Traditional, changeable and immensely popular: Black tea
Hot, fragrant black tea is for many people for breakfast and the start of the day. Black tea has not only a very old history and a rich and multi-layered aroma. Black tea is a popular stimulant,which is especially associated with leisure and tranquility. “Wait and drink tea” is not coincidentally a phrase that goes back to the strengthening, soothing and soothing effect.
Motherland of Tees: China
Black tea is a result of fermentation. This is a process that initiates an enzymatic transformation in the still green tea leaves, giving the black tea a special taste and a longer shelf life. This discovery goes back to the Chinese, who add an essential quality to the economically important product of black tea for their economic use. With the development of black tea, China can trade on a large scale and export it to the entire world known to date. In Europe, for the time being, if at all, only green tea is being drinked, in tiny quantities as medicine. The import of black tea as a drink and stimulant begins with the entry of the seafaring powers,especially the British, into the world trade in black tea. The trade in black tea is organised by the British East India Company, an international trading company. In the course of the 18th century, black tea became a sought-after and popular drink in Europe and climbed further and further in the esteem of the population. Especially in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, where you drink black tea with milk and sugar.
War and Drugs
But black tea is not always the trigger of peace and peace. In the 18th century, the various disputes over trade tariffs, but also trade routes between the new colonies in America and the British crown, culminate in the Boston Tea Party of 1773. In this act of resistance, American settlers disguised as Native Americans, presumably also residents of the city of Boston, throw the entire cargo of black tea overboard from one of the ships of the East India Company. This event is the beginning of an escalation in a series of conflicts in the New World that have escalated between the North American colonies and the British crown, leading to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1775 and the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in 1776.
Elsewhere in the world, black tea is also intertwined in political conflicts. When the opium grown in India was no longer allowed to be imported into China in the 19th century, the Opium War (1840-1842) took place between the British and the Chinese. In this context, the British crown is losing its important supplier of black tea in connection with China and is seeking a new source of black tea. In the tea plant Camellia assamica, a relative of the tea plant Thea sinensis ( http://www.botanicus.org/page/358534 , first published by Carl von Linné in 1753 , which was finally grown in Assam,India, the British find a worthy replacement. Although India, unlike China, does not originally have a tea culture, over the decades it has become the world’s largest tea-consumer nation over the decades, thanks to the British’s establishment of black tea cultivation on the Indian subcontinent.
Tea nations and their preparations
While the countries of Asia, such as Japan or Korea, have an old and impressive tea culture with their tea ceremonies, both the Indian subcontinent and the West are recipients of a cultural transfer that finds its different forms in the different countries. Black tea is a product that has enriched the target countries worldwide culturally. In many countries, the preparation of black tea is similar by making an infusion: dried tea leaves are poured with fresh, bubbling-boiling water. Then let black tea be pulled for a certain time before pouring it through a sieve. In many tea-drinking nations in the West, in the UK and on the European continent, you drink the black tea in this way and add milk and sugar, lemon, cream or even rum to taste. In Russia, the Samowar has been a device for black tea that permanently provides hot water. Samowar means nothing more than self-cookers. Actually, a Samowar is a portable machine for black tea. It is used not only in Russia, but also in Ukraine, Belarus, Iran and Turkey. “Sawarka” is the name of the teesud, which is a concentrate mostly made of black tea and stands in a container on the samowar. Here, black tea means a mixture. One mixes the black tea in a certain ratio with the hot water from the Samowar. The tea bag, on the other hand, comes from America. It is one of the 20th century, supposedly due to a misunderstanding: for reasons of saving space and reducing transport costs, an American tea merchant does not fill his black tea in metal cans, but in cloth bags. One of his customers hung the bag of black tea directly into the teapot and poured hot water without taking out the loose tea beforehand.
Tea, tea, thé or Chai, Chaay?
Interestingly, the etymology of the name is also related to the historical development of trade routes. For example, a scientific study has shown that the regions that have been approached by sea from southern China use the name tea, tea or thé, while names such as Chai or Chayhave developed in the markets for black tea reached by land (https://www.teeverband.de/fileadmin/Redaktion/WIT/Allgemein/wit2005_05_2.pdf).
