20 Different Types of Black Tea Maybe You Want to Know
If you’re like a majority of most Americans, I know your day probably starts off with a hot mug of black tea.
There’s also a high chance you are common with Assam tea or red tea-there’re the most popular types of black tea available.
However, there are other different types of black tea you might like to know.
Unlike most flavored and scented tea varieties with delicate flavors, black tea is much stronger and delivers many health benefits.
For many years, black tea has been a go-to beverage for most people in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
The popularity of black tea can be credited to its rich flavor and more health benefits it offers. Most tea drinkers also find it hard to resist the alluring bouquet of well-balanced flavors offered by black tea.
If you want to explore more on black tea and try different flavors, read on to discover 20 different types of black tea you should know.
1. Assam Black Tea
Grown in the Assam region, India, Assam black tea is one of the most popular black teas consumed in various parts of the world.
It provides a bold but not overpowering fragrance. When drinking it for the first time, you may experience a tannic and astringent taste after your first sip.
However, the more you drink the Assam black tea, the more you uncover a rich aftertaste of roasted malt and some creamy chocolate notes.
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2. Darjeeling Black Tea
Darjeeling black tea is an exclusive type of tea grown in Darjeeling, India. The first plucking of the Darjeeling black tea offers the freshest and most aromatic teas.
There are four main Darjeeling flushes, with the first one being between February and May, then May to June, July to September, and the last one October to November.
According to most tea drinkers, Darjeeling tea offers a full-bodied and robust muscatel flavor, making it an exceptional black tea.
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3. Kenyan Black Tea
Today, Kenya stands as the third-largest tea-producing country after India and China. Tea is mainly grown in various regions in Kenya, including Maragua, Kericho, Kisii hills, Nandi, Kakamega, and Thika.
Kenyan black tea grown in the Western part of Kenya, like Kisii hills with abundant rainfall, is usually of high quality. It leads as a significant foreign exchange earner for the country.
Generally, black tea produced in Kenya offers robust and full-bodied yet smooth flavors along with mysterious fruity notes.
4. Ceylon Black Tea
Ceylon black tea originates in Sri Lanka, and that’s why it’s named after the nation’s former official title. It provides full-bodied citrusy flavors with some chocolate notes.
However, Ceylon black teas may vary in flavor and aroma based on where they are grown, as some tea plantations in Sri Lanka are located in the coastal regions while others are grown in the mountains.
The plantations located higher up in the mountains produce golden Ceylon tea, which is considered to be of high quality.
Ceylon teas grown in the coastal regions provide a strong flavor with some spice notes and are usually black when brewed.
5. Chai Kee Mun
Chai Kee Mun is a type of black tea usually grown in Anhui province, China. There are four main types of Chai KeeMun black tea, including Mao Feng, Hao Ya, Gong Fu, and Xin Ya.
Xin Ya and Mao Fung are the most common types, and they offer a sweet and mild flavor. They also have a sharp and attractive wine-like color.
Chai Kee Mun black tea gives you a range of floral, piney, malty, or smoky flavors, depending on your choice. This black tea is actually on China’s list of most famous teas.
6. Dian Hong Cha Black Tea
Dian Hong Cha black tea is an exquisite tea mainly grown in Yunnan province of China. It usually comes in four varieties, including Yunnan Gold, Broken Yunnan, Golden needle, and Yunnan Pure Gold.
Among the four varieties, Yunnan Pure Gold is the unique and the most exclusive one. It distinguishes itself from the others with its golden tips and delicate leaf buds.
Overall, Dian Hong Cha is a well-balanced black tea with rich flavors and doesn’t leave you with an astringent aftertaste.
7. English Breakfast Tea
English breakfast tea is a type of black tea made by mixing several types of black teas. It’s usually a blend of Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan black tea.
Some English breakfast tea blends also use Chinese Keemun black tea, but such blends are pretty expensive.
What you’ll love most about English black tea is that it has a full-bodied, intense flavor that works well with milk and sugar.
You can pair this strong black tea with a hearty breakfast and garnish it with a slice of lemon.
Some of the brands that offer the best English breakfast tea include Twining’s and Harney & Sons.
