Black Tea Info


Browse all Teavana Black Teas.


Black tea is a fully fermented variety of tea that comes from the same Camellia sinensis plant that oolong and green teas are made from.  The process of making loose black tea involves withering then rolling of the tea leaves followed by a long period of fermentation.  Then the black tea leaves are fired resulting in a loose leaf black tea with a complex yet recognizable smell and full-bodies, strong flavor. 

History of Black Tea

No one is certain exactly when and where black tea was invented, but there are two stories that may explain the first discovery of black tea.  The “Wuyi” theory, thought to be one theory about the creation of oolong tea, is also significant in Chinese black tea history.  Compressed tea cakes had been made in the Wuyi Mountains since the Song Dynasty.  When the emperor of the Ming Dynasty demanded a shift to loose leaf tea production, the tea producers made several attempts at making premium loose leaf teas.  During this new process, tea leaves would turn red as a sign of fermentation. Because of the red color of the tea leaves, black tea was readily known as red tea in China (not to be confused with rooibos red tea).


Another story of black tea’s invention takes place in the Chinese village of Tong Mu.  Sometime during the 16th century, army soldiers passing through Tong Mu village temporarily stopped production of green tea. The soldiers made beds out of piles of tea leaves and when they finally left the village, the tea leaves had turned black. Tea processing was resumed with these black tea leaves and a new kind of loose tea was born.

The Best Black Teas

One of the best black teas is Golden Monkey Black Tea. This loose leaf black tea was chosen by the White House to serve at the State Dinner on January 19, 2011 during a visit by the President of China. Black Dragon Pearl Black Tea is another one of the best black teas; this hand-rolled pearl tea is from the Yunnan province of China.


Many flavored varieties of loose black teas have become very popular, such as our Cacao Mint Black Tea . Refreshing peppermint compliments creamy cocoa pieces in this rich dessert-like treat. Another favorite in our flavored black teas is Earl Grey Crème Black Tea. It's a rich combination of the classic loose Earl Grey black tea with flavors of creamy vanilla blended with sunny yellow marigold petals.


Last, pu-erh teas are premium black teas aged in caves for up to 15 years.  Pu-erh teas have a smooth and earthy flavor.  View all Teavana Black Teas.

Black Tea Preparation

Making loose leaf black teas tea usually requires hot water at 195º, 1.5 tsp of loose tea per 8 oz of water and steep time of 3-4 minutes.  Each of Teavana’s loose leaf black teas will come with specific preparation instructions, including the amount of tea to use per 8 oz. of water, at what temperature the water should be, and how long the tea must steep before it is ready.  Please refer to the individual tea package for the exact instructions on how to make the best cup of premium black tea.

Black Tea Info