Black Tea Benefits
We’ve all heard about Green Tea benefits but what about Black Tea Benefits?
Has it been forgotten? Absolutely not. While it’s true that Green Tea has, for the most, had the limelight in 2018 and many of the years preceding it, Black Tea is still a great choice for supporting a healthy and active lifestyle.
Our article will discuss the burning question: “is Black Tea good for you?”. And if so, how?
What is Black Tea
We already know that Black Tea comes from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) as Green Tea but there’s more. Aside from being family, Black Tea and Green Tea are created using different processing methods. While Green Tea is one of the least oxidised and fermented teas going (the very least being White Tea, Black Tea is one of the most.
When Black Tea is made, the tea leaves are allowed to fully oxidise before they are heat-processed and dried. During the oxidation stage, oxygen particles interact with the cell walls of the tea leaves, turning them darker and darker until they are either brown or black (hence the name “Black Tea”). Oxidation also alters the flavour profile of Black Tea, often adding distinct maltiness or even smokey and fruity notes depending on the Black Tea variety.
Green Tea, by contract, is quickly heated and dried to prevent too much oxidation from occurring. Less oxidation time means Green Tea is typically lighter in colour (and in flavour) with more vegetal, grassy, and even floral notes.
Black Tea History
The story of tea, as a whole, allegedly began in 2737 BCE. Black Tea, however, did not arrive on the scene until around 1590 (that’s CE, not BCE), literally thousands of years after its discovery!
According to legend, the first Black Tea to ever be created was Lapsang Souchong, completely by accident!
Lapsang Souchong was “born” in the Wuyi Mountains of the Fujian Province. This occurred during a time of great upheaval in China, when bandits and crooks wandered freely across the landscape, pillaging and plundering as they went. One day a group of bandits happened upon the village of Tong Mu Guan where farmers were beginning to harvest their tea crop.
The bandits demanded they be given everything of worth within the village, including the tea. They planned to return days later to collect their prizes. But the farmers wouldn’t give up that easily and began to harvest the leaves as quickly as possible, then drying them over pinewood fires to speed up oxidation.
The result was a “smoked tea”. The farmers had, as far as they knew, ruined the tea leaves. Yet they persevered, reluctantly packing their produce for the market in the faint hope that someone might be prepared to purchase the stock before the return of the bandits.
At the port, the farmers were approached by Dutch traders interested in sampling the tea. As they stood in silence, expecting the worse, the traders looked up from their first sips - they loved it.
Whether any of this story is true is a subject of great debate but either way, Black Tea is widely considered a “newbie” to the world of tea. For many, this is bewildering owing to the fact that Black Tea is arguably the most popular brew of the 21st Century. In fact, an estimated 78% of the world’s tea consumption is Black Tea, making it by far the largest. This is followed by Green Tea at 20% and other teas at 2%. Are the 78% getting the most for their money in terms of health benefits? Keep reading and find out.
Black Tea vs Green Tea
When it comes to the health benefits of Green Tea and Black Tea benefits, there are some differences.
Green Tea is most famous for awesome little antioxidants called polyphenols, specifically polyphenolic catechins. These catechins can be further subcategorised, with the most vital compound known as Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Not only is Epigallocatechin gallate the most important antioxidant compound in Green Tea but it also provides the infusion with its characteristic colour and flavour. On average, one cup (approximately 240 ml) of brewed Green Tea contains up to 200mg of EGCG.
Black Tea benefits, on the other hand, is considered beneficial thanks to two antioxidant compounds, again polyphenols, called theaflavin and thearubigin. Combined, these constituents can likewise support healthy living, just like Green Tea. In particular, theaflavin and thearubigin can combat free radicals in the body, thus slowing down the process of human oxidation and in turn, reducing the risks of developing chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and even - although studies are still in the preliminary stage - cancer! But why, then, do we never hear about the health benefits of Black Tea?
The truth is that most scientists believe that Green Tea is healthier than Black Tea by a very narrow margin. As a result, many scientific studies and clinical trials are conducted on Green Tea instead of Black Tea.
Some studies, however, choose to focus on Black Tea for this reason alone. Many actively seek out the science behind Black Tea to compare it with Green Tea. The results are, indeed, promising.
