With all of the different of black tea on the market we can see how black tea migrated from the East to the West to become a world-class product and favorite for royalty and the citizens alike. There are hundreds of varieties of black teas, all with different flavors, origins, and benefits. These teas are grown world-wide, with many distinctive tastes derived from their country of origin.
Traditional black tea varieties are often classified by their region of origin. Some of the most famous black tea varieties from central Asia include Darjeeling (Central Asia), Ceylon (from India), Keemun (from China). Some of these varieties, like Keemun, have moved especially into the western community and become common choices for English or European brews.
In other locales from Indonesia to Africa, other black tea types are recognized by their origin:
- Kenya, Vietnam, Nepal, and Thailand have their own black tea types.
- Some of the Baltic States nearer to Russia also enjoy regional black teas like Georgian black tea varieties and the Krasnodar black teas from the Caucasus.
- Indonesia boasts another black tea type they call "java" (not to be confused with an American cup of coffee or a computer programming language)
Some brands and blends of teas from the United Kingdom are mainly made up of black teas with additional ingredients. These include the famous Earl Gray and Twinings spin-off Lady Grey, where English makers used bergamot and citrus to complement the darker flavors of black tea. The black tea varieties known as English Breakfast and Irish Breakfast are well known and loved in their respective nations.
In addition to the many brands, flavors and overall black tea varieties sold worldwide, buyers can also identify black tea types by their grade, another distinctive mark of value in a tea.
The spectrum of tea grades affects tea value:
- whole leaf teas, which are higher in value and produced with more care, are highest on the totem pole
- teas made from partial leaves are the next most desirable grade
- fanning or crushed teas, where the tea bag or container holds mostly smaller particles of tea leaves, are less valuable but are more common
When you go shopping for black tea in any world market, you will have many flavors to choose from, and those just entering the world of black teas can take time sampling various regional and brand flavors to see what appeals to their own tastes. Check out the articles at Blackteas.com to find out more about how tea sippers shop for black tea varieties in a time of a return to a natural diet when a commodity like tea is on the rise.