When it’s cold outside, it makes sense that you’ll want to warm up with a cup of something hot; but sometimes you don’t want coffee or hot chocolate. So what do you do? You’ll probably reach for your favorite glass teapot infuser or tea kettle, fill it with water, and put your favorite type of tea in a mug. However, what do you do when you’re tired of the same old green tea or other varieties? Have you ever tried black teas or other black tea recipes?
If you’re an avid tea drinker, you probably have. However, if you are unfamiliar with black teas, or tea in general, you may be wondering, “What is black tea?” Well, you’re in the right place, because we’re going to talk to you about black tea. By the end of this article, we are confident that you’ll be more than willing to give black teas a shot!
Black tea is just one type of tea. There are four types of tea that come from the Camellia Senesis plant. These types of tea are:
Of all the tea that is drunk in the world, black teas are one of the most popular. These teas are made by oxidizing the tea leaf, meaning they go through a drying process that allows them to wilt and get brown after they’ve been harvested. During the oxidation process, two compounds are formed: theaflavins and thearubigins, which give your tea it’s distinct flavor and color. Some even believe these two compounds could be credited to some health benefits as well.
You may have thought to yourself, “Does black tea have caffeine in it?” Perhaps you even wondered how much caffeine is in black tea. Well, of course, there is caffeine in black tea—even if you want decaffeinated black tea! There is about 2 to 4% (14 to 61mg of caffeine per 8 ounces, whereas brewed coffee, contains 95 to 200mg caffeine per 8 ounces) caffeine in black tea. This means you can expect to feel caffeine related effects like being more alert, urinating more frequently, and your thought processes may be a little clearer.
If you ask us, frequent urination is a fair trade off for the health benefits drinking black teas. Speaking health benefits, let’s discuss them now!
If you’re trying to stay healthy and make a valiant effort of understanding the effects the food and drink you put into your body, then you might be thinking to yourself, “What is black tea good for?” It’s good for a lot of things!
For one thing, according to a British study, if you brew your black tea at a low temperature (around 90°C, or 194°F), you are increasing the release of antioxidants from the tea. These antioxidants, called flavonoids are credited to some things such as:
With so many great benefits of drinking black tea, you might be wondering if it is safe to drink black tea during pregnancy. To that, we say yes, you can drink black tea while you’re pregnant, but you should exceed three cups in one day. The caffeine in the tea could increase the risk of a miscarriage and increased risks of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Other side effects that could happen to your child after it's born to include caffeine withdrawal and low birth weight.
Also, if you are breastfeeding your baby, you will want to refrain from drinking more than three cups of tea per day because the caffeine your child will ingest through your breastmilk could cause them to become more irritable and have more frequent bowel movements.
If you’re wanting a tea with a full-bodied, rich flavor with a little bit of caffeine, then black teas are an awesome option. However, when you’re going for that third mug of tea, you might be wondering if you should be worried about if there are any black tea side effects, sort of like what you may expect with drinking too much coffee.
Well, WebMD states that there are some possible side effects associated with drinking more than five cups of black tea—especially if it contains more than 10 grams of caffeine. This amount of caffeine is credited to severe side effects and possibly even death!
So, what are the possible side effects?
With so many negative side effects, you may think that you shouldn’t even think about touching black tea, right? Well, as with anything good in life, the key is moderation! If you drink more than five cups of black tea, you could experience some of these side effects, and you may not. It depends on how your body reacts to the caffeine, which is the primary route of all of these side effects.
Trying to stay healthy in a world that is over-saturated with sugary beverages can be a challenge. You could purchase black teas that are available in your convenience stores, but those too are filled with sugar, preservatives, and other stuff that may not be the greatest for you.
If you want to reap all the benefits that black teas have to offer, then your best bet would be to brew some of your own. Just remember, you don’t want to exceed 40 ounces of tea per day, lest you start experiencing any of those not-so-pleasant side effects!