When you need that pick-up to drive lethargy away, either early in the morning or after a ‘sinful’ lunch, there is nothing better than a cup of strong brewed black tea. It is perhaps one of the most loved beverages among all the varieties of teas in the country, not just because it is delicious and soothing, but also because it packs a punch in terms of several health benefits. It is an elixir that should be consumed at least twice a day – if you are on medication or have any medical conditions, do check with your doctor prior to adding any food or ingredient to your diet.
All tea varieties are got from the Camellia Sinensis plant, but it is the oxidization and processing that makes each tea distinct and unique. Black tea receives the most amount of oxidization and processing – it is sun-dried which is the reason for its distinct brown-gold color and rich lustrous flavour.
Indians love to add milk and sugar to black tea, although tea experts believe that this brings down the nutritional value of this awesome beverage. The flavor and benefits of Black tea can be enjoyed with a variety of other healthy ingredients – you will read more about this as you proceed.
Easy and Quick Black Tea Recipe
Black tea is very easy to prepare however, it does call for precision and timing to ensure that your black tea is as strong as you want it. We will also talk about adding ingredients to raise both taste and health quotients, and make you feel like a black tea pro! 😊
Here’s the recipe:
Take the following ingredients and base the quantities on the number of servings:
- Water (one cup per person)
- Tea Leaves (1/2 tsp per person – more if you want the tea to be stronger)
- Milk (to be kept separate only if one needs to add)
- Sugar or Honey (to be kept separate only if one needs to add)
5 to 7 minutes
- Take a kettle or a saucepan. Pour the water into it and allow the water to come to a boil.
- Add the tea leaves and stir. Lower the flame, and allow it to cook for two minutes.
- Place the lid on the kettle or saucepan and allow to simmer on low flame for two minutes more. This will extract all the flavor into the water.
- Strain the tea and enjoy your delicious cup of black tea
Common points to remember when preparing black tea:
- The tea should be steeped for a maximum of five minutes for a relatively strong flavor. If you want a lighter tone and flavor, you could steep it for a shorter time. The overall flavor and color would depend on the quality of the tea leaves.
- We recommend using more tea leaves since brewing them longer adds some bitterness to the overall taste.
- The water needs to be boiling in order to extract top flavor and color. Ensure that you use fresh water – not distilled or previously boiled water.
- Experts suggest different brewing times for different varieties of black tea: Darjeeling tea – 3 minutes, Earl Grey – 5 minutes, English Breakfast – 4 minutes, Assam Tea – 10 minutes
How to Store and Serve Black Tea?
Black tea should always be served hot, can be had up to twice a day, and it is recommended to always prepare it fresh and drink it immediately in order to truly enjoy the flavor. Use a cast iron or ceramic pot to hold your tea and serve it for yourself and others.
Keep Black Tea Healthy
Black tea is an easy-to-make beverage, that is also packed full of health benefits. These are some of the additions/combinations possible for black tea, to cater to different palettes.
- Add lemon and honey
- Add spices such as cinnamon or cardamom or even a herb such as ginger
- Infuse flavors such as vanilla, strawberry, lavender, rose, citrus, coconut, and so many more
- To sweeten your cup of black tea, you could add brown or cane sugar, honey, or palm jaggery – depending on what makes your tongue sing!
Did You Know?
There is a popular black tea called Thai tea. This is a concoction of black tea, spices, and coconut milk. Also, there is something called ‘silk stockings tea’, very popular in Hongkong, but rare in other parts of the globe. This black tea has the addition of condensed milk.
Black tea is loaded with health benefits and because it is so delicious, easy to make, and there can be so many combinations with it, it has managed to edge over the other varieties of tea. Here’s to your healthy and flavorful cup of hot tea!