Popular varieties of black tea include Assam, Nepal, Darjeeling, Nilgiri, Turkish, Keemun, and Ceylon teas. Pictured below is Ceylon loose tea.
Many of the active substances in black tea do not develop at temperatures lower than 90 °C (194 °F). As a result, black tea in the West is usually steeped in water near its boiling point, at around 99 °C (210 °F). The most common fault when making black tea is to use water at too low a temperature. Since boiling point drops with increasing altitude, it is difficult to brew black tea properly in mountainous areas.
Warming the tea pot before steeping is critical at any elevation.
Black tea is usually graded on one of four scales of quality. Whole leaf teas are the highest quality, with the best whole leaf teas graded as “orange pekoe”. After the whole leaf teas, the scale degrades to broken leaves, fannings, then dusts. Whole leaf teas are produced with little or no alteration to the tea leaf. This results in a finished product with a coarser texture than that of bagged teas. Whole leaf teas are widely considered the most valuable, especially if they contain leaf tips. Broken leaves are commonly sold as medium grade loose teas. Smaller broken varieties may be included in tea bags. Fannings are usually small particles of tea left over from the production of larger tea varieties, but are occasionally manufactured specifically for use in bagged teas. Dusts are the finest particles of tea left over from production of the above varieties, and are often used for tea bags with very fast, very harsh brews. Fannings and dust are useful in bagged teas because the greater surface area of the many particles allows for a fast, complete diffusion of the tea into the water. Fannings and dusts usually have a darker color, lack of sweetness, and stronger flavor when brewed.
Generally, 4 grams of tea per 200 ml of water Unlike green teas, which turn bitter when brewed at higher temperatures, black tea should be steeped in water brought up to 90–95 °C. The first brew should be 60 sec. the second brew 40 sec. the third brew 60 sec.; if one’s tea is of high quality one can continue to brew by progressively adding 10 sec. to the brew time following the third infusion (note: when using a larger tea pot the ratio of tea to water will need to be adjusted to achieve similar results).
Standard black tea Brewing
The more delicate black teas, such as Darjeeling, should be steeped for 3 to 4 minutes. The same holds for broken leaf teas, which have more surface area and need less brewing time than whole leaves. Whole leaf black teas, and black teas that will be served with milk or lemon, should be steeped 4 to 5 minutes. Longer steeping times make the tea bitter (at this point, in the UK it is referred to as being “stewed”). When the tea has brewed long enough to suit the tastes of the drinker, it should be strained before serving.
Naturally, all kinds of Chocolate go wonderfully with Black Tea !
I really enjoy Black Tea,