Collection: Black Tea

Black tea is made from leaves that have been fully oxidized, producing a rich and hearty flavor in amber-colored liquor. It is the oxidation process—oxygen coming into contact with the enzymes in the tea leaf—that creates black tea. Black teas have a fuller and richer flavor than unprocessed green teas.

The traditional “orthodox” method of processing black tea involves four basic steps: Withering, Rolling, Oxidation and Drying or Firing. Once plucked, the tea leaves are first withered until they are limp enough to be rolled without cracking. They are then rolled by machines, which gives them shape. Rolling also bruises the leaves enough to oxidize. The rolled leaves are then spread out in a cool place to absorb the oxygen, which activates the enzymes. This is called oxidation.

The leaves are then fired or dried in large ovens with temperatures up to 194 degrees. They are then sorted and packed into chests or paper sacks.

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