Essentials of Tea: Black Teas

Whether you’re brand new to the world of tea or a seasoned tea enthusiast, black tea is a well-known and beloved type of tea. Black teas come from the camellia sinensis plant, teas made from camellia sinensis are often called “true teas.” There’s so much that can be said about black tea. Like did you know that it is called red tea in China because of the color of the tea? But in the US we refer to it as black tea because of the colors of the leaves!

Although there is much to be said about black tea, which I hope to explore in later posts, I will focus on the essentials today. Black tea is camellia sinensis that has been mostly or fully oxidized 80-100% which is what accounts for its robust flavor profile. The most common type of black tea you can find in the US is usually produced using the CTC method.

CTC (crush tear curl) is a process that breaks up the leaves to enhance the flavor and mass produce black tea. Black tea made with this process is usually used in tea bags, chai, and blended and/or flavored tea. Its robust taste makes it perfect for blending because the taste of the tea will still come through, but is usually only good for one steeping of tea. This is arguably the lowest quality of tea on the market, which also makes it the most accessible!

In Angela’s class Essentials of Tea we had the pleasure of drinking several different styles of tea including black tea made from Japan and China in the orthodox processing style (whole leaf and high quality!). Angela will be teaching classes at the Lane Community College in Eugene, OR so if you are local and interested stay tuned for future classes.

There’s so much to say about tea and I’m excited to share more tea wisdom and knowledge in future blog posts. If you have questions about tea please email me at and I will answer your question in a future blog post! If you want to get started with tasting these delightful teas, explore our black tea collection

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