When it comes to choosing between your most favorite cup of a caffeinated hot beverage, you will often be asked to rethink your decision before answering.
This is because the tussle between coffee and black tea does not seem to end easily or anytime soon.
And while both remain as the most preferred type of a caffeinated hot beverage, supporters of both the groups consider their drink superior and more popular than the other.
But the truth of the matter is that no matter which side you belong to, black tea and coffee both are widely popular.
In this article, we will discuss black tea and the health benefits related to it.
What is black tea?
Any discussion about tea would remain incomplete without mentioning China.
Like many other forms of tea, black tea or red tea as it is mostly referred as in China, was first discovered in China in the seventeenth century.
Black tea is made from the same shrub Camellia sinensis, from which a few other forms of tea such as the famous oolong tea, green tea and yellow tea are produced.
What makes black tea different is the difference in the oxidation level.
Black tea is generally more or even completely oxidized than other forms of tea derived from the same shrub Camellia sinensis.
Black tea generally has a dark red color, more strong taste, bold flavor and high amounts of tannin due to the extra oxidation levels of the tea leaf before firing.
Firing in the context of tea manufacturing process means to heat the tea leaves after oxidation process so that any moist on it can be further dried.
What makes ‘Black Tea’ so popular than other types of tea?
Even though black tea was just discovered in the seventeenth century and isn’t as old as the green tea and oolong tea which were discovered many centuries prior to it, black tea still has a lead today.
Ask any tea lover or even a coffee lover and they will undoubtingly mention black tea as the most popular and widely used form of tea around the world.
But have you ever considered what makes it so popular?
Aside from the health benefits of drinking black tea that we mention later in this article, there are a few other reasons that make black tea so popular.
Such as –
1. Widely grown
Black tea can typically grow all over the world depending on certain climatic and geographical conditions.
However, Africa, India, Sri Lanka and China are its major producing countries to fulfill its high demands both in terms of domestic consumption and exports.
2. Widely available
Although black tea might not be drunk as a standalone black tea and instead mixed with milk or other beverage, it is still the most widely available form of tea in the entire world.
Go to any tea cafe or restaurant during any hour of the day and they will definitely be offering black tea.
3. Not an expensive form of hot beverage
In comparison with the price of other forms of tea and coffee, black tea is not an expensive hot beverage.
Although there are some specific variants of black tea that cost more than the other types of black tea, it still is a cheaper option.
For this reason, it is a popular drink in many Asian and under-developed countries.
In fact, if you compare the prices of a cup of coffee with a cup of tea, you will be surprised to see the difference exceed by even five times.
4. More of a habit than a need
This is the point where a cup of coffee has a clear advantage over a cup of tea.
You might be familiar with the concept of using highly caffeinated drinks such as coffee to stay awake and boost brain power.
While black tea is also a caffeinated drink and provides similar benefits, this fact doesn’t contribute much towards its popularity.
Many people drink it as a habit and at their meal times, without having any specific purpose related with its drinking.
Such as, many people like to have a cup of hot black tea during breakfast.
And it is not because it helps in staying awake and makes you forget to sleep more, but because it is embedded in their habit.
Similarly in many societies around the world, people often indulge in evening tea parties or get together alongside which serving bakery food items is a common sight.
This again means that tea is also a part of most cultures around the world.
Contrary to both of the above observations, drinking coffee is always related with some purpose.
Whether it is to start your day with an extra-added energy boost for your body and mind, or whether it is during any uncertain time of the day to help you keep going, in most cases there is always a reason for it.
5. Long shelf life
Another great reason for the popularity of black tea is its long shelf life.
This means that an open or a close pack of tea will naturally retain its quality for more time than most other beverages and drinks.
But to make this thing possible, you do need to keep black tea safe from moist, dust, sunlight and air in a tightly sealed container.
11 Health benefits related with drinking black tea and why black tea is good for your health
If you are a black tea lover or even if you love drinking hot caffeinated drinks, it should come as a no surprise to you how other people often discourage you from drinking such stuff.
The fact that drinking excess amounts of caffeinated beverages whether cold or hot and at an inappropriate time such as before going to sleep is totally a bad idea and can bring adverse effects rather than any benefits, requires no justification.
However, drinking these caffeinated beverages such as black tea by keeping within the right limits does offer your mind and body a good number of health benefits.
