Black Loose Leaf Tea
Black loose leaf tea existed way before black tea bags came along. Tea bags were invented by Thomas Sullivan, a tea and coffee merchant from New York City in 1904. Black loose tea (and bagged black tea) is particularly well-suited to cut the "fatty intakes" that a typical western breakfast offers (e.g., fried eggs, sausage, buttered toast, etc.)
Varieties of Black Loose Leaf Tea
Here are a few common varieties of black teas:
- Assam: This tea comes from northeastern India. It's a deep colored and rich tea that creates a full-bodied cup.
- Ceylon: This tea originates from Sri Lanka and when not blended with other teas or essential oils, it's amongst the world's favorite tea. It makes a great iced tea too.
- Darjeeling: This tea is grown in plantations on the slopes of the Himalayan Mountains and is considered to be one of the finest teas on earth. It makes a bright golden red colored cup with a flowery aroma.
- Keemun: This Chinese black tea has tightly curled leaves and makes an excellent breakfast tea. It makes a full and strong, red-colored cup with a smoky aroma.
- Lapsong Souchong: This tea originates from South China. The leaves are smoked over pine woods, which creates a very smoky flavor.
- Pu'erh: Another tea from China. This tea has a very earthy and strong flavor created by allowing bacteria to enter the leaf. The leaves are buried in the ground where they age.
- Yunnan: This tea comes from southwestern China. Its long green leaves have golden tips and create a rich spicy taste with a hint of floral aroma. It makes a good iced tea and goes well with spicy food.
Here are some common "off-the-shelf" tea names that you will recognize. The black loose leaf tea version that you can buy is even better than the bagged version you may have grown accustomed to.
- English Breakfast: It's a blend of teas from India and Sri Lanka. English Breakfast is perfect if you like a full bodied flavor and it goes well with milk.
- Irish Breakfast: This blend contains more Assam and Sri Lanka teas than the English Breakfast blend, and as such, it is heartier. You can add milk and sugar for a different taste.
- Earl Grey: My favorite regular blend of black loose leaf tea. It contains bergamot essential oil whose strength varies from one supplier to the next. Delicious in the morning!
All of these are available through the tea supplier that is advertised on the right. I sincerely recommend them for their quality products and fast service. I'm one of their biggest customer because they provide delicious and fresh teas at a very reasonable price.
Test them for yourself and let me know if you disagree.
Health Benefits to Black Loose Leaf Tea
Are you having trouble getting rid of colds or other seasonal diseases? Perhaps your immune system could use a little help. Do you think that green tea is the only type of tea that can help you there?
Black tea can help you too! Theanine, an amino acid present in the tea plant boosts the disease-fighting capacity of gamma delta T cells.
In 2003, the Brigham and Women's Hospital released details of a research project comparing coffee and tea drinkers and the response of their immune system when fighting infection.
The results indicated that the tea drinkers had an anti-bacterial count up to five times higher than those who drank coffee. Go get another cup!
Learn more on black loose leaf tea. You can also visit the comfort food page for great recipes to enjoy at home while sipping that cup of tea.
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