8. Irish Breakfast Tea
If you are looking for a strong black tea type with a malty and smooth flavor, Irish breakfast tea is for you. It comes with a balanced flavor and can be served with or without milk.
Most Irish breakfast teas are usually dark red to brown in color, despite being made with Assam black teas.
They are usually a blend of different Assam teas and other black teas, and are more robust with a strong flavor.
In Europe, people serve this breakfast tea with eggs, sausages, cold cuts, fried tomatoes, baked beans, and cheese. Such a breakfast package leaves any tea drinker satisfied.
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9. Earl Gray Black Tea
Earl Gray black tea is usually a mixture of strong black tea and bergamot essential oil. It mainly uses Assam or Darjeeling teas as the strong tea options to give robust flavors and aroma.
The peels of bergamot orange can also be dried and then added to the black tea leaves to offer a refreshing flavor with malty notes.
This black tea comes in several varieties, and some of them can be quite weak. If you love strong tea, you should go for the high-quality Earl Gray tea for a well-balanced intensity of the tea and bergamot flavors.
Earl Gray black tea is a perfect way to prepare a cup of strong tea with great fragrance for breakfast. It’s also a go-to option for people looking for black tea with high caffeine content.
The best thing about Earl Gray black tea is that it tastes great with many dishes. You can drink it with milk, lemon, or other desired additives.
There are other variations of Earl Gray tea, including French Earl Gray black tea, which is blended with hibiscus, cornflowers, or rose petals.
10. Malaysian Black Tea
Malaysian black tea is a popular tea treat usually sold in the coffee shops of Brunei and Malaysia.
Tea historians reveal that the Indians Muslims introduced this black tea in Malaysia after the second world war.
Malaysian black tea is usually made from black tea dustings. Once you brew the black tea, you can add sugar and condensed milk.
11. Lapsang Souchong
Lapsang Souchong is a smoked black tea variety that comes from China. It has a very strong smokey scent.
Traditional Lapsang Souchong was mainly smoked on a burning pinewood to produce a strong and very unique flavor.
While it flourishes in Fujian province, China, this Lapsang Souchong continues to gain popularity worldwide as many people are usually blown away by its luscious, pine-smoky scent.
According to tea historians, Lapsang Souchong is the earliest type of black tea. It’s robust and has super smoky aromatic flavors.
When brewing tea with the Lapsang Souchong, you can use one tablespoon of tea leaves for each cup of water.
Russians use Lapsang Souchong tea as an ingredient when preparing their Caravan tea. They blend it with oolong and Keemun tea for full-bodied, smoky tea.
Some people also use Lapsang Souchong as a dry rub in cooking or brewing to make a cooking sauce since it has a mild yet smoky taste.
Puer is an aged black tea that is common in the southwestern part of China. Chinese drink this strong black tea for its medicinal properties.
It has been illegal to import Puer to the US until two decades ago. The popularity of Puer has also grown in Taiwan and most parts of the Asian continent.
This black tea is made with controlled microbial fermentation, and it continues to oxidize until certain desired flavors are achieved.
The tea’s production method remains a guarded secret amongst the Chinese. Hence, Puer is only manufactured in several Chinese tea factories.
With its intense and unique flavors, Puer delivers various health benefits, such as relieving constipation and encouraging bowel movement.
However, it’s a bit expensive, especially if it has aged for many years or has achieved certain flavors.
Moreover, drinking too much pure black tea can cause drunkenness. You may start feeling light-headed and dizzy.
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13. Thai Milk Tea
Thai Milk tea is prepared with strongly brewed black tea and spiced with various ingredients such as crushed tamarind, cardamom, and star anise.
You can sweeten it with sugar and condensed milk and serve it cold over ice. Evaporated milk also works very well with this type of black tea.
If you are vegan, you can make a vegan Thai tea version by substituting dairy milk with coconut milk for a smooth flavor.
14. Nepalese Gold Black Tea
If you are looking for a unique type of black tea that stands out from the crowd, you may want to try this one.
Nepalese Gold black is grown in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal. It delivers a rich and smooth flavor with honey and stone-fruit notes.
