Black Tea is the most commonly consumed Tea with its identifying trait being its darker colour. The process involved in the production of Black Tea post harvest is allowing the shoots to wither, ferment and then dry. Fermentation is the most critical step. It is necessary for specific chemicals and biochemical changes in order to effect the aroma and the taste of this Tea. The fermentation process is not carried out by using microbes, but by the use of the enzymes already present within the Tea leaves themselves. At the end of the fermentation process, the colour changes from green to coppery red and brings the pleasant character associated with this Tea. During the fermentation process, some chemical compounds such as Amino Acid and Catechins are oxidized. The volatile compound is produced resulting in its flowery and sweet flavours.
The fermentation process decreases the tannin compounds from 20% to 10-12% and subsequently decreases the bitterness and astringency. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Black Tea contains antioxidant compounds theaflavins at a level higher (5.27 mg / 100g) than that found in Green Tea (0.08 mg / 100g). These antioxidant compounds in Black Tea allow it to offer many health benefits, improving memory, learning abilities, mood and decrease inflammation and improve the gut’s health.