Black Tea Benefits
There are many different types of Black Tea, all great for health. From Lapsang Souchong to Earl Grey; Pu’erh Tea to regular English Breakfast Tea, each and every variety of Black Tea has the potential to improve your everyday way of life. Forget about Green Tea for a second, stop reading all the sensationalist articles on the web telling you that Black Tea is unhealthy. None of it is true.
Here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, we believe there is so much more to Black Tea. It may not be getting A*’s in health class but it’s certainly getting A’s and B’s, which is good enough for us!
Losing weight can be tricky and there is no easy answer to dropping those pesky pounds. But with Black Tea by your side, there is help in a cup. First of all, the calories in Black Tea are minimal. 100 grams of Black Tea leaves amount to, on average, just 1 calorie.
Furthermore, consuming Black Tea is thought to boost the metabolism, helping your body to burn fat quicker and more efficiently. A metabolism refers to the chemical reaction that takes place in your body’s cells. It essentially converts the fuel in your food into energy, which is then used to power near enough everything we do. Unfortunately, boosting the metabolism is only half the work. Exercise and healthy eating are still required for Black Tea to reach its full potential.
Pu erh Tea, in particular, has been extensively studied. In fact, one study conducted by the United States Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has since established the efficiency of Pu’erh Tea in reducing body weight owing to the prevalence of catechins.
Can Tea Help Reduce the Risk of Cancer?
It’s tremendously hard to determine whether Black Tea benefits or any tea, for that matter can keep Cancer at bay. Some studies have suggested it can while others have done the opposite.
Ultimately, until more is known, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company strictly do not endorse the consumption of any of our products for the purpose of reducing the risks of cancer; however, one 2015 meta-analysis has suggested that drinking a cup of tea a day (no matter the type) reduces the risks of developing cancer by 2%. According to the study, those who drank the most tea had up to a 21% lower risk of cancer compared with those who drank none.
Studies are still ongoing but many scientists believe that the antioxidants found in tea - including, of course, Black Tea afford protection against cancers of the lung, forestomach, oesophagus, duodenum, pancreas, liver, breast, colon, and skin. It’s important to note, though, that most trials have been animal based excluding the above meta-analysis.
Enhanced Cognitive Function
An estimated 750,000 people in the UK suffer from conditions such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, with the number set to double in the next 40 years as Britain’s population ages. Could Black Tea be the answer? Quite possibly. In fact, Black Tea benefits actually wins this category over Green Tea.
According to new research published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”, one particularly fascinating study was conducted at the University of Singapore. The study saw some 2,500 people aged 55 or over undergo a test to measure their cognitive function. When the experiment was repeated 2 years later, results established that those who had drunk two to three cups of black tea a day during the 2 year period were 55% less likely to be subjected to cognitive decline. Meanwhile, those who had drunk six to ten cups a day were up to 63% less likely.
A 2016 meta-analysis supported the consumption of Black Tea for reduced risks of cognitive decline, stating that:
“Daily tea drinking is associated with decreased risk of CoI, MCI and cognitive decline in the elderly”.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Nowadays, high diets in saturated fats coupled with low physical activity are two of the main contributors to cardiovascular disease and other similar conditions. Smoking, meanwhile, likewise has a great effect on the heart, and is also responsible for high blood pressure. Black Tea benefits has the ability to counter many of these effects.
Pu’erh is one tea leading the pack. A Chinese Study conducted at the Kunming Medical College saw 86 subjects with unusually high levels of blood cholesterol split into two groups. The first group of 55 patients was given a cup of Pu erh Tea, three times a day, while the second group received an unnamed Cholesterol-lowering drug.
The results established a 64.29% reduction in LDL cholesterol (or, “bad” cholesterol) in the tea drinking group. Meanwhile, the drug group only showed a minimal improvement in reduction at just 66.67%. While, admittedly, the drug was proven to be ever so slightly more effective, it does, however, prove Pu’erh Tea’s ability to help your heart as well as your entire cardiovascular system.
Another winning Black Tea is Earl Grey, albeit for a slightly different reason. It has emerged, after recent scientific research, that the bergamot extract found in Earl Grey Tea is just as effective as statins at controlling cholesterol. It is now believed that the bergamot oil contains enzymes known as hydroxymethylglutaryl flavonoids (HMGF), which can combat proteins in the body that potentially cause heart disease.
