Loose black tea, which is probably the most consumed out of all the four types come from three main countries, Assam India, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), and China. Each one offers a unique character, some of which are blended together, and provides tea drinkers with a deep rich, earthy, and sometimes sweet/malty cup.
Where to Buy Quality Loose Tea
Purchase from Adagio Teas
Fresh Tea from Mighty Leaf Tea
Below are some common and even some exotic varieties from around the world, all which are offered by reputable and recommended online tea shops. Do enjoy!
Click On Each For Picture And Full Description
Irish Breakfast – Irish breakfast tea from Adagio Teas is a blend of Ceylon and Assam teas which produces a cup with a nice balance of malty and citrus-like notes.
English Breakfast – English Breakfast tea has a nice rich and smoky flavor that serves as a great morning tea. Made from quality Chinese Keemun loose black tea. Goes great with milk.
Assam Harmony – Black loose leaf tea is an Indian tea offered by Adagio Teas that has a pleasant sweet-earthy and malty taste consisting of black leaves with golden tips. A great morning or evening tea.
Ceylon Waltz – A medium-bodied, rich tasting beverage from Adagio; Ceylon Waltz makes a cup that is perfect for breakfast and goes great with milk and sugar. (please note that this variety is not always available).
Ceylon Sonata – Ceylon Sonata loose tea brews a similar cup to Ceylon waltz tea, and has good depth with mild malty tones and a hint of citrus that lingers on the palate. One of my first black loose teas.
Topics & Information
Black tea is the most consumed type of tea in the world. Tea overall is the second most consumed beverage in the world, with water as the first.
There is good reason the black type of tea is number one over its 3 cousins white, green, and oolong. It offers the most varieties and is the most preferred world-wide of the four types. It is also usually the cheapest despite being the most processed.
This tea makes a good breakfast tea as well as an afternoon treat, and is also commonly used to make iced tea. It is drunk all over the world, and in America, makes up for over 90 percent of consumed tea.
Like all tea, the black type comes from the same Camellia sinensis bush, and is best enjoyed when brewed by the whole leaf. Most Americans brew their black tea by tea bag and are not accustomed to the superior flavor of loose leaf brewing.
So where does this tea type come from?
The three main producing countries are, India, Sri Lanka, and China…
But believe it or not, most black varieties come from India! Most folks may think China since that country is the birth place of tea, but India’s hot climate and high mountains produce some of the worlds finest black teas.
There are two main types of Indian teas…
Assam Tea And Darjeeling Tea
Assam tea is the most productive tea out of India, and is the only type of tea in India that is grown at sea level. The high daytime temperatures, monsoon-like rainfalls, and extreme humidity make the perfect growing conditions for this malty-flavored beverage.
The tea plants in the Assam region of India are native, as are the tea plants found in China. It is believed these countries are the only two that have original species of Camellia.
A little higher up in the magnificent Himalayas, we meet the Darjeeling black teas. At these altitudes (above 4000 feet), fine black teas are grown. Some varieties of Darjeeling tea are also called the “champagne of tea” for they produce a liquor that is light, spicy-sweet, and smooth, which literally falls into its own category.
Seldom will you find a better variety of tea than Darjeeling!
I agree with the fact that Darjeeling is prized over all other black varieties. I’ll never forget my first sample.
However, this type of tea, unlike other black varieties does not fair so well with milk and is a better afternoon tea than a morning one. But that is just my opinion. I like a black tea that closely resembles coffee in the morning since that is what replaced coffee for me; Darjeeling falls short on those characteristics.
Sri Lanka (Ceylon) Tea
A small island off the coast of India, Sri Lanka is the world’s third largest tea producer, a majority of which is black tea.
There are many tea estates in Sri Lanka which are located at different elevations, this meaning, that one can expect different varieties and flavors of each.
The old name for Sri Lanka is Ceylon, the name now adapted when referring to the tea grown in this country.
Like the Assam region of India, Sri Lanka has perfect climate conditions for growing tea, and originally these conditions where used to grow coffee until a fungus destroyed all of the plants.
Chinese Black Varieties
China is the worlds largest producer of white tea, green tea, and oolong tea, but is a small producer of black.
This is not because the black varieties are bad, oh no, it’s just that the species of Camellia here yield better tasting green and white teas which are in higher demand, so very few tea masters fully oxidize their leaves to black.
However some leaves make it through and produce some fair black teas
Check out Adagio Teas for a nice selection of quality loose leaf black teas mentioned on this page. This online tea store remains one of the best tea shops on the net, provides helpful customer reviews, and excellent shipping times. Great for both newcomers and seasoned drinkers.
Green tea has great health benefits, but can I get any from drinking black tea?
The answer to that is yes!
This tea type offers practically the same health benefits as green. Drinking 3 cups or more a day can really help do wonders for your health.
It has less caffeine than coffee (about half) and is a greater immune system booster as well.
Plenty of research has been conducted on this type of tea, however since more research and news about green tea gets the spotlight, folks think that green is better.
Now while green tea being only minimally processed does get to keep more of its antioxidant properties over black type, these differences aren’t night and day.