What is Black Tea?

What is Black Tea?

Black tea is made from the leaves of a bush called Camellia sinensis. It has caffeine as well as other stimulants and antioxidants. You can drink it either hot or cold. Aside from water, black tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the world.

A process called oxidation turns the leaves from green to a dark brownish-black colour and richer flavour compared to green tea. 

L-theanine, one of the natural substances in tea, has been found to have a relaxing effect on the mind and reduce anxiety. Fun fact: L-theanine also sharpens your concentration and boosts memory, without making you sleepy or giving you those caffeine lows you often get from drinking a cup of coffee. A study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking black tea can increase metabolism by 6 percent. 

Black tea also offers a variety of health benefits because it contains antioxidants and compounds that can help reduce inflammation in the body and support healthy immune function.

Studies funded by the Tea Trade Health Research Association suggest that black tea reduces plaque formation as well as restricts bacteria growth that promotes the formation of cavities and tooth decays.

Black tea contains alkylamine antigens that help boost our immune response. In addition, it also contains tannins that have the ability to fight viruses and hence keep us protected from influenza, stomach flu and other such commonly found viruses.

Black Tea Benefits

Many people drink black tea just because they like it. People also may use it for:

  • Alertness and energy
  • Antioxidants, including polyphenols and catechins
  • Possible anti-cancer effects
  • Heart health
  • Improved metabolism
  • Gut health

However, you don’t have to merely drink black tea to benefit from its healthy properties. It can be steamed, cooled and then pressed on minor cuts, scrapes and bruises to relieve pain and reduce swelling. A black tea bath can also ease inflammation caused by skin rashes and conditions such as poison ivy.


1. 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Black Tea by Autumn Enloe, MS, RD, LD - Medically reviewed by Imashi Fernado, MS, RDN. Updated on June 7, 2022

2. Black Tea by Kelli Miller - Medically Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on September 2, 2020

3. The Hidden Health Benefits of Tea by Penn Medicine, March 4, 2022

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