Given that black tea is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world after water, it is safe to say that tea has certainly become a staple part of the human life. Some drink it for nourishment and pleasure, and then there are those who actively seek out benefits in their brew. And while each of these reasons is as good as any, a better (more scientific) understanding of the leaf, its chemical properties and the interaction between these chemical compounds and the human body, is definitely helpful in making more informed choices when it comes to tea, especially black tea.
Everything you need to know about black tea
When fresh tea leaves are wilted, fired, and oxidised to their most, they end up as black tea – dark, brownish-black leaves, chemically complex and packed with an array of flavours and aromas. This type of tea is produced all over the world, some of the best ones in the Indian subcontinent. And while it is produced all year long, the most widely consumed variety of black teas in the world are the ones that are made in the summer season or during ‘second flush’ – the second harvest of the year.
Black tea is chemically different from other types of teas because of the amount of oxidation the leaves are subjected to. As result of oxidation, the phenolic compounds present in fresh tea leaves are converted into their oxidized forms – theaflavins and thearubigins. These compounds are responsible for imparting a reddish-brown colour to the tea, and for the astringency that’s typically associated with black teas. In addition to these compounds, black tea is rich in caffeine (40-70 mg/150 ml of tea), gallic acid, amino acids, tannins, and minerals.
Benefits and side effects of black tea
The chemical properties of black tea are such that they make it capable of aiding prevention and protection against harmful effects of a number of toxins. Its antioxidant, polyphenolic compounds can potentially help prevent a number of cardiovascular ailments, inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, lower risk of diabetes, and promote good oral health and bone health. And while these findings are yet to be elucidated by empirical in vivo studies, the scientific community, by and large, supports consumption of tea on a daily basis.
However, over consumption of black tea (or any other type of tea) could potentially overwhelm the body. Some of the side effects of black tea (due to overconsumption) can include increased accumulation of caffeine and aluminium in the body, in addition to having an inhibitory effect on the bioavailability of iron.
Here, it is important to note that studies that have concerned themselves with understanding the impact of tea on human body suggest that these conditions can be conveniently avoided by consuming good quality teas cultivated and processed in safe and certified-healthy conditions. Combined with a healthy diet and an active lifestyle, up to 5 cups of tea is considered safe for daily consumption.
Understanding these concerns, Halmari has dedicated itself to producing good quality, orthodox style teas, cultivated and processed in safe and certified facilities across its tea gardens. By paying attention to good growing practices and exercising a strict control over the quality of the leaf, Halmari ensures that every cup of its tea is completely safe and absolutely delicious.