A study published in the 2014 Journal of Functional Foods saw researchers use concentrations of bergamot oil enzymes on these proteins. The results showed its effectiveness in lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol levels while substantially increasing “good” cholesterol levels.
While further studies are likely required, this early research suggests that Earl Grey Tea could be a much-needed boost for around 60% of British adult males and 75% of British adult females currently suffering from too much LDL cholesterol in their bloodstreams.
Improved Oral Health
This’ll put a smile on your face, one of the known Black Tea benefits is, it can keep your teeth sparkling white! It’s a common misconception that frequent Black Tea consumption negatively affects oral health. In fact, it does the complete opposite.
New research has surfaced as part of a collaborative study conducted in conjunction with the College of Dentistry at the University of Iowa and the Institute of Odontology at Göteborg University in Sweden. The results were presented at a meeting of the American Society of Microbiology in Orlando, Florida, USA. Leading the project was professor Christine Wu, of the University of Illinois. Her team had made the decision to focus on Black Tea benefits, as opposed to Green Tea, to uncover its cavity-fighting potential.
Participants in the U.S. division of the study were given Black Tea to rinse their mouth with for 30 seconds, five times, waiting three minutes between each rinse. This concept was used to simulate the effect of sipping the average cup of tea.
The Swedish division of the study, on the other hand, saw participants rinse their mouth with Black Tea for one minute, 10 times a day. Both co-operating studies discovered that the more participants rinsed, the more their plaque and bacteria levels fell.
This is because the Polyphenolic compounds present in Black Tea can kill or suppress cavity-causing bacteria from either growing or producing acid. The tea also affected the bacterial enzymes and prevented the formation of the sticky-like material that binds plaque to teeth.
Inflammation can affect anything from skin health to the digestive system. For this, choose Chai Tea, a beverage blended with a multitude of beneficial herbs and spices.
Turmeric, when included in chai tea recipes, is an especially crucial ingredient when it comes to treating inflammation. In fact, there are well over 5,600 biomedical study reports associated with turmeric has the ability to help with rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain. Such is its efficiency that turmeric has actually been compared to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
Cinnamon and cloves are equally important owing to one of their main constituents called ‘eugenol’. This beneficial chemical compound has potent anti-inflammatory properties often used to relieve gum pain as well as general inflammation.
Furthermore, a recent study published on NHS Choices has suggested that inflammation may have a major impact on women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), as well as affecting overall menstrual discomfort. A double-blind comparative clinical trial showed that ginger can be more effective than common painkillers in relieving pain in women with menstrual cramps.
Earl Grey has also been praised for its anti-inflammatory properties and is often used by natural health practitioners to combat colic and nausea. It can also settle the stomach and lower inflammation of the gut, which in turn leads to relief from bloating, constipation, cramps, and even haemorrhoids.
Caffeine in Black Tea
Looking for a pick-me-up in the morning? Perhaps you need help focusing at work? Black Tea is the way to go.
Black Tea contains, on average, 50 mg of caffeine per cup. Next is Oolong Tea at 45 mg per cup and then Green Tea at 30 mg per cup. Finally, White Tea comes in at just 20 mg of caffeine content per cup, making it a great choice should you wish to lower your caffeine intake instead of heightening it.
But we’re talking about Black Tea, so what can it do for mental alertness? Dutch researchers have the answer. According to their study, which saw 44 young volunteers undergo a mental performance test, certain components in Black Tea can stimulate the mind and improve focus. The effects of these constituents, particularly an amino acid called L-theanine, were compared with a “dummy” treatment.
The results suggested that the active ingredients significantly improved accuracy across numerous switching tasks for those who drank tea after 20 minutes and 70 minutes, compared with the placebo. The tea drinkers’ alertness was also heightened, the study found.
There is nothing quite as harmonious as sitting down on the sofa after a long, hard day, enjoying a cup of your favourite Black Tea as you finally relax. It seems as if all your worries drift away and in a way, they do!
