Most people are familiar with Black tea – and we’re used to see it in bags called: English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Chai, Red Rose, and Orange Pekoe. They are all names that comes to mind when thinking of Black tea. Mostly its rich dark, full bodied and often needs milk or sugar or lemon to drink it with.
It is all those thing but it is so much more. It comes in many more different grades than just the dust or fannings we see in bagged tea. See the glossary here on this site to see what I mean.
What makes Black tea black? Oxidation. Leaves are withered loosing much of their moisture. Then they are rolled and shaped and allowed to oxidize or darken. Much like a cut apple.
The three largest producers, about 70% of world, comes out of India, Kenya and Sri Lanka. Argentina is the largest producer of a black tea used in Ice teas in the USA.