Black tea worldwide – today’s growing countries
Today’s growing regions of black tea are numerous, but not all export black tea in sufficient quality. After centuries of conquest of black tea around the world, Black Tea has become part of many cultures in many countries. Black tea is a product that exemplifies the impact of globalisation in the past. Among the most important black tea growing countries today are China, India, Kenya and Sri Lanka. All of these countries also produce green and white tea, but black tea takes up the largest amount. In India, black tea is grown in regions that are often located in higher regions – high plateaus or mountain ranges – and whose names have become the same with certain varieties today. The most famous black tea cultivation regions are Darjeeling and Assam. Darjeeling, a black tea harvested according to the so-called “Orthodox method”, grows on the southern mountain slopes of the Himalayan mountains. This refers to the processing of the leaves in five stages: first, they go through a processing step called thewithering, so that the leaves of the black teas become soft and tender. This is followed by rolling,then sifting, then oxidation and finally drying (firing) of the leaves of the black teas. Due to the climatic conditions, black tea can only be harvested from March to November and many of the tea gardens are steep slopes that cannot be processed with machines. Thus, the Darjeeling harvest remains laborious manual work. Depending on the season, the leaves of this black teas are young and delicate (First Flush) or already matured. Because the Assam is subject to humidity and tropical heat all year round, the processing of this second important strain of black teas is structured differently than in Darjeeling. In Assam, the CTC method (crushing, tearing, curling) determines the production of black tea and is harvested all year round. CTC is a shortened production method that allows a comparatively fast production of large quantities of black teas. Assam teas are productive and can be mixed well with other varieties of black teas. They have a full-bodied taste and a dark color. Well-known mixtures such as the so-called East Frisian tea are compiled on the basis of Assam: a little more than half Assam makes up the proportion of The East Frisian tea, while in the so-called English blend the proportion of Assam still consists of a Third. The also well-known black tea with the name “Earl Grey” is a black tea flavored with bergamot oil, a recipe that according to legend originated from China, but can long ago consist of both Assam and Darjeeling black teas. In reality, the origin of Earl Grey is not yet really clear, even among traditional British importers of black tea. What is certain is that his name, the “Earl Grey Blend” or “Earl Grey’s Mixture”, goes back to Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey. As British Prime Minister in the 1830s, he may have received a black tea flavored with the oil of bergamot fruit as a diplomatic gift. African black tea is present in many blends worldwide. Kenya is one of the largest tea producers and the five most important producer countries. The black tea from Kenya is the basis for many breakfast tea mixtures, especially in the UK.
Of the very first quality – a regulation for the classification of black tea
Not dissimilar to wine, traditionally established criteria for classification also apply to black tea, which, however, are based on the treatment of tea leaves and serve for graduation, demarcation and classification. In this case, too, the etymological derivation of some terms introduced in connection with black tea is no longer possible. One method of sorting leaf tea is “Orange Pekoe”. This is the highest degree of leaf. Leaf tea is almost unbroken leaves of black teas. However, the origin of both words is unclear. In many cases, “Orange” is referred to the Dutch house of the Oranje, but this is not really convincing given the important role played by the British in the history of world trade with black tea. The next stage of sorting black tea is “Broken” or “Broken Pekoe” (BP). This refers to “broken” small-leaved tea. The “broken” classification is smaller than leaf tea in terms of leaf size. The next smaller sortings of black tea are “Pekoe Fannings” (PF) and “Pekoe Dust” (PD), which are mainly used for the production of tea in tea bags.