1. It boosts a healthy heart
If you have the habit of drinking two to three cups of tea during a single day, then according to scientific researches your risks of contracting heart disease is very less.
This is due to the flavones or flavonoids in the black tea that boosts a healthy heart.
Flavonoids are a group of antioxidants which are also found in some other food products such as vegetables, dark chocolate and fruits.
Thus by regularly drinking black tea, you can also maintain your body’s daily need of antioxidants.
2. Reduces chances of diabetes
According to another scientific research, drinking black tea is good for reducing your chances of Type 2 diabetes.
3. Helps in lowering your blood pressure
A scientific study was conducted in the UK, Germany, Netherlands and Italy for a period of six months.
The results of this study showed that regular consumption of black tea as part of their diet helped the participants of the study in keeping their blood pressure low.
While the conclusion of this studied was not termed as a significant indication of drinking black tea to reduce blood pressure, you can still rely on the satisfactory part.
4. Helps in keeping your bones strong
Your ability to conveniently and flexibly move your body from one place to another and to engage in any kind of physical activity, is highly dependent on how much strong your bones are.
But as you progress in life and grow older, the strength of your bones begins diminishing.
By drinking suitable amount of black tea each day as part of your daily diet plan, your bones stay stronger which is good for every age group especially for the elders.
This is because consuming black tea has been found to restore your bone density and reduce any chances of bone fractures especially hip fracture.
5. Improves and maintains your gut health
Drinking black tea is also beneficial for improving and maintaining your gut health.
Inside your gut, there is a huge amount of bacteria living. In fact, there are trillions of them.
These bacteria consist of both good and healthy bacteria which are beneficial for your health; as well as bad and unhealthy bacteria which can be harmful for your body.
Black tea contains polyphenols. By consuming it, these polyphenols work to promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut, thus keeping you healthy.
Besides this, black tea also has antimicrobial properties that help to destroy the dangerous substances within your gut, as well as restore your immunity system.
6. Black tea has antioxidant properties
Antioxidants are an essential component of your health and guarantee many health related benefits.
Oxidation is a chemical process by which free radicals are produced that can initiate chain reactions in your body and which subsequently can destroy body cells.
Therefore to stop these chain reactions from taking place, your body needs antioxidants.
While your body’s need of antioxidants can be fulfilled by taking in supplements as well, it is always better to intake these through natural foods and resources.
Drinking black tea in this regard can help you maintain your body’s antioxidant needs.
7. Helps in reducing LDL cholesterol
LDL or low density lipoprotein cholesterol is bad for the overall health of your body as it is major source of transporting cholesterol to cells in your entire body.
This cholesterol transportation to your entire body cells can build deposits called plaques in your arteries which can become a cause of heart failure or stroke.
Luckily, drinking black tea has also been found to work against the motives of LDL or low density lipoprotein cholesterol.
This fighting feature of black tea against cholesterol has also been found to help maintain the overall cholesterol levels of your body, thus reducing risks of obesity as well.
8. Lowers the risk of stroke
Thanks to the benefit of drinking black tea in reducing your body’s bad cholesterol level and helping in maintaining it, you can also forget to worry about contracting stroke.
Blocking or rupturing of blood vessels in your brain is the main reason of causing stroke.
These blocking or rupturing of blood vessels are generally cause by unnecessarily high amounts of cholesterol in your blood.
Thus by consuming black tea as part of your everyday diet schedule, your body’s cholesterol levels remain balanced thereby lowering any chances of a probable stroke.
9. Good for your oral health
In the above sections, we have discussed how drinking black tea helps in promoting the good bacteria and killing the bad bacteria in your gut.
We also discussed how it helps in controlling bad cholesterol levels and helps in avoiding the formation of cholesterol deposits called plaques.
Similar to these two discussions, drinking black tea has also been found to be good for your oral health.
Black tea also helps in reducing the plaque in your mouth. Besides this, it also helps in killing and limiting the growth of bacteria in your mouth.
Both plaque and bacteria are a major cause of forming cavities and tooth decay.
10. Keeps you active and energized
While the caffeine content in a cup of black tea is no match to that in your cup of coffee, it still is good enough to keep you active.
For a little extra energy and to boost your brain power, you can surely rely on a good cup of black tea.
11. Enhances your happiness and overall mood
While there isn’t much research conducted to support this black tea drