Once You Go Black, You Never Go Back


I feel it’s safe to say that one of the most common teas in the Western world is black tea. Whether taken with milk and sugar or served iced, when in the US or the UK, black is what you’ll most readily find.

Interestingly enough, while black tea has really come to the forefront as the favorite in Europe and the US, it is probably the least consumed type of tea in China, where it (and all other tea) originated. Black teas in particular are produced in a number of different countries including China, India, Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon), and even the US in more recent times.

bria black tea

What sets black tea apart from the other varieties is the fact that it is fully oxidized. Instead of stopping the oxidation process in an earlier stage, as is done in the making of other teas, black teas just keep oxidizing until there isn’t much else left! It is this full oxidation that gives black tea its dark appearance and provides its name. In fact, the production of black tea is about as direct as tea-making can be! It uses each of the steps in order without much real variation.

Black tea is the most common type used in blends, though certainly not the only tea used to blend! You may recognize various breakfast blends and Earl Grey as some of the most common tea blends using black teas. These blends can either include various black teas from the same area, or even black teas from multiple countries to form a single flavorful tea to enjoy.


Whether it’s a malty Assam, an earthy Golden Tip Yunnan, or a lightly sweet and floral Darjeeling, black teas have the potential to really satisfy your craving for most any sort of flavor. Not to mention the fact that a large portion of flavored teas have a black tea base! Just think of Earl Grey tea with bergamot for that nice citrusy flavor. Or, if you want to get really crazy, check out these majestic flavored teas from 52teas, a specialty tea store that is dedicated to creating truly amazing flavors from tea. A couple personal favorite flavored blacks are the Pancake Breakfast and Chocolate Mint.

I guess when all is said and done, I just love the diversity found in the black tea category and am always eager to try something new within it!

1 The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook: A Guide to Enjoying the World’s Best Teas by Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J Heiss.
2 The New Tea Companion by Jane Pettigrew and Bruce Richardson
3 http://www.teaclass.com/lesson_0210.html

Photos by Briana Morrison



  1. I love black tea, but of course I was raised on black tea..with a dash of (soy) milk. Proper British tea! My favorite is Earl Grey, and not just because I am a trekkie. (Although I agree that Pancake breakfast tea you sent me was divine!)

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