What Black Tea Tastes Like
Black tea is not a monolith. It may be universally adored, but it is not universally flavored. There is a wide scope of nuance in the world of black tea, and each variety has its own special flair. For instance, Assam is bold and malty, Darjeeling can be light and fruity, and Lapsang Souchong has a distinctive smokiness.
Some generalizations can be made, however. Because it is oxidized longer, black tea is bolder, darker, and more tannic than its green and white counterparts. You may commonly hear black teas described as “strong,” or “full-bodied,” but rarely as “delicate,” or “subtle.”
Black teas are highly caffeinated, with striking flavors, which makes them ideally suited for breakfast tea! (Although a nice black tea is lovely any time of day, depending on your caffeine tolerance.)
Because of the higher tannins and caffeine levels, the length of your steep can really affect the flavor of your tea. A longer steep (and certainly an over-steep) can lead to a bitter finish or an acerbic quality that can make or break the tea for different people.
I personally stick to the barest minimum steep in a black tea, but I have friends who soak those leaves for as long as possible because they love that tannic bite!
Black Tea Blends: What’s Your Style?
If there’s a wide variety in the types of black tea leaves themselves, then there is a virtually limitless array of options when it comes to flavored black tea blends. Once you start adding other flavors to the mix, the world is your black tea oyster!
So the choice is up to you: do you prefer nutty teas or floral? Berry-centric or citrus-bound? Do you like a sweet tea that could double as a dessert or a simple blend that allows the natural flavor of the tea to shine?
It’s the best kind of choose-your-own-adventure.
Fruity Black Teas
If fruity teas are what you crave, you have no shortage of options!
Smooth Sailing Mango adds a tropical twist to a delicious citrusy Ceylon tea!
Peaches n’ Cream oolong tea incorporates peach and vanilla essence to black and oolong teas studded with apple and apricot pieces for a creamy, dreamy blend that is amazing hot or cold.
Gratitude Blend is a strawberry Earl Grey that never fails to delight. A base of Ceylon with a hint of vanilla provides a lush body, while strawberry pieces and strawberry essence enhance the classic bergamot and orange peel of Earl Grey.
Enjoy it all for yourself or gift a package to a friend who could use a little something extra to be grateful for!
Huckleberry Happiness is sure to be a hit with berry-lovers! Crisp Ceylon is complemented by a medley of berries, including blueberries, elderberries, Aronia berries, black currants, and huckleberry essence, with just a hint of hibiscus for a little something extra. Happiness, indeed!
Floral Black Tea
Floral black teas are a personal favorite of mine! If you can relate, your new favorite tea just might be listed below.
Reading Nook is an exquisite blend of lavender, rose, and chamomile beautifully offset by a splash of creamy vanilla. It is complex, soothing, and elegant. Liquid perfection.
Royal Wedding showcases fresh lemon peel, elderflower, and a hint of sweet almond. The blend is reminiscent of a rich and decadent lemon buttercream frosting but without the guilt!
Delightful Morning is a lavender Earl Grey that will start your day off right every time! It’s a lavender Earl Grey…need I say more?
Portland Rose City Chai is a unique blend inspired by an equally unique city. Featuring Oregon rose petals, blackberry essence, almond, lemongrass, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger, this chai is intricate, playful, and in a class all its own!
Spicy Black Tea
There’s nothing like a cup of spiced black tea to make the world seem like a better place.
Apple Cinnamon Warmth is the classic “hug in a mug,” that brings to mind cozy times and warmly spiced desserts shared with the ones you love most. A base of black tea is augmented by cinnamon chips, apple pieces, orange blossom, and cinnamon and apple essences.
Add a sprinkling of vanilla sugar dust or your favorite sweetener and feel the warmth of its proverbial embrace with every sip!
Full Moon Chai is a vanilla butternut masala chai loaded with classic chai spices. Cardamom, ginger, clove, and cinnamon bark are balanced by a splash of vanilla butternut extract, providing extra depth and warmth. It’s wonderful on its own, with a drizzle of honey, or as a latte!
The Spice of Life blend is a hot cinnamon-spiced tea that will warm you up from the inside out! Spicy cinnamon chips team up with clove for a definite kick, enhanced by cinnamon essence and slightly mellowed by the addition of orange peel.
If you've never had black tea before, you'll quickly fall in love if you're a fan of bold flavors that can hold up to your morning cuppa joe. Black teas take very well to any additions you throw at them, like milk, cream, or sweetener, unlike more delicate teas.
And if you're new to tea altogether, you might want to document your tea-tasting journey so you can keep track of your favorites! Check out our post on tea journaling with our Tea Moments journal.