Black tea and its ingredients
A stimulant such as black tea is usually also in use over a long period of time and is so popular because it is presumed to have a beneficial effect on human health. Although black tea is brought close to coffee by ingredients such as caffeine, whose tolerability has long been questionable, black tea remains a stimulant with a good to health-promoting reputation. As always, the dose does it. In general, a quantity of 200 to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily is considered to be well tolerated and even beneficial to health, because preventive against cancer. But the maximum amount of 400 milligrams should not be absorbed at once, but preferably over a longer period of time, i.e. spread over the day. This was established by the European Food Safety Authority(https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/aktuelles/koffein-die-dosis-macht-s-348320). Estimates for the caffeine content of black tea are about 50 to 100 milligrams per cup. According to a recommendation of the German Society for Nutrition, children should not drink black tea at all because of the caffeine content.
In addition to caffeine, black tea includes:
- Tannins (tannins)
- Phenolic carboxylic acids
- Amino acids (L-theanine), vitamins, minerals and trace elements (e.g. fluoride)
- Tannins are vegetable tannins in black tea, which are also present in red wine. In black tea, they provide a certain sweet taste, but are only released after more than two minutes of pulling. Tannins have an astringent effect on the one hand, i.e. they are anti-inflammatory,but on the other hand they make it difficult to absorb iron and calcium. Those who suffer from iron or calcium deficiency should either refrain completely from consuming black tea, at least be restrained, or provide compensation by dietary supplements, better still by a particularly iron- or calcium-containing diet.
- Flavonoids are phytochemicals and are very important for humans. In the field of naturopathy, they are called phytamines. They play a major role in human nutrition and bring benefits for their metabolism. Flavonoids are among the antioxidants, i.e. are considered radical scavengers,are anticarcinogenic, i.e. they reduce the risk of cancer when drinking black tea. After all, they have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system and can have antibacterial effects, as a study by the Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry of the Philipps University of Marburg proves (https://www.teeverband.de/fileadmin/Redaktion/WIT/Sonstige_Inhaltsstoffe/wit1-2003_01.pdf). However, the nature and meaning of the phytochemicals are far from being fully researched. Of course, they play a very important role for the plants themselves in the interaction with their environment. For example, phytochemicals repel herbivores and plant pests and attract pollination insects as colouring and flavouring substances.
- Theobromine (and the one that always occurs with it, but in extremely small amounts) Theophyllin) is found in the nuts of the cocoa bean as well as the cola trees, the leaves of the mate trauch and the tea plant Camilla sinensis. It is an alkaloid, i.e. an organic compound, which is released only by the roasting process (in cocoa) or by fermentation during the tanning process (in the case of black teas). Theobromine, for example, is contained in chocolate (in darker more than in milk chocolate). It has a similar effect to caffeine, while also relaxing and mood-enhancing. Theobromine therefore acts psychotropicly,that is, it acts on the human psyche, and belongs to the stimulants. Its amount in plants is harmless, only by an increased dosage can theobromine also be harmful to humans. For animals (cats, dogs, horses, cattle) it is a dangerous substance and can cause symptoms of poisoning. Animals are therefore not allowed to consume chocolate because they lack the enzymes for the breakdown of theobromine.
- Phenolic carbonic acids are aromatic, chemical compounds that are found in all plant organs and are essential as aroma components for the taste and smell of black tea. Amino acids (L-theanine) are building blocks of proteins and are therefore essential for the building of body tissues. Vitamins, minerals and trace elements are also important for the Human nutrition Indispensable. For example, fluoride, an ingredient of black teas, is attributed to a caries-preventive property. In order to get to the bottom of this and to corroborate the assumptions, a study by the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science at the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel in 2000 confirmed the presumption that polyphenols in various varieties of tea had been confirmed, black tea because of its fluoride content to Preservation of the hard tooth substance and contributes to caries prevention (https://www.teeverband.de/fileadmin/Redaktion/WIT/Sonstige_Inhaltsstoffe/wit2-2000-beitrag1.pdf). On the other hand, the oft-held assumption that black tea deprives the human body of too much fluid due to its ingredients could be refuted in 2004 by a scientific study by the Research Institute for Child Nutrition in Dortmund (https://www.teeverband.de/fileadmin/Redaktion/WIT/Ern%C3%A4hrung/wit2004_12_1.pdf).