Taste the tradition in our range of Chinese black tea.
The Tea Centre’s range of high-quality Chinese black tea is steeped in history as well as flavour. Historical records hint that China was the first to innovate black tea in the seventeenth century. Specifically, the first Chinese black tea was Lapsang Souchong, which is a beautiful smoky blend that’s over 400 years old.
Even today, China continues to produce some of the finest loose leaf black teas in the world. From this country comes fantastic black tea brews like Keemun Finest and Yunnan Finest. Explore our range of irresistible Chinese black teas below.
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The history of Chinese black tea
Here at The Tea Centre, we have a gorgeous range of delicious Chinese black tea for you to enjoy.
Did you know that the first black tea ever created was invented in China back during the seventeenth century? Referred to as “red tea” in China, the hue of black tea ranges from warm copper tones to light amber, and has somewhat mythical beginnings. Semi-historical records tell us that only green teas and oolong teas were enjoyed in China until the 1600s when an army lay siege near a tea factory in the Fujian province, incidentally holding up its production of green tea.
Left to wither for longer in the sun, what was meant to be green tea further oxidised and became the black tea we know and love today! The first black tea ever invented was lapsang souchong, which was innovated when the same tea factory attempted to dry the black tea leaves further by placing them over open pinewood fires—giving lapsang souchong its distinctive smoky flavour.
The different types of Chinese black tea
Lapsang souchong: thought to be the first black tea ever invented. Has a distinctive smoky flavour and fragrance and (fun fact!) was Winston Churchill’s favourite tea.
Keemun: one of China’s most famous black tea. The apple to every tea lover’s eye, Keemun is a medium-body tea that’s red in appearance and carries deep plum tasting notes.
Russian Caravan: A very smoky tea that’s named after the historical route on the backs of camels that this tea used to take to get from China (through the Mongolian Steppes) to Russia in the eighteenth century. Read more about its history here.
What are the health benefits of Chinese black tea?
One 2017 Sri Lankan study on black tea broke down the composition of the leaves and how these components have positive bioactive impacts on the body. Just some of the good things that black tea contains are: catechins, theaflavins, simple polyphenols/other polyphenols, theanine, amino acids, peptides/proteins, potassium, and caffeine.
Containing less caffeine than your average coffee, this component works well with theanine to bring the sipper some focus and mental stimulation (Kahathuduwa et al., 2016). Catechins boast the double impact of not only blessing tea with a tannic taste (bold biting flavour) but also thought to encourage antioxidant activity. Lastly, "tea polyphenols are also known for their antibacterial activity." (Kodagoda & Wickramasinghe, 2017). However, it should be note that antibacterial activity decreases when the extent of tea fermentation is increased, implying stronger activity in green tea than black tea.
Buy Chinese black tea online or in-store at The Tea Centre tea shops
Here at The Tea Centre, we pride ourselves on the elite quality of our tea and work hard to make them luxurious and thoroughly enjoyable. You will notice how our Chinese Black teas are beautifully fragrant and enticing, with elements of sweetness, smokiness and bitterness in different teas across our range. All part of our plan in making you the finest tea possible.
Making a pot or a cup of Chinese black tea with loose leaves is not as hard as it sounds, with easy-to-use infusers and strainers available. However, if you are looking for a quicker alternative, we do also offer a range of teas in biodegradable pyramid tea bags, including black tea bags, green tea bags and herbal tea bags.