Since the late 1600s, England imported tons of black tea from China. In the 1880s, British colonials established tea farms in India. Modern black tea manufacture takes about 24 hours. Leaves are picked, set out to sun wither, rolled to extract essential juices, placed in an oxygenated room, finally dried. High quality black tea is grown over 3,000 ft and processed as whole leaves. Tea masters make sure each tea batch have uniformly shaped leaves. The final drying process seals in natural tea juices. These juices taste different depending on the plant species and manufacturing process. The chemical process similar to rust forming on metal exposed to air.
You can find delicious black tea leaves from Kenya, China, India, and Sri Lanka. Each country produces several black tea varieties, but here are a few basic black teas:
Golden Yunnan Black Tea—Harvested from wild ancient heirloom tea trees in the famous Yunnan province in China, this black tea has golden tips. This tea brews a dark full-bodied brew with peppery chocolate notes and a sweet caramel finish. Golden Yunnan is usually blended in breakfast black teas.
Organic Ceylon Black Tea—Grown in the high altitude of Sri Lanka’s famous Nuwara Eliya tea mountain region, this is a rare orange pekoe black tea. An extraordinary tea, it brews a bright brisk cup with sweet floral notes.
Kenyan Black Tea—Rainforest Alliance Certified black tea from the western Kenya’s Kisii region. Small scale tea farmers grow their tea bushes on a half or one acre plots or shambas. This tea brews a rich bold full-bodied cup with a sweet maple finish.
Biodynamic Darjeeling Black Tea—Black teas from Darjeeling, India are nicknamed the ‘champagne of teas’. Tea pickers pluck the best spring leaves for this tea. A 100 percent Darjeeling tea, a rarity, brews a brisk light pink cup with apple and grape notes.
Boutique Teas offers the ultimate gourmet tea collection. Specializing in directly imported teas, you can buy your favorite black, green, white and oolong teas. In addition to high quality gourmet teas, you will find information about tea history, culture, and cultivation methods at http://www.boutiqueteas.com.