Black Tea

Black tea is more oxidized than oolong, green and white teas. All four types are made from leaves of the shrub (or small tree) Camellia sinensis. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor than the less-oxidized teas. Two principal varieties of the species are used – the small-leaved Chinese variety plant (C. sinensis subsp. sinensis), used for most other types of teas, and the large-leaved Assamese plant (C. sinensis subsp. assamica), which was traditionally used mainly for black tea, although in recent years some green and white have been produced. In Chinese languages and the languages of neighboring countries, black tea is known as “red tea” (Mandarin Chinese hóngchá, Japanese kōcha, Korean hongcha), a description of the colour of the liquid. The Western term “black ea” refers to the colour of the oxidized leaves. In Chinese, “black tea” is a common classification for post-fermented teas, such as Pu-erh tea; outside of China and its neighboring countries, “red tea” more commonly refers to rooibos, a South African Tisane.