Are you a fervent drinker of tea? Is there a particular kind of tea that you have a liking for? Herbal teas are all the rage, but have you ever thought of trying out black tea? This particular kind of tea contains more caffeine and has a rich, aromatic flavor. Black tea, popularly called Camellia Sinensis is in fact an evergreen shrub, widely cultivated in China, and has a spicy or sweet taste, but at times, there is a slight trace of chocolate or perhaps some floral additives. Black tea originated in China, possibly 4000 years back.
In 1773, black tea gained notoriety due to the well-known Boston Harbor Tea party. As a defiant sign of independence, colonists tossed tea straight into the harbor. The 18th century saw the rise in popularity of tea across England with the now familiar tea and crumpets being regularly served in the afternoons.
Tea thrives best in tropical climates, especially in rain forests. Generally, tea is cultivated in countries in the South American or Asian continent. Places with high altitudes are the best for the growing of tea. Black tea, which is highly popular, constitutes about eighty percent of total tea sales. Black tea retains its flavor for a long time. Although the tea shrub can attain heights of more than forty feet, it is usually trimmed to about 3 to 4 feet.
The first flush or the initial tea buds that burst forth are considered the finest quality tealeaves. After these leaves are carefully picked, others soon grow back, and this chain is maintained until the Fall. The mature leaves, found nearer to the base of the stem are not of good quality and hence are not picked.
Quite a few people like to take pure, black tea without adding anything to it. There are others, who favor the addition of lemon or milk, and sugar or perhaps may even put in cinnamon and cloves. A few have a fondness for a steaming hot cup of tea, whereas others love sipping iced tea on a sweltering afternoon.
The tealeaves are withered in order to process black tea. After that, the tea is crushed, shredded, and rolled for further processing. The tealeaves can be processed either by hand or by machines. Next, the leaves are left to ferment, followed by drying. Subsequently the leaves are separated, based on their size. These tealeaves can be intact, broken, or crushed to dust. Afterwards the tea is sent for packaging.
In general, tea is made by first bringing water to a boil, adding the tea and then letting it steep for about four minutes. Many people prefer spicing up their tea by adding nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom. A further regularly used additive is honey and most people use it in place of sugar.
Drinking tea daily helps one unwind and chill out, besides bringing down stress levels. Many people discover that tea has a calming and comforting effect and it enables them to loosen up and take things easy. Tea is enriched with antioxidants that help resist disease. According to research, tea leads to a rise in metabolism, thus resulting in weight reduction. Tea is absolutely free of calories, unless honey or sugar is added. Therefore, savor your tea without going on a guilt trip. Enjoy as many cups of tea in a day!