Black tea is the most popular, and the loose leaf variety is gaining in popularity.
The type most commonly used is Orange Pekoe individually bagged and boxed, then sold in supermarkets everywhere.
Growing up in Arizona I was raised on Orange Pekoe sun-brewed in the back yard. This was the beverage of choice in the heat of summer. We would use bagged varitey.Now I have nothing against them, they do have their place... But recently I have discovered the intense flavor of a brewed loose leaf variety more to my liking.
The flavors are more brisk, bright and aromatic. Depending on the variety, the finish can be a lingering malty or nutty flavor. It can also be a smooth, spicy or have a sweet short-finish.
Care also needs to be taken when brewing the many types of black loose leaf. It can become very astringent if not brewed the proper amount of time.
Learn more on brewing teas
How This Brew Came to Be…
Black tea is the result of oxidation, not fermentation. This is a very common misconception in how this leaf is processed. A complete oxidation process is what makes this brew truly remarkable.
In fact if a merchant tells you that it is fermented …and they’re not talking about the Pu-erh variety…
Make for the door…and find another merchant.
It was during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) that the secrets of oxidation were discovered.
The Chinese did not like this style. This type of brew according to the Chinese was only fit for the barbaric foreigners.
But the importance of this discovery had value potential.
When exporting the leaves to Europe they had to travel over land and sea under all kinds of weather. Green leaf would arrive unsuitable to drink since it would many times mold during the long journey.
This type was able to withstand the changing weather conditions. In fact it would arrive in better shape as it had continued to age on the journey.
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Brewing Loose Leaf Black Teais not difficult. Check out these handy tips.,
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