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Our black whole leaf tea leaves are full form with a rolled appearance. Their color is the color of dark chocolate with a slightly red hue. The dry leaves give off a slightly fruity aroma of raisins which when brewed to becomes a beautiful dark red liquor with a full, rich body and complex flavor that has notes of nuts and herbs with a natural sweetness and smooth finish.
Background and Cultivation:
Our black tea is a traditional Chinese tea made from the Camelia Sinensis plant. The tea is cultivated on a beautiful organic tea farm on Shaojia mountain, outside Hangzhou. The tea takes on the black color after processing through withering, rolling, fermenting, and drying the leaves. When brewed it becomes a deep red. Although in the West the tea is called “black tea” in China it is called red tea or “Hóngchá”.
This black tea is provided as whole loose-leaf form. It is also available as fannings, a ground form, ideal for brewing iced tea or kombucha.
Black tea is known to banish fatigue, stimulate mental powers, and raise energy levels. It has been shown to reduce stress hormone levels and acts as a nerve sedative, frequently relieving headaches. Black tea contains a number of vitamins considered essential for maintaining health, including Carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, has antioxidant and protective properties, Vitamin B1 and Panothenic Acid, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. Black Tea also contains antioxidants which may help to reduce the impact of aging and environmental effects on the body. Because the leaves ferment completely before drying black teas are especially rich in those polyphenols which have been shown to be effective against dementia in aging as well as AIDS related dementia. These compounds penetrate the blood brain barrier and have also been found to reduce blood cholesterol levels.*
*More information about the scientific research into the health benefits of black tea.
~A tbsp (~0.17) oz of dried leaves for a small pot of tea shared among friends, but as little as a large pinch of dried leaves (~0.02oz) per 8 oz of water can be used for a single tea drinker.
~Black teas are best served in cups with a white interior glaze so that the color of the tea can be better seen and appreciated.
~Black teas can be re-infused multiple times. On the first infusions, be careful to watch the steeping time to prevent it from over-steeping (it should be no darker then a deep red). The initial infusion is best used to wash the tea. This opens the leaves to allow subsequent infusions to take on more flavor. Depending on the individual roast, the first infusion may be ready in less than 30 seconds or 1 minute, subsequent infusions can steep longer.
~While we prefer this tea in its pure form, English tea culture commonly adds sweetener, milk or cream.
~Tastes great hot or iced.