While L-theanine can stimulate the brain, it can likewise keep it in a relative state of calm. Confused? Basically, L-theanine finds the perfect middle-ground. And aside from improving your overall mood, L-theanine also contributes to reducing depression and anxiety.
Furthermore, would you believe us if we said relaxing on the sofa with your favourite brew could help you lose weight? We’ll admit it’s a little obscure but it works nonetheless.
According to new research, chronic stress (i.e not stopping to relax with a nice, hot cup of tea) disrupts our sleep and our blood sugar levels. This leads to increased hunger and comfort eating. Eventually, this can lead to even higher levels of stress and even more disrupted blood sugars. Not only might this cause unhealthy levels of body fat, but also an increased risk of Type II Diabetes! The solution to this is simple: stop, then brew up a cup of any Black Tea.
Types of Black Tea
Which Black Tea should you drink? That very much depends on your personal tastes and what you want from your brew. But here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, we have something for everyone. Rest assured that we deal only with high-quality Black Tea, no matter the type. Whether you prefer loose leaf or Black Tea Bags, we have the choice for you.
Pluckley Tea: We would be amiss if we didn’t start with our flagship brew. Pluckley Tea is bold, is rich, is flavoursome, is everything you’d expect from a beverage unique to our company. Made with only the finest quality Assam and Kenya Tea, this incredible blend shares a long and expansive history with The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company.
Pluckley Tea was first created by Richard Smith, upon his return from India in the late 1970’s. Mr Smith began operating from his then-new home in Pluckley, the most haunted village in England, blending tea for a local shop we still cater for today.
With the help of his mother, Mrs Janet Smith, as well as a few others, Richard hand-packed tea bags from chests of ten thousand into packages of either 40 or 80 tea bags. This eventually became known as, you guessed it, Pluckley Tea!
China Black Tea: China was where it all began. Honour the country’s legacy with our very own China Black Tea. This Chinese Black Tea comes from the Anhui Province and is noted for its dark leaf which, when brewed, produces a lovely amber liquor.
Assam Tea Bags: Our loose leaf Assam Tea is a Single Estate Tea harvested from the Sewpur plantation in Assam, this beverage is grown using only natural methods. So, if you wish to enjoy your favourite brew with the satisfaction of supporting mother nature, then you needn’t look any further.
Darjeeling Tea Bags: Darjeeling Tea is known as “The Champagne of Teas” throughout the world. Our very own Darjeeling Tea Bags stand testament to this grand title. Teas to originate from this renowned Indian district are more than just simple beverages, they are experiences, evoking strong images of beautiful landscapes more than half a world away. These acclaimed brews boast distinct muscatel tastes and aromas with malty undertones.
Kenya Tea: The country of Kenya has a rich and growing tradition when it comes to crafting the perfect brew. Located in East Africa, the country has a fascinating, if somewhat short history with tea. Our Kenya Tea is of single estate origin in close association with the Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings Ltd (KTDA). It offers a beautiful golden liquor and a potent malty flavour with distinct sweet notes.
Earl Grey Tea: Earl Grey Tea is arguably the most famous flavoured beverage in the world. It has adorned silver platter trays in lavish banquet halls; it has been enjoyed by Lords, Ladies, Counts, and Earls; and perhaps most importantly, has stood the test of time despite the mystery surrounding its true origins. Our take on this classic Earl grey Tea uses only the finest quality blends of Assam, Darjeeling, and Keemun Black Tea, as well as bergamot oil, to be found on the market.
Chai Tea: Our Bombay Masala Chai Tea Bags won the GREAT TASTE AWARD 2006 - GOLD for the best blended tea. Every Indian family has its own secret ingredients and our Masala Chai is a recipe from the grandmother of a very old acquaintance. Add a personal touch to your brew with our Bombay Chai 50 Tea Bags today.
Lapsang Souchong Tea Bags: Rumoured to be the choice-brew of Sir Winston Churchill, Lapsang Souchong is an extremely popular choice of tea. Supposedly, Lapsang Souchong was the first Black Tea ever created and is known for its smoky flavour and rich aroma, why not try our very popular Lapsang Souchong Tea Bags.
With so many teas to choose from, we look forward to seeing you back here again soon to try the next! We are a company of family values and take great care of all our customers. So be informed, be surprised, be inspired by The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company.