The Beginner’s Guide to Black Tea


Many of the bubble teas served at tea houses are made with a base of black tea. However, black tea is enjoyed on its own around the world, and this popular beverage comes in many flavors. Continue reading for an introduction to black tea.


Like green and white tea, black tea starts out as a leaf on the Camellia sinensis plant. How the leaves are prepared is what gives different types of tea their color, taste, and characteristics. To create black tea, the leaves are harvested and then prepared through withering, rolling, and fermenting. Unlike green and white teas, which are made with leaves that are not fermented or only lightly fermented, black tea leaves are completely fermented during the preparation process.


Black tea is incredibly popular in the West, and there is a huge range of black tea blends on the market. Among the most popular types of black tea that you might find on a menu at a cafe or tea house include earl grey, masala chai, Irish breakfast, and English breakfast. You can also find black tea varieties that are flavored with fruits, flowers, and spices such as passion fruit, peach, mango, ginger, jasmine, rose, cinnamon, and orange peel. Depending on the ingredients used and how the tea leaves are processed, black tea can have everything from fruity and floral flavors to ones that are earthy or smoky.


Black tea can also be classified by the region in which the tea is grown. While many tea blends use a mixture of tea leaves sourced from different parts of the world, some varieties are region specific. For example, Darjeeling tea comes from the Darjeeling area of India, Assam tea is grown in the Assam region of India, and Ceylon tea comes from Sri Lanka. Teas like these, which use leaves from one location, are referred to as single-origin teas.

At our tea house serving Houston, Happy TeaHouse & Café offers a broad selection of teas, bubble teas, snacks, and smoothies for you to enjoy. For more information, please give us a call at (713) 469-3275.