February 9, 2009

Black Tea

Who don’t know about black tea? It’s the most popular tea in the world. Almost everybody have taste this delicious tea at least once in their life time. Many are routinely enjoying several cups every day. This is because black tea has many benefits to the body and can be consume by everyone at any age, from children to elderly people. The new trend to put various flavor to the original tea, such as fruit and citrus flavor, has increase the popularity of this beverage especially on teenagers.

Black tea gains its popularity due to its unique flavor and smell. The processing of black tea which is oxidized or fermented longer than white, green or oolong tea makes it last longer and give the specific taste. If the green tea’s taste will decrease within one year, the black’s taste will remain the same for several years.

Black tea is made from the dried leaves of Camellia sinensis, a perennial evergreen shrub. After being harvest, the leaves are withered with air. Then they will be processed either using CTC (Crush, Tear, Curl) method for low & medium quality leaves, or orthodox method for the high quality one. The quality refers to the leaves whether they’re broken, which is considered lower quality, or not. Next, the leaves are oxidized or fermented with a controlled humidity and temperature. Then, they will be dried to arrest the oxidization process for some time and finally are graded according to their size (whole leaf, brokens, fannings and dust).

China is known as the best and biggest producer of black tea, follow by India and Srilanka, and then by other country such as Kenya, Vietnam, Nepal, Turkey, and Indonesia. This is not a surprising fact since tea tradition begins from the Chinese’s dynasty as far as 5,000 years ago. From China, tea spreads to the whole world including to Europe and America.

Black tea is a source of caffeine, a methylxanthine that stimulates the central nervous system, relaxes smooth muscle in the airways to the lungs (bronchioles), stimulates the heart, and acts on the kidney as a diuretic (increasing urine). Experiment shows that one cup of tea contains about 50 milligrams of caffeine, depending on the strength and size of cup (lower than coffee, which contains 65 to 175 milligrams of caffeine per cup). Tea also contains polyphenols (catechins, anthocyanins, phenolic acids), tannin, trace elements, and vitamins.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please comment my post :)