Black tea comes from a shrub called Camellia Sinensis. The taste, aroma and colour of this black beverage are determined by factors such as the species of Camellia; the estate/garden/region/ country where it has been grown. Other factors include season and year of harvest, the grade and manufacturing method.
Nowadays, this beverage is grown primarily in Kenya, Sri Lanka, India, and China. The examples are Ceylon breakfast tea and the best English breakfast tea.
For manufacturing the black beverage, the leaves are plucked and withered to lower moisture. Next, the leaves may be left whole and rolled (the orthodox procedure), or they may undergo a cut-tear-curl (CTC) process. Finally, the leaves are subject to oxidization and drying. Black beverage leaves are more oxidized than oolong, white and green versions. As such, they have a stronger flavour and aroma.
Two popular kinds of these beverage infusions include Ceylon and English breakfast versions. Ceylon version is grown in the mountains of Sri Lanka and is bright and lively with citrus notes. English breakfast is a strong blend that goes well with milk and sugar.
It is a popular kind of black beverage also known as Sri Lankan version. Ceylon leaves are often described as ‘wiry’ as they have a long and thin wiry look.
Sri Lanka is a small island but has a wide variety in elevation and so flavours of this beverage produced here vary a great deal. The difference in flavour like that of Ceylon breakfast tea is influenced by the soil, climate, sun and precipitation.
Despite the regional nuances, experts have identified a classic Ceylon flavour, which is thought to be brisk, full and bold. It has medium to full tannins and has notes of spice, chocolate or citrus. Most Ceylon beverages are labelled as orthodox versions, implying that it was processed by hand making for a bright, brisk item.
Ceylon type is the most popular base for iced beverages in the world. They are also among the most pleasant hot versions to be found.
Ceylon type can be enjoyed also in other ways:
- As a milk version to mellow the flavour and lower any bitterness
- Can be enjoyed with a hint of lemon
- Can be sweetened with honey or sugar
English Breakfast Tea
It is a traditional blend of tea originating from Ceylon, Assam (India) and Kenya. It is one among the most popular blended beverages, common in British breakfast culture.
The best English breakfast tea is a black version typically described as rich, robust and full-bodied. It is blended to go well with sugar and milk, in a style popular with a hearty English breakfast. Black beverages included in this blend vary, with a predominance of Kenyan, Ceylon and Assam versions.
The original cup of English breakfast version was made from black Keemun version from Anhui province in China. It is a full-bodied black beverage that goes well with a traditional English breakfast. It has a slightly smoky flavour and a bit of astringency.
These are the nature and types of popular black teas in the market.