Though caffeinated drinks are often discouraged by dieticians, a perfect cup of black tea with its huge host of health benefits makes it an ideal part of the routine of most people. The benefits of black tea are due to its unique properties that are yielded to it by the overall fermentation and oxidation process that it goes through.
Though black tea should be consumed without any additives like sugar and milk to reap its benefits in the best manner, even having it with them has few health benefits.
It must be noted that the benefits of black tea are different from green tea even though they are obtained from the same Camellia Sinensis plant. The difference in taste, color, and its nutrient composition is due to the difference in the processing methods. While green tea leaves go through least amount of fermentation and oxidation (which lets the processed tea leaves remain green), black tea goes through complete oxidation (which turns the green leaves into brownish-black)
Black tea is dried and crushed and this allows the action of enzymes to become rapid. These enzymes present in green leaves convert catechins (which are present in huge quantity in green leaves) to complex forms known as theaflavins and thearubigens. The process leads to conversion of catechins into tannins which are responsible for the color and flavor of black tea.
Below are the few well-known benefits of black tea:
1. Black tea for dental health
Black tea is rich in polyphenols and various studies and research have found out about the role of polyphenols in maintaining good dental health. This happens as they reduce the formation of plaque and restricts the growth of bacteria that is known to cause tooth decay and cavities. These polyphenols are capable of killing such bacteria that cause the sticky materials and sugary stuff to bind to our teeth leading to tooth decay. Hence, the benefit of black tea definitely extends to maintaining good oral health.
2. Black tea for health of the heart
Daily tea consumption of tea is known to lower the risk of having a heart attack and to improve the chances of surviving after having a heart attack. While there are reports that strongly support for black tea’s potential to contribute to heart health, even green tea has its own benefits for the heart.
The difference between the impact of green tea and black tea on the heart’s health also lies in their chemical composition. Most of the polyphenols that are present in green tea are in the form of flavonoids. These falavanoids are specifically known as catechins. Catechins are chemicals responsible for green tea’s heart-healthy properties.
On the other hand, black tea does not have as many polyphenols as its green counterpart. But they have a unique set of compounds called tannins. The changes in its polyphenols during the oxidation process produce a set of tannins that have their own heart-health benefits. The polyphenols and manganese present in black tea reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases by helping the cardiac muscle function. According to Boston’s School of Medicine, it even reverses the abnormal functioning of blood vessels responsible for strokes and other cardiovascular conditions.
3. Black Tea for controlling cholesterol levels
There was a study conducted by American Heart Association in New Orleans to understand how drinking black tea affects the bad cholesterol levels of people who consume them. The bad cholesterol is responsible for heart strokes and fatal attacks. The study concluded that the people who drink 3 to 4 cups of black tea every day are at a lower risk for heart problems than those who consume minimal amounts or no tea at all.
Black tea is also known to be effective in decreasing the level of triglycerides. It can reduce the LDL or bad cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. Drinking several cups of black tea also improves the overall functioning of the arteries as components present in black tea do not allow cholesterol to build up inside them. The overall boost in body’s antioxidant levels is also beneficial in reducing cholesterol levels.
4. Black tea for preventing cancer
The catechins and polyphenols present in black tea are known to prevent some forms of cancer. They block the DNA associated with tobacco and other toxic chemicals. It is also known to prevent breast cancer in women who are in pre-menopausal phase by raising the globulin hormones. The chances of ovarian cancer are also reduced as black tea prevents the growth of cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cells. The component the theaflavins play an important role in preventing the damage done by harmful cells by destroying them.
Other study conducted over 58000 men explored the effects of black tea on prostate cancer and concluded that the chances of developing early stage prostate cancer were heavily reduced.
Polyphenols present in black tea prevent the formation of harmful carcinogens in body and TF-2 specifically helps in undergoing apoptosis (a process which kills cancer cells while keeping the normal cells in their original state). In this way, black tea prevents the formation of malignant tumors.
5. Black tea for preventing diabetes
Studies have revealed that people who have black tea regularly (about one or two cups every day) have 70 percent lower chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when there is insulin resistance in the body and black tea helps by increasing overall insulin sensitivity. Also, high blood pressure is harmful to anyone with diabetes as it increases the overall risk. Here, tea plays an important role in regulating blood pressure. Another great advantage of drinking black tea is that blocks the enzyme that turns starch into glucose and slows down the overall absorption of sugar in the small intestine.
6. Black tea for digestion and relieving upset stomach
Black tea is rich in tannins and other chemical compounds that have a positive and relaxing effect on the digestive system of the human body. These tannins present in black tea also have a helpful astringent effect on the intestinal lining. This helps in calming inflammation in the intestines and get the diarrhea under control. These anti-inflammatory qualities of black tea are also helpful for curing digestive disorders and relieving an upset stomach.
The polyphenol compounds and tannins have the ability to inhibit some types of bacteria which are harmful to our gut’s health. In addition, the non-polymeric phenolic compounds are absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and they make these bacteria-killing components of black tea orally active so that they can help in getting rid of harmful bacteria quickly.
7. Black tea for managing stress levels
Relief from stress is one of the best benefits of black tea. While coffee is known for getting some people a little too energetic due to its high caffeine content, tea is a more balanced caffeine source as its caffeine levels are relatively low as compared to coffee.
It is also a relaxation beverage that can work as an overall stress reliever. Some research and studies have found out that black tea can helps its drinkers recover from daily stress in life by lowering the stress hormone cortisol.
However, it is not just the caffeine content that is responsible for relief from stress, but rather the overall composition of black tea with all its other compounds that create a positive impact. This was found through a study in which 75 healthy male tea drinkers with an average age of 33 were split into two groups. For six weeks, one group consumed a fruit-flavored caffeinated black tea mixture containing the active ingredients as found in a cup of tea while the other group drank a beverage that tasted the same and had the same level of caffeine yet did not contain any other active tea components.
The subjects then underwent stress-inducing situations similar to what experience in their daily life while the researchers kept a track of their stress hormones and blood pressure levels.
It was found that the tasks were stress-inducing according to all of the monitored health variables, yet 50 minutes after the stressor took place, the real black tea drinking group experienced a lowering of their cortisol levels that were significantly lower in comparison to the fake black tea drinkers.
The real black tea consumers also felt a sense of relaxation after the stressful event as compared to the fake group. The study also revealed that the black tea drinkers had lower blood platelet activation which is useful for heart’s health and preventing a heart attack.
The low amounts of caffeine (as compared to coffee) promote the blood flow in the brain, without stimulating the heart, and improve mental alertness and concentration. L-theanine, an amino acid found in black tea helps you relax and concentrate fully on the tasks at hand.
The caffeine in black tea is also known to boost memory and help in preventing Parkinson’s disease.
Where can I get black tea?
Teakruthi has a wide range of pure Ceylon black teas to choose from. They are different based on the location where they are harvested from and their processing which yields them varying levels of strength. They are also different from each other based on the tea grades.
Black Tea available at Teakruthi and their tea grades
Broken Orange Pekoe One (BOP1)
At teakruthi, Colonial Mornings Pure Ceylon Black Tea (Rainforest Alliance Certified and UTZ Certified) is available as BOP1 tea. This hand-plucked, hand-crafted blend originates from the Dimbulla region, one of Sri Lanka’s oldest plantation regions founded by English colonial traders. Sweet, spicy, strong flavors and a lingering perfume aroma leaves you feeling refreshed with a general sense of well-being. Our Colonial Mornings blend is crafted from leaves cultivated at high altitudes, giving it a medium to full body with slightly fruity, mineral notes and an appearance that is reddish-amber in color. It is aromatic and floral with a fresh an clean flavor that makes for the perfect breakfast indulgence.
Southern Malt (Black Tea) is another BOP1 tea grade tea available at Teakruthi. This low grown tea has been hand-plucked from the southern part of Sri Lanka, where the unique composition of the soil makes it particularly special in taste and color. This blend is considered one of finest broken teas. Its rare, refined quality has made this tea a favorite in Russia and Germany. So, what makes Southern Malt so special? This is a full-bodied tea has a malty, fresh flavor unlike any other tea. The southern soil of Sri Lanka nourished the leaves and gave them their black color and brought strength to the cup. Its beautiful copper color mirrors its taste in richness.
Royal Midlands (Black Tea) is also BOP1 tea grade. This medium grown blend is malty, fresh, slightly tart, and strong. For this Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP) grade tea, we use a wiry, medium-length leaf that provides this blend its malty flavor. The leaves are plucked from our plantations in Kandy, the ancient capital of Sri Lankan royalty. Kandy is situated at 2,000–4,000ft above sea level and is today known for its mid-grown teas recognized for its bright infusion and coppery tone. Although appearing light in the cup (dark gold,) Royal Midlands offers strength and body for a flavorful tasting experience.
Broken Pekoe One (BP1)
Pure Rainforest Indulgence Ceylon Black Tea is a low grown full-bodied blend that is hand-plucked from the shade of the Sinharaja Rainforest in Sri Lanka. Made from the highest quality leaves, Rainforest Indulgence offers a unique flavor. Rather than hand-rolling to bruise the leaf and introduce oxidation, this tea was produced by a modern mechanical process that instead of tears the leaf. Only limited amounts of Broken Pekoe (BP) grade Ceylon tea is produced, so this tea is truly a special morning treat. This strong tea is reddish orange in color.
Orange Pekoe (OP)
This grade of Wild Monsson Ceylon black tea is harvested from our Wild Monsoon blend from the Southern province of Sri Lanka in the Ruhuna tea district. This tea grows in an area nourished by high humidity and monsoon season and surrounded by diverse wildlife. The forests of Ruhuna are home to elephants, leopards, bears, wild boar, deer, giant flamingos, and of course, the finest teas. The area is teeming with life; it is never dull. Dark gold in color, this tea is mild, malty, and fine, and delivers to your pallet a lively flavor that tastes like an adventure.