Black tea is different from other varieties of tea mainly due to its production process. The tea leaves are allowed to fully oxidize before they are heat-processed and dried. During the process of oxidation, the plant cell walls interact with oxygen to turn the leaves into black colour – and hence the name. Black tea is generally stronger in flavour and contains more caffeine as compared to other variety of teas.
Black Tea Processing:
After the harvest, the leaves are withered by blowing air onto them. Then the Black tea is processed using one of the two methods mentioned below:
The withered leaves are rolled either by using cylindrical rolling tables or a rotovane. This results in broken leaves and particles which are then sorted, oxidized and dried. Oxidation is done under controlled temperature and humidity and the level of oxidation decides the colour and flavour of the leaves. The leaves are then dried to stop oxidation. The tea is then sorted using sieves according to their sizes.
CTC (Cut-Tear-Curl or Crush-Tear-Curl):
This production method was developed by William McKercher in 1930. In this process, tea leaves are cut into fine pieces instead of rolling them. These smaller pieces are oxidized more quickly, thereby producing darker and stronger tea. Post this, the leaves are sorted, oxidized and dried.
Black Tea Health Benefits:
Studies show that Black tea offers a variety of health benefits due to the presence of polyphenols in it. It also contains theaflavins and thearubigins that add to the benefits. So, drinking a cup of black tea everyday can be highly rewarding.
Here are some reasons why you should be adding a cup of black tea to your daily routine:
The powerful antioxidant properties present in black tea are known for its health benefits. Polyphenols are the primary antioxidants present and they prevent DNA damage linked to smoking and other toxic compounds. Consuming antioxidants regularly may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, thus improving one’s health in general.
Helps reduce blood pressure
High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, kidney failure, vision loss etc. A study shows that drinking 2 to 3 cups of black tea a day lowers blood pressure levels by an average of 2 to 3 points. The Flavonoids present in black tea have shown beneficial effects on the cardio vascular system thus reducing the risk of heart diseases.
Lowers blood sugar levels
Higher blood sugar levels in the body can lead to health complications such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and depression. Studies show that black tea contains a substance that’s similar to type 2 diabetes drugs. It significantly reduces the blood glucose levels in both healthy and pre-diabetic adults. Therefore Black tea is a great beverage that can help improve the use of insulin and reduce blood sugar.
Reduces the risk of stroke
Stroke is the second leading cause of death both in developed and developing countries. According to a study published a few years ago, people who consumed three or more cups of tea on a daily basis were 21% less likely to experience a stroke than people who drank less than one cup of black tea daily. This humble cuppa can turn out to be a blessing if it’s included in your diet in right quantities.
Black tea contains caffeine and an amino acid called L-theanine, which can improve alertness and focus. L-theanine also results in relaxation of the brain thus resulting in better focus. So if you are looking for a healthy beverage to make you more alert and help you focus without consuming too much caffeine – Your search ends here!
Not only is black tea a great beverage to sip and to boost your health, but it’s also extremely simple to prepare – Use either tea bags or loose leaves as per your preference and this takes care of your health while you sit back and relax!
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