Plain black tea is the most-processed of all tea types. Known to be heart-healthy, it contains virtually no calories, protein, sodium, or fat. Black tea does, however, contain antioxidants called polyphenols, whose properties are said to be even more effective than those in green tea.
The amino acid L-theanine, found almost exclusively in tea, alters the attention networks of the brain. Studies have found that theanine crosses the blood-brain barrier, where it increases alpha brain-wave activity. Working in conjunction with caffeine found in black tea, theanine results in a calmer, yet more alert, state of mind.
Our orthodox black teas are carefully selected from tea plantations in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and China.
Tea from India
Two thousand tea plantations are farmed in Assam, a tropical northern district which grows about half of all Indian tea. Assams are typically the strongest teas made. Darjeeling, on the southern slopes of the Himalayan Mountains, yields the most exquisite teas in the world. At altitudes up to 8,000 feet, the heavy mists produce a more flowery tea than Assams. And the mountain district of Nilgiri (southern India) produces brisk, fragrant teas which do well with
spices and milk.
Tea from Nepal
Bordering the Darjeeling district of northern India is an organic tea farm in the Himilayan Mountains of eastern Nepal, where our newest orthodox tea is grown. At altitudes of 3,300 to 7,300 feet above sea level, this is one of the highest-altitude tea estates in the world. Some of the tea plots are located in extremely remote areas with Mount Everest and Mount Makalu providing the crystal-clear air and mountain mists, giving this tea its unique muscatel flavor.
Tea from Sri Lanka
About the size of Ireland, Sri Lanka grows tea still known by the island’s former name, Ceylon. Admired for its distinctive aroma and golden cup, Ceylon is categorized by the altitude at which it is grown: high-, middle- or low-grown.
Tea from China
China is the ancient birthplace of tea and now produces well over a thousand varieties. China names their teas not for the tea gardens, but for flowers or legends of the tea leaf. Mao Zhen is “hair needle.” “Golden Monkey” was said to have been plucked by trained monkeys. Many of the other tea-growing countries have cloned Chinese tea plants to start their newer plantations.
The finest flavored black teas are those which allow you to taste the tea as well as the flavor at the same time. These make excellent iced tea, as well as hot, and are full-bodied. Most of our favorite flavored black teas are blended in-house, at Cottage Garden Teas. Our repertoire of flavors and inclusions is extensive, so we have been able to create some complex, exotic blends of which we are extremely proud. Trained under the tutelage of expert mentors in the tea-blending world, we’ve discovered that one of our favorite endeavors in the tea business is the creative blending process! If you don’t see the tea you imagine here on the Cottage Garden Teas menu, call to inquire! It’s possible your blending wish could be our next new flavor!