How to prepare a good black tea?

How to prepare a good black tea?

Black tea is, without doubt, one of the best known tea varieties in the world! As each tea has its own specificities, it is important to know that the flavours will reveal themselves differently depending on the quality and the length of time the black tea is brewed. Find out how to prepare black tea in the best way. 



Black tea in a nutshell


All teas come from the same shrub cultivated since ancient times, the camellia sinensis. The leaves and buds of this tree are harvested and oxidised at different levels to produce white, green, black and oolong teas. The longer the tea leaves are allowed to oxidise, the darker the tea becomes. This is the case with black tea. This intense oxidation allows the leaves to withstand a longer infusion in boiling water. Other less oxidised teas, such as green tea, are more delicate and are prepared in water that does not reach boiling temperature. The production of black tea therefore follows a very specific process.



The brewing time of black tea


During the preparation of black tea, the tea leaves in contact with boiling water release powerful antioxidants, notably catechins. Depending on your preferences, you can adjust the brewing time of your black tea. It is recommended to use 2.5 grams of tea for 15 cl of hot water, or half a teaspoon of tea. If you like your drink bitter, you can add an extra half teaspoon. Black tea should steep in boiling water for three to five minutes, and up to seven minutes for a more intense flavour. If you prefer a lighter taste, simply reduce the brewing time of your black tea.



Pay attention to water quality


The quality of the water is the basis of a successful tea. Water that is too hard will affect the taste and aroma of your drink. Water that is too hot will degrade the tea leaves and reduce the benefits. Water that is too cold will not allow the flavours to be released. This is why the water temperature is also very important.



Avoid thermal shock

Tea leaves are very fragile and too many temperature variations can alter their quality. Therefore, it is best to avoid thermal shock. 



How to make a good black tea? The preparation stages


There are many ways to prepare black tea, but there are a few unchanging rules that will ensure a successful drink. Discover our method for preparing your tea. 

Heat water in a kettle to a temperature of between 80°C and 95°C. Avoid a hotter temperature as this could damage the leaves and flavour of the tea. On the other hand, a colder temperature will not allow the tea to brew properly. 

If your black tea is in a bag, pour the hot water into the cup containing the bag. If your black tea is loose, place the tea leaves in an infuser or tea ball. Then pour in your hot water. You need about 2.5 grams of tea leaves per 15cl of water.

Black tea requires a long infusion time. Between 2 and 4 minutes is generally recommended. For Oolong tea, 2 to 3 minutes is recommended, for Darjeeling or Earl Grey, 2 to 4 minutes will suffice, and for smoked black tea you can push the infusion time up to 7 minutes.


Good to know:

Loose tea releases its aromas more slowly than tea bags. For a more gourmet drink, you can add a touch of milk. Spiced teas will require a shorter brewing time due to their multiple flavours so that the bitterness of black tea does not take over.



Black tea and its flavours


Depending on the region in which it is grown, black tea can have a different flavour, ranging from bitter to slightly sweet. It can be punctuated by floral, fruity, nutty or even caramel notes. Note that there are flavoured teas, such as the famous Earl Grey, a black tea with bergamot that was born in England. 

To get the full flavour of black tea, the secret is to put more leaves in your cup and brew it at the right temperature.



Black tea and its virtues


Black tea leaves have many health benefits. They are said to have stimulating properties but also to be beneficial to digestion. Thanks to their richness in antioxidants, they also help to fight against the development of certain cardiovascular diseases and premature ageing of cells.



Kusmi Tea, an organic black tea & Made in France


Discover Kusmi Tea's organic black tea and flavoured black teas, a range of delicious flavours made in our workshops in Normandy. As part of our commitment to sustainable agriculture and a healthy lifestyle, all our products are certified organic. The label guarantees numerous quality controls and a pesticide-free product grown in an environmentally friendly manner.

Black tea can be enjoyed in different ways depending on the infusion time and the amount of leaves used. Once you have found the perfect match, you can prepare your black tea with other elements such as milk or sugar. 



Read also on the same theme :

What are the different varieties of black tea?

Can you drink black tea before going to sleep?

How to choose a quality black tea?

What does black tea taste like?

When should I drink black tea?