15. Taiwanese Bubble
As the name suggests, this tea is most loved and prepared by the Taiwanese. They prepare it by combining black tea with other spices such as fruit jelly, sago, agar jelly, grass jelly, or tapioca pearls.
When brewing this black tea, you can mix this popular black tea with tropical fruits and ice cream. Moreover, you can choose to drink it either cold or hot.
16. Masala Chai
This type of black tea is popular and is prepared by mixing tea with other different spices.
It’s made by combining black tea with spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and anise. You can choose your most preferred spiced from these to make your cup.
The type of tea you use in preparing masala chai should have mild flavors to give room for the spices’ intense flavors.
You can make masala tea with milk or latte, with additional flavors of your choice like milk, honey, or sugar.
Also known as the Qimen Hongcha, Keenum black tea is widely cultivated in China’s Anhui Province.
It has a strong flavor, almost like that of wine, which makes it a very high-quality black tea.
Oxidation is a bit slower in Keenum tea compared to other types of black tea. Slow oxidation gives this tea a very distinctive and nuanced flavor.
With a fruity aroma and pine hints, this black tea is good to consume even without adding any sweeteners.
Even if you use sugar, honey, or milk, it should be in low amounts to avoid altering the flavor profiles.
18. Nilgiri Black Tea
Commonly called Blue Mountain tea, Nilgiri black tea is mainly cultivated in Western Ghats Mountain in India by small-scale farmers. To maintain low costs, these small-scale farmers sell their tea to large companies for processing.
Nilgiri tea is known for doing well even at very high altitudes, with some farmers cultivating at an altitude of 8,000 feet above sea level.
This Indian black tea has a slight flavor of sweetness and hints of medium body and fruit. It is best for iced tea but doesn’t get bitter when steeped.
A bigger percentage of Nilgiri tea is processed by machines and sold in teabags. However, few farmers handpick their tea and process it with the artisans.
However, factory processed Nilgiri tea is generally cheaper compared to the one produced by local artisans.
Yindehong black tea was first produced in the 1950s in Guangdong province of China.
Also referred to as Ying Hong, Yindehong is produced in China on a large scale. Due to its ability to stay longer than green tea, it is exported to Western Countries.
Nevertheless, this black tea grows mainly in China and is not easy to find in other countries.
By tasting, you can identify Yindehong tea due to its peppery and sweet after-taste flavor.
Unlike most black teas, Yindehong cannot become bitter even if brewed for more extended periods.
Yindehong also mixes readily with condensed milk. You can use it to make a tea latte.
20. Sun Moon Lake
Whereas oolong tea is the most common tea in Taiwan, some rare ones exist, like the Sun Moon Lake.
As you can tell from its name, this tea is cultivated near Sun Moon Lake in Nantou, Taiwan.
Sun Moon Lake black tea has a wintergreen note flavor which makes it an excellent aid to digestion.
Although many oolong tea varieties overshadow Sun Moon Lake, this black tea remains to be a perfect tea loved by many Taiwanese.
Black Tea Benefits
Among the most consumed beverages in the world, black tea rests in second place after water.
Black tea contains a higher caffeine amount compared to other teas but lesser than coffee.
Besides great taste and the enthusiasm of the hot morning cup, black tea comes with many benefits. Here are some of them;
- Boosts Heart Health
Black tea is rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids which are very beneficial to the heart. Flavonoids are also found in green vegetables, fruits, and red wine.
Taking black tea regularly may help reduce heart diseases like high cholesterol, obesity, and high blood pressure.
If you drink three cups of black tea every day, the chances of having a heart-related disease reduces by 11%.
If you have heart-related complications, you can try adding black tea to your routine and see your trips to the doctor reduce.
Also, even if you are in good health, you can take black tea to prevent these diseases.
- Reduces Cancer Risks
The topic of whether black tea can reduce and prevent cancer growth has attracted a lot of studies over the years.
Some studies found out that black tea has got polyphenols responsible for regulating cancer cell growth.
However, some studies also have suggested that black tea has no effect to some types of cancer.
Tea is not a natural alternative to treating cancer. It can reduce some cancer cells’ survival and have no effect on other types of cancer cells.
