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What is really important when making black tea? Here at friends of tea, you’ll learn everything you need for your perfect black tea experience!

For a delicious tea, three things are essential: the tea leaves, the water and most importantly, yourself! Because for your perfect tea you have to keep an eye on quantity, drawing time and of course also the water temperature.

The perfect amount

For strong varieties such as Assam, 12 g of tea per litre of water is an ideal amount. Do you prefer your tea a little softer, then try it with 10 g of tea!

You can also prepare particularly high-quality black teas with the Chinese Gong Fu Cha method, for which you can best take a Chinese Gaiwan or a small clay. For the dosage of Gong Fu Cha we recommend 4g black tea leaves per 100 ml of water. Our Imperial Black!

Imperial Black tea from Nepal
Our Imperial Black Black Tea from Nepal

The ideal drawing time of black tea

Many black teas often suffer from the problem that they become extremely bitter when drawing too long. Our black teas are rather soft due to their loving production and contain little bitter substances, which is why we like to let our tea draw a little longer. As a rule of thumb, 3 minutes should be ideal for most teas. Do you like it a little softer? Then go down to 2 or even 1 minute with the drawing time, so you get a more pleasant drink, which is sweeter and softer.

Depending on how you like your black tea, you can orientate yourself on these drawing times:

  • 4 minutes very strong, intense
  • 3 minutes rather stronger
  • 2 minutes balanced and balanced
  • 1 minute gentle and delicate, very delicate, thin

The right temperature for black tea

Now it’s hot! Even if you’re more of the cool guy, it’s best if you pour your black tea with boiling hot water. So you get everything out of the rich tea leaves.

For some black teas, however, it may also be worthwhile to use a lower water temperature. Especially with fruity black teas or particularly bitter varieties, a lower water temperature can be worthwhile. A temperature of 80-90 degrees Celsius is recommended here.

Tea Production Darjeeling Black Tea Glenburn
Darjeeling First Flush, the champagne among the teas.

What black teas are there?

For many, black tea is simply too bitter or too strong. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Because the dark drink from Asia can also have a completely different, delicate side. The origin of the teas is decisive for the taste.

Black teas from India or Sri Lanka (Ceylon) are usually intense and strong. Especially tea from Assam has it neatly in itself. The tea plants in Assam or Sri Lanka are usually very robust and result in a racy and strong drink. In addition, the tea leaves of this variety are often very small and fine. Since tea leaf has more surface and thus releases bitter substances to the water faster.

Chinese black teas from China are already much milder and gentler. A classic among Chinese black teas is the Keemun: an intense, chocolatey tea with little bitterness. Fun fact: Black tea is referred to in China as hong cha, which literally means “red tea”. This is because most black teas have a rather reddish cup color. The teas from Yunnanare distinguished from the rest of the Chinese black teas, which have their own character.

Black tea has also recently been produced in Japan. Actually, the land of the Rising Sun is better known for its green teas. However, some tea farms are now experimenting with the production of black tea. With great success. Japanese black tea is still a small rarity, but who knows, maybe black tea will soon be the next big thing.

Here is a small table with known rinds and their characteristics.

AssamVery strong, malty
CeylonMedium to strong, light citrus notes
DarjeelingFlowery and soft, light
China Black TeaMostly intense with little bitter substances
Yunnan Black TeaCrower, between Assam and China Black Tea
Japan Black TeaSmooth, soft, exotic

Milk, sugar or lemon – allowed or a faux pas?

Many tea drinkers like to enjoy their tea with a dash of milk, some lemon or add a spoonful of sugar or honey. This originated with the British. These like to drink extremely strong and intense black teas, which can often be quite bitter. An addition like milk makes the bitterness much more bearable.

For many tea professionals, adding milk or lemon is more than frowned upon. Finally, the tea should be perceived alone with all its nuances and aromas. But we find: is allowed what tastes! Of course, you can taste more from a tea if you drink it pure. But adding milk, honey or the like is by no means bad. Tastes are something purely subjective and if you like to drink your tea like that, there is absolutely nothing bad about it. 🙂


Storage of black tea

There are four things to avoid when storing black tea: light, heat, moisture and too much air. Tea should therefore not be stored in glass containers. Due to the sun’s rays, the tea leaves fade and the aroma evaporates. Also, the leaves should be airtight, ideally in a resealable bag or a dense tea can. The product should also be protected from moisture.


Fancy a cup of tea?

With us in the shop you will find great black teas from India and Nepal. All sustainably grown and fair traded. We look forward to your visit! 🙂