Black tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, which happens to be the same plant family as the also popular Green teas and Oolong tea.
The main differences between these different types of tea is the level of oxidation in the plants. Black teas are left on the vine the longest before they are picked so they also have the most oxidization and can sometimes have a slightly bitter taste.
Black Tea Benefits:
- Mental alertness: Black tea’s have the highest level of caffeine of all the teas. This can give a nice jolt and some additional alertness, but it is also a cause for concern. When consuming black tea, remember the mantra of doing all things in moderation.
- Dental health: According to the Tea Trade Health Research Association regular consumption of simple black tea has been known to reduce the buildup of plaque. Additionally, it has been shown to kill the bacteria associated with many cavities, tooth decay and oral diseases.
- Decreased stress: Black and green teas block the neurotransmitter GABA, which is well known as a cause of anxiety. Additionally green tea has been shown to increase dopamine levels. Finally, it is known to help block glutamate receptors, leading to a decrease in stress response.
- Improved digestion. Black tea reduces inflammation in the digestive tract, making it highly beneficial to anyone with acid reflux or ulcer issues. Additionally, this tea has been known to combat some of the bad bacteria in the stomach.
- Cancer Prevention. Just like the other main forms of tea (green tea and oolong tea) Black tea has been shown in many clinical studies to be a preventative measure for many forms of cancer. The research shows that the antioxidants like polyphenol and catechins are the reasons these teas are such a natural cancer inhibitor.
- Decrease risk of diabetes. A study showed that long term, regular consumption of black tea can decrease the chances of developing type II diabetes.
Finding the black tea that is right for YOU
Black tea is very common.
It comes in all sort of different flavors and styles, all made for the taste of different regions and palettes.
If you are drinking tea for the health benefits, the only recommendation I can give is to try to drink a tea that is organic and less of a “processed” tea. Lipton tea, for example, is something I will drink when it is all that is around, but the processing likely leeches out some of the health benefits of black tea.
Many black teas will be mixed and flavored with blends from other styles of tea. Sometimes with things like ginger tea, these blends can add their own health benefits. But it is my opinion that the most important point, from the standpoint of creating a tea drinking habit, is to find a flavor that you enjoy. The sampler set listed below is a good way to try a few different blends looking for your favorite.
Popular black tea blends
Please share, in the comments below, any further black tea benefits you have heard about, as well as your favorite black tea blends and brands.