There is still a need for more studies into this subject to define clearly the relationship between black tea and cancer.
- Reduced Risk of Diabetes
Consuming a lot of sugar from beverages and sugary foods can increase blood sugar levels. The increased blood sugar level can cause diseases like diabetes, depression, kidney failure, and obesity.
After consuming a sugary food, the pancreases secrete insulin that carry the sugar to muscles for energy. Excess sugar is stored as fat in the body.
Black tea is a non-sweetened beverage, and when taken, it improves how insulin works in the body.
It also enhances insulin levels in the body, which indirectly reduces and keeps blood sugar levels in check.
- Improves Brain Health
Research reveals that consumption of black tea improves the functioning of the blood vessels. This, in turn, enhances the blood flow to the brain.
A recent study found out that black tea improves cognitive performance even in adults aged above 60.
Also, caffeine found in black tea contains L-theanine and amino acids that enhance the brain’s alpha activities, causing alertness, relaxation, and focus.
- May Help Reduce Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is among the most prevalent diseases in the world. It affects more than 1 billion people in the world.
Fortunately, you can distance yourself from the dangers of high blood pressure by incorporating a cup of black tea into your diet.
According to a randomized study, drinking black tea will reduce the effects of systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
There is still a lot to study on the relationship between black tea and blood pressure. However, if you make it your everyday routine to drink tea with other healthy lifestyle practices, you can easily manage high blood pressure.
What is Black Tea?
Black tea is a type of tea obtained from a small tree, Camellia sinensis, and is more oxidized than the other four types of tea, including oolong, yellow, green, and white.
Black tea usually has a stronger flavor than the other teas, though they are made from the same plant. This type of tea is well-known for retaining its flavor for many years.
It’s often blended with other plants to obtain various beverages that tea drinkers across the globe enjoy.
Is Black Tea High in Caffeine?
Yes. Black tea tends to be high in caffeine compared to other types of teas. Many high black tea blends are made from Camellia Sinensis var, which has high caffeine content.
Most black teas are chopped into finer particles, increasing their steeping rate, thus increasing caffeine content.
In most cases, black tea is prepared with hot water and this usually involves a longer steeping time.
Longer steeping time and higher temperatures allow more caffeine extraction into the final cup. This is the reason most black teas will taste a little bitter.
Which is the Strongest Black Tea?
The strength of any black tea is determined by several factors. These factors include brewing time, temperatures, and ground size.
Even if a type of tea is weaker, it can result in a very strong cup if left to sit in hot water for too long. Also, it can become bitter if heated at high temperatures or when the texture is too fine.
Nevertheless, even if all these factors are kept constant, some black tea blends will still be stronger than others.
Assam and Darjeeling black teas result in a stronger cup of tea than what is achieved by other black teas.
How should I store black tea to maintain its quality?
To keep the excellent taste of black tea, it is essential to put it in a spot that is neither too hot nor too damp and is far away from the glaring sun and strong smells. The tea ought to be stored in a sealed container, for instance, a jar or canister, and if possible in a dim area as light can diminish the tea’s flavor.
Furthermore, it is necessary to keep the tea far from other items which could transmit their odor to the tea, such as spices or coffee. It is also suggested to use whole-leaf tea, as it preserves its flavor for more time than ground tea, and to drink the tea within a period of six months of purchasing it.
What is the most common type of black tea?
The most common type of black tea is the Assam variety. This type of tea has a strong and full-bodied flavor, with a malty taste. It is usually used to make milky teas and is also frequently used in tea mixtures
How Many Types of Black Tea Are There?
There is no single answer to how many types of black teas are available. It all depends on how you choose to classify them.
Different types are coming up every day. People are discovering more varieties, and it is also being planted in new places.
Some people chose to classify black tea according to their production region, and others due to the blending style.
Since there are so many types of black tea available globally, you will always find the type that suits your taste.
Black teas offer a full-bodied and strong flavor compared to other types of tea. They are the best choice for those looking for rich flavored tea.
You can use black tea to make ice teas, tea lattes, or even prepare a strong hot drink with higher caffeine content.
Since there are many types of black teas, as discussed above, you can try several types to see what works best for you.