Black Tea 101 | The Health Benefits

Black tea is one of the most popular teas to drink. Today, 90% of all tea sold in the U.S. is black tea. The production of black tea continues to derive from China, India, Sri Lanka, and Africa. Black tea can be brewed in various ways and pairs well with many different flavor additives. It is a base for many of our best-sellers and is a personal favorite here at Hackberry. Due to its bold flavor, versatility, and ability to give you a boost of energy, more and more people are falling in love with this prominent tea. Depending on the steeping time, black tea can hold a lot of caffeine. That assisted energy is often what attracts people to this type of tea. But what other benefits, specifically health benefits, can black tea provide in its delicious cup?  

Many studies have revealed that black tea can positively impact heart health. One study published in 2017 showed a reduced risk of ischaemic heart disease when drinking a cup of plain hot black tea every day. The research discovered that this is due to the high amounts of antioxidants (flavan-3-ols, flavonols, theaflavins, and gallic acid derivatives) found in black tea. Lowered cholesterol levels were an additional benefit exposed during this research.  

Black tea is a natural way to diminish cancerous cell growth. As mentioned above, black tea has many health-promoting flavonoids and theaflavins. Increased levels of flavonoids are often linked to a decreased risk of advanced cancer, specifically prostate and ovarian. A study published in 2016 showed how the theaflavin levels in black tea were able to help cisplatin, a cancer-fighting drug, work properly.  

Black tea is a great beverage to drink when you have a headache or upset stomach caused by digestive issues. The tannins in black tea can calm inflammation in the intestines, which can help with digestion, and caffeine levels can ease headaches and promote mental focus. Unlike coffee, which can sometimes make you too energetic from caffeine, tea can be a more balanced energizer. The almost calming effect of black tea can increase alertness while also lowering stress hormone (cortisol) levels.  

It is fantastic and convenient that something as delicious as black tea can be so healthy for you! Whether you drink your black tea hot or iced, you can enjoy it even more, knowing that it is doing your body good. If you decide to do further research, you will discover many more health benefits. The benefits I listed above are the ones that I found most fascinating.  

Other teas in the black tea "family" that offer significant health benefits are Pu'erh and Oolong. Since their processing is so different, tea leaves are able to produce additional compounds that may improve health.  

Pu'erh  

Pu'erh is a very different kind of tea because its processing is unique. Pu'erh is the most oxidized and fermented tea, setting it apart from other teas. Pu'erh is made with the longest and oldest of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The extra fermentation and oxidation create an environment where antioxidants increase to higher levels than any other tea. These increased antioxidants give Pu'erh tea an edge when you're looking for something that may improve your health. Since it comes from the Camellia Sinesis plant, it contains caffeine. As with any other ingredients used for health purposes, always contact a health professional about any supplement, including tea.  

The number of antioxidants in Pu'erh tea can help with overall digestion and detox. According to some studies, it may help the overall health of your skin. Some moisturizer companies include it as an ingredient for skincare. Benefits don't just stop there. Pu'erh may help with blood circulation, blood pressure, insulin resistance, and improve your metabolism overall.  

For centuries, China has used tea for medicinal purposes, and Pu'erh is no exception. While there aren't conclusive medical studies, Pu'erh has properties that show promise. At Hackberry Tea, we constantly search for the highest quality tea. Check out our different Pu'erh offerings and enjoy a soothing cup of Pu'erh tea. If you love black tea but have never tried Pu'erh, we highly recommend it.  

Oolong  

Oxidation is when tea leaves are exposed to oxygen to dry and darken the leaves. This process contributes to different flavors, aromas, and strength. Like other fruits and plants that brown when exposed to oxygen, harvested tea leaves go through similar processes. The level of oxidation often determines the kind of tea it becomes.   

Oolong has the fragrance of green tea but the smoothness of black tea because it's oxidized between green and black. Green tea isn't oxidized at all, and black is fully oxidized. Oolong tea is in the middle. Oolong tea can range from 15% oxidation to 80% oxidation. If you like green tea, you may like Oolong with a lower oxidation level. If you like black tea, you may like Oolong with a higher oxidation level. It's believed that oolong tea may help with brain function, help fight and prevent certain cancers, helps with skin issues, and more. Shop our oolong selection to find your favorite oolong tea. 

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