We source the highest grade 100% organic speciality black teas from Darjeeling, Nepal, Assam, China, Africa and Ceylon. Blended and packed in England! Available as pyramid tea bags or loose leaf and in a selection of pack sizes for use at home or the perfect gift for a food lover in one of our luxury tea caddies. Learn about tea.

Learn about black tea:

Black tea benefits

What does black tea do for you and what is it good for: Most people consider black tea a different plant but is actually made from the same plant as green tea, called Camellia sinensis. The only real difference between black vs green tea is the way in which it is produced. Black tea is dried (or fermented) while green tea is steamed or quickly heated in a frying pan to stop it withering. Which means it has the same health benefits as green tea, these include a range of benefits linked to its high level of antioxidants, including extensive research in Japan about its anti-ageing properties. 

What is considered black tea: Any tea that is fermented or wholly dried in the manufacturing process. This is not limited to specific countries like India or Ceylon but rather how it is manufactured, even China produces black teas. Keemun is, for example, the first Chinese black tea still used in the best Earl Greys like we do in both our Prince of Earl Grey and Classique.

What are the different types of black tea: Unlike green tea, black tea leaves are graded on the size of the plant leaf and also the time of the year it is picked or plucked and produced. This usually is, First Flushes from Darjeeling or neighbouring Nepal: selected in early spring, Mid-season teas: in the summer months, Autumnal teas: end of summer or into Autumn depending on how warm the weather is.

Does black tea have any calories and can you drink black tea for weight loss: Yes, it is excellent for losing weight as it has no calories if drink black and only gets them from adding milk or sugar. Plus the real benefit is the caffeine helps your body burn fat faster.

How to drink black tea

Must you drink black tea with or without milk: It honestly all depends. Unlike green tea which is nearly always drunk without milk and sugar, black teas can be drunk in a variety of fashions. Generally the darker the brew, the better it is with milk so that lighter spring teas usually are best-drunk black while stronger summer Assam's are delicious with milk and sweeteners (if you really like your tea flavoured).

What is served at afternoon tea: Traditionally it has always been served with black tea and more speciality varieties like Earl Grey or Darjeeling. These are then accompanied by a selection of sandwiches, scones with jam and Victorian sponge cakes. Although this has become very fashionable in London over the last few years and the boundaries have really been tested at some of the best hotels in the city with a wide range of exotic teas, French champagne, a variety of cake and pastries. It seems like anything goes these days, albeit we're still a bit old-fashioned and classic, focusing on quality rather than extravagance!

How to make black tea in 5 easy steps: Black tea is generally one of the most accessible drinks to prepare. There are some exceptions like a first flush Darjeeling or rare teas from China, but usually, all you need to do is:

  • Heat the water. Place water in a kettle and heat to the boil or 200-212 degrees Fahrenheit or 95-98 degrees Celcius
  • Pre-heat a cup or teapot by pouring a little warm water into it (this ensures your tea stays warmer longer). Not essential but if you have the time its worth it!
  • Use one teaspoon tea leaves per serving and 200 ml of water, place the leave in the cup or teapot and pour the water over
  • Wait 2-3 minutes for the tea to steep and release the flavours. If you prefer your tea stronger, add more leaves but don't over infuse. If done correctly you will get 2 good cups from the same leaves
  • Strain out the leaves, pour in your cup and add a dash of milk if desired.

Earl Grey Tea side effects

Does earl grey tea have any known side effects: even though it is an entirely natural product, like all foods if consumed in excess this can cause side-effects, albeit rarely is the case; this may not be the tea itself but rather how it has been drunk. For example, by consuming too much sugar in your diet, you run the risk of gaining weight or at worse over time, more severe health conditions like the increased risk of developing some forms of diabetes.

How can earl grey tea cause liver damage: It is not often that caffeine has been found to have significant health benefits, but a new study found a link between caffeine intake and a reduced frequency of developing liver damage. The study surveyed nearly 6,000 people considered high risk of developing liver disease from excessive drinking or obesity - the subjects reported how much coffee or tea or caffeinated soft drinks they consumed and those who drank more significant quantities of caffeinated beverages were less likely to develop liver disease.

What are the known adverse side effects of bergamot used in earl grey tea: Italian organic bergamot oil brings a distinctive citrus flavour to all our Earl Grey teas, and while in our case, it is used purely for culinary purposes in to has other uses - in perfumes and cosmetics. Aromatherapy uses the oil to relieve anxiety, depression and tension and it is used for lotions and body oils for its calming aroma and anti-inflammatory effects. The main ingredient in the oil is bergapten, which can in some rare cases produce an allergic reaction - it causes a skin irritation which can make your skin turn red. Fortunately, this is only temporary and is quickly reversed when you stop ingesting this.

Earl Grey tea caffeine

Is there caffeine in Earl Grey Tea: Yes, there is caffeine in all types of tea. Most regular tea drinkers in England enjoy some form of breakfast tea as an alternative to coffee to kick-start their day, but actually Earl Gray (American) probably has as much caffeine in it.

How much caffeine is there really in tea vs coffee: According to research by the Mayo Clinic, black teas has 25-48 mg of caffeine in a standard 8 oz cup of brewed tea vs green tea 25-29 mg. However, the fact that a cup of black tea uses more tea leaves (weighing more) than an equivalent serving of green tea, actually means that gram per gram they contain the same amount of caffeine - both are still a much healthier alternative to coffee that on average has 95-160 mg per cup.

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