The tea war has been raging for a long time now and when it comes to which is the best in the tea industry, it all depends on the preference of the individual tea drinker. Through a population-based study, black tea has even been compared to a burst pipe, with the competition reaching its peak.
Black tea comes from the plant Camellia Sinensis and has been traced back to the British colonial masters in the 1840s, especially in the sub-tropical and high-altitude regions where the climate and soil conditions support the growth of the black tea plant and drinking green tea or black tea is known to offer numerous health benefits.
Black tea is unique in every way because it is more oxidized when compared to the likes of Oolong tea, white tea, Pu-erh tea, pure Ceylon tea, Matcha green tea, green tea, and Thai tea. Green and black teas are the most popular, however, often used as a sweet tea with milk or even as an iced tea. The oxidation of black tea makes it richer and fuller in flavor than most other types of tea.
There are two varieties of black tea usually consumed, including the small leaf Chinese black tea and the large leaf. The small leaf variant is the best and it is mostly used in making the black tea sold worldwide today. Sometimes, black tea is referred to as fermented, whereas the does not undergo any form of fermentation. Both the leaves and the tea often have a darker color with some having golden yellow or some tints of green.
Black tea contains more tannins than other types of tea and these are the substances that give the black tea its characteristic color. The tannins found in black tea are forms of antioxidants that are transformed when the leaves are undergoing oxidation.
Black tea remains the most popular type of tea in the world. Black tea also comprises of the bulk of the tea consumed worldwide and, aside from the South-Eastern parts of Asia, the most consumed tea is the black tea.
When it comes to the caffeine levels in black tea, it all depends on the components used in making the tea. Black tea made from smaller leaves and leaf tips usually contain higher levels of caffeine than those made from larger leaves.
When it comes to the issue of the best black tea, it all depends on individual taste but the black tea branded as Irish breakfast is widely considered as the best because of its moderate to high levels of caffeine. Secondly, this type of tea brews faster because it dissolves easily even at temperatures lower than the boiling point. The taste of this brand of black tea has also been improved greatly for tea lovers all over the world.
Brewing black tea does not have to be hectic. Black tea tastes even much better than most other types of tea. The optimal brewing time of black tea varies widely; however, black tea plants with broken leaves seem to infuse at much faster rates than those with unbroken leaves.
The quicker the steeping times of black tea, the tastier it becomes. The general steeping time for black tea can vary from 5 to 8 minutes.
The Irish Breakfast black tea may be widely regarded as the best black tea and its main competitors include:
- The Golden Monkey
- Ceylon black tea
- Black gun powder
- English breakfast black tea
- Panyang Congou
- Russian Caravan
- Scottish breakfast
The Golden Monkey is one of the main rivals of Irish breakfast black tea. It is referred to in China as “Jin hou” and is a typical black tea originating from the Fujian province in China. The typical Golden Monkey is usually made from one leaf and a bud, instead of the usual two leaves and a bud—this may explain why the Golden Monkey has less caffeine than many other types of black tea. The harvesting of this type of black tea is timed to ensure that the buds have grown to their full maturity while they remain as tender as they can get.
The Golden Monkey is one of the best rivals to the Irish breakfast because it comes with sweet flavor and this could partly be to the lower tanning levels. The aroma of this type of black coffee is somehow fruity and this fruitiness can sometimes be compared to those of apple and peach.
Though this is a black tea, the tip of the bud often turns golden when ripe. Ceylon black tea is another main rival of the Irish black tea that is mostly grown in Sri Lanka. This type of tea is also prominent in the English culture and it is often consumed on its own and in several breakfast tea blends.
Ceylon is also used frequently as a base for other flavored teas as well as several fruity teas. The typical Ceylon black tea is bolder and darker than many other black teas. The Ceylon varies in quality and most of it is produced in mass plantations in Sri Lanka. When compared to the Golden Monkey, Ceylon seems to have a thicker taste, though it has a less malty taste but it is not as fruity as the Golden Monkey.
English breakfast is another type of black tea that is known for its strong and robust taste. It is not as strong when compared to Irish, but it blends perfectly well with milk and sugar.
Though they are more popular in the United Kingdom, their popularity has grown in Indonesia and African countries. To many people, the English breakfast brand is the best because it is not as strong as the Irish and most other types of black teas.
The black gun powder is a special type of black tea that is mostly rolled into some pellets in a very tight manner. This black tea does not come with a smoky aroma when compared to the likes of gunpowder green tea. The Black gun powder is cultivated in China and it is more popular in the Asian market.
When it comes to the issue of the best black tea, those who prefer a stronger and richer flavor will choose the Irish breakfast while those who prefer fruity tastes will choose Ceylon black tea—it all depends on preference and taste of the individual.