The end result being one of the most popular beverages in the world.
Types of Black Tea
Over the years, especially with the expansion of the British Empire, many types of black tea were introduced to suit the liking of particular palettes. Four black tea types were introduced namely, Kenyan, Darjeeling, Assam, and of course, Ceylon which is the more popular out of the lot.
How to Brew Ceylon Black Tea
Brewing a fresh cuppa is a straightforward task to many, regardless of whether you prefer the tea leaves in loose-leaf format or in teabags.
- Boil fresh, spring water to a temperature of 95°C -100°C
- Add a tea bag, or 2.5g of loose-leaf tea to 220ml of water
- Brew for 3-5 minutes
- Drink straight, or with a bit of sugar or milk.
Whether you prefer the more traditional Ceylon black tea like Dilmah’s Ceylon Golden Pekoe, or looking for a more modern, flavourful twist like Dilmah’s Raspberry Flavoured Tea, you are guaranteed a tea experience like no other.
Ceylon Black Tea and its Health Benefits
Black tea benefits are plenty, which can be categorised into both, physical and mental health benefits. Here are just some of the more notable health benefits that arise out of drinking Ceylon black tea.
Black Tea and Digestion
Digestion is key to maintaining a good immune system and all-round general wellbeing. Although inconclusive, the polyphenols and anti-microbial properties present in black tea has been linked to killing off unnecessary bacteria, and maintaining the digestive tract from harmful substances[i].
Black Tea and Heart Health
According to scientific research, black tea in general possesses compounds that aid in sustaining a good circulatory system, which in turn helps in maintaining good heart health. It has been shown that individuals with slightly elevated or high cholesterol levels had reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol levels once they consumed five servings of the beverage per day, further keeping a healthy blood pressure too[ii].
Black Tea and Weight Loss
There may be no conclusive evidence to state that black tea directly aids in weight loss, however, there is reason to believe that it has indirect benefits. Due to the antioxidant properties in maintaining the digestive tract, metabolism within the body is maintained, thus resulting in excess fat being expelled out of the body. Couple that with low calories in black tea, and it is hard to conclude that it does not help in weight loss[iii].
Black Tea and Caffeine
While black tea is filled with many antioxidant properties, there are questions that arise with regard to black tea. ‘How much caffeine is present in black tea?’ is one such question that is often asked by anyone looking to understand if black tea side effects are more than its benefits. According to research, the caffeine levels in black tea can be as low as 14mg per 8oz serving, which is almost on par with the levels seen in green tea, which makes it one of the healthier drinks out of the lot. Couple that with the L-theanine amino acid, and the beverage becomes perfect for the wellbeing of your mind, as it gives a sense of calmness and helps you focus better on the task at hand[iv][v]
Black Tea and Pregnancy
As black tea has more health benefits than side effects, drinking black tea is perfectly fine for pregnant women as long as it is not taken in very high quantity. Pregnancy hampers caffeine metabolism. For example, in non-pregnant women the break-down of half of the caffeine takes an average of 2.5 – 4.5 hours, 7 hours during mid-pregnancy and 10.5 during the last few weeks of pregnancy. As caffeine retention is longer during pregnancy, women sensitive to caffeine may be affected. As a result a moderate consumption of approximately 3-4 cups a day, is recommended for women during pregnancy.Ceylon Black Tea and its Different Uses
While Ceylon Black Tea remains a favourite to many traditional tea drinkers, the beverage has become quite popular among the younger generations due to its versatile applications in making food, along with concocting other types of interesting beverages. One such great black tea recipe that is perfect to revitalise and rejuvenate the mind is the Pekoe Refresher. All you need to do is:
- Brew 50ml of Dilmah English Breakfast Tea, strain, and leave it to cool.
- Stir 15ml Fresh Lime Juice, while also adding in a dash of Angostura Bitters
- Pour into a highball glass, and top up with lemonade.
Several recipes that incorporate Ceylon Black Tea like the Pekoe Refresher, or any other type of tea for that matter, can be accessed through our website www.teainspired.com, if you really want to get creative, especially if you want to create some delicious snacks and complete meals.