Health benefits of black tea

Teas

Around 84% of Americans prefer to drink black tea to green and oolong. It is statistically the most popular tea.

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What are the benefits of black tea? 

Black tea is the most popular tea among tea drinkers in America. This tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant, and the leaves have been used in ancient medicinal practices. What makes black tea unique is that the leaves are fully oxidized before being dried, giving them a different flavor. Black tea is good for digestion, alertness and reducing free radicals in the body with the presence of antioxidants. 

When in pursuit of the best black tea, consider the form in which you will be purchasing it, its unique benefits and if it is organic or not. For more information about tea, check out the Best Reviews buying guide. 

How to brew the best black tea

To brew black tea, measure the amount of leaves that you would like to put into a teapot. As a general rule of thumb, use 2 grams of tea leaves for every 6 ounces of water. Black tea requires hotter water, so let the water come to a rolling boil before pouring onto the leaves. Let the tea leaves steep for 5 to 15 minutes and then add sugar honey or lemon for added flavor. 

What to consider when purchasing black tea 

Form 

Bagged tea: Tea that comes in tea bags provides a quick and simple brew. All you have to do is steep the bag in hot water. Due to the leaves being ground, bagged tea delivers less of a robust taste than loose leaf tea. This is the cheapest form of black tea. 

Loose-leaf tea: Loose leaf tea provides the best taste out of all the forms of tea but takes longer to make. Within this form of tea, there are more options to choose from, though the process takes a while longer than the rest. To make tea in this form, you will need to purchase an infuser, a strainer and a teapot. 

Tea pods: Tea pods that contain black tea can be used in a Keurig. This makes for a simple, time efficient brew but lacks taste. The pods that contain the ground tea leaves are not sustainable or eco-friendly.  

Pre-brewed tea: Pre-brewed black tea provides all of the benefits of regularly steeped black tea only when it is able to be drunk on the go. If you enjoy a hot cup of tea, this may not be the form for you, as it comes cold by default. This style of tea can be found at various grocery stores.

Benefits 

Black tea contains antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavonoids and amino acids. It is thought that these components contribute to the relief of stress. Black tea is naturally fat free and calorie free, so users can drink without guilt. Though the benefits of tea are not proven, those who drink tea notice a positive change in their energy levels, immunity and the ability of the digestive system to break down foods. Black tea is a healthier choice than coffee for jitterless energy and increased focus.

What is in a quality cup of black tea 

Caffeine 

The average cup of black tea contains around 47 mg of caffeine, making it the most caffeinated tea to exist. High volumes of black tea consumption can cause headache and irritability just as coffee does, even though coffee contains over half the amount of caffeine. The presence of caffeine in black tea can increase alertness and serve as hangover prevention. It has been known to ease the digestive system. The amount of caffeine present in tea can vary depending on the duration of infusion and amount of tea. 

Vitamins and minerals

There are many vitamins and minerals present in black tea. This drink contains polyphenol, a chemical compound that protects plants from ultraviolet radiation and harmful pathogens. This is where the abundance of antioxidants in black tea come from. The antioxidant effect of black tea is due to its polyphenol content. The flavonoids, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc work to build immunity and provide relaxation. 

Organic 

If a brand of black tea is organic, that means it is free of synthetic chemicals, herbicides and pesticides that are used to keep insects away from the herbs. Organic tea is grown from healthy soil and relies on biodiversity of local conditions, rather than the use of toxic chemical sprays. When purchasing black tea, consider buying organic for the safety of your health. 

What black tea should I buy? 

Organic Positively Tea Company Assam TGFOP Black Tea

Organic Positively Tea Company Assam TGFOP Black Tea

This complex, textured black assam tea has smooth notes with sweet and robust flavor. It is grown in India and is traditionally enjoyed as a breakfast tea. This tea is organic and contains a high amount of caffeine.

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Vahdam Darjeeling Black Tea Leaves

Vahdam Darjeeling Black Tea Leaves

This tea is a light black tea with crisp, berry-like tones. The brownish-black leaves are short, tightly-rolled and interspersed with some green flakes. It contains notes of date palm and fermented barley that fade away quickly. The ingredients provide a brisk flavorful cup of tea that is made carbon neutral and produced with fair trade.

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The republic of Tea Earl Greyer Black Tea

The Republic of Tea Earl Greyer Black Tea

This tea combines the flavor and fragrance of the bergamot orange with a ceylon black tea leaf. All of the ingredients are pure and are naturally sourced. The tea bags themselves are free of tags, staples and strings to benefit the environment. They are made from natural, unbleached paper. The tea is not-GMO, gluten-free, sugar-free and carb-free.

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Twinings of London English Breakfast Black Tea Bags

Twinings of London English Breakfast Black Tea Bags

This black tea sources the finest leaves cultivated by trusted growers from all around the world. It provides a brisk taste, while the assam gives full-body and flavor. The robustness of the tea is complemented by the softer and more subtle teas from China and Indonesia. The combination of these varieties creates a complex cup of tea that is perfect any time of day.

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Taylors of Harrogate Afternoon Darjeeling Teabags

Taylors of Harrogate Afternoon Darjeeling Teabags

This tea is selected from the highest gardens in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains at the peak of the growing season when the tea is at its best. It features a unique muscatel flavour, as a result of the combination of cool misty climate, high altitude, rich soil and careful plucking and handling. This tea is known as the champagne of tees and pairs perfectly with sweet items, such as cake or pastries.

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Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Black Tea with Orange and Sweet Clove

Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Black Tea with Orange and Sweet Clove

This tea features hot cinnamon spices, orange peel and sweet cloves and comes in an elegant tin that is able to be reused. The tin contains 30 sachets of tea and is made with high quality ingredients, as well as being kosher certified.

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Logan DeLoye writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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