China Black Tea

China is a major tea producing country in the world. Drinking tea after a meal is a common culture prevailing in China since times immemorial. So important is this ritual that an old Chinese saying conveys that one would stay without salt for three days rather than staying without tea for one day. "cha", meaning tea has evolved from the word China and also exists in many Asian countries, though with a slight twist.

"Cha Dao", an important ceremony in Chinese culture means the art of tea making and is said to have traveled to Japan. Tea houses are found dotted all over the villages and towns of China, where it is customary for the elderly and the locals to meet regularly for a cup of tea.

China is famous for cultivating a variety of teas like black tea, compressed tea, Wu long tea, scented tea and green tea. A vast chunk of the country is assigned for tea plantations, so vast that China is called the homeland of tea.

China black tea also known as "Hong Cha" or "Congous", (Chinese terms) comes from the plant Camellia Sinensis. It has a caffeine content of about 3%, highest among all the other tea varieties. Being an integral part of the famous English breakfast, black tea is a major exported tea variety from China. Earlier the Chinese presumed that black tea lacked in quality and started surplus export of black tea.

Today china black tea has come a long way and is a favorite beverage of tea drinkers all over the world. Black tea of china comes in many varieties and categorized on the basis of the province from where it is grown. Making of black tea is a long and interesting process.

Plucked leaves of the plant are allowed to dry. The dried leaves are rolled for the remaining sap or moisture to get coated to the surface of the leaves. This sap contains the health promoting anti oxidants namely the tannins or polyphenols. The rolled leaves are exposed to air for oxidation and fermentation during which the polyphenols oxidize to form theaflavins which impart a dark brown color to the leaves. The leaves are further dried under extreme conditions when they acquire the characteristic black color and

is the China black tea.

China black tea has a unique aroma, strong flavor and a good shelf life. It is found to have many cardiovascular disease fighting qualities like reducing blood clots, repairing blood vessels and lowering cholesterol.

Studies in China have pointed out that the polysaccharide levels of black tea are helpful in fighting diabetes. In the near future, China black tea might prove to be a powerful weapon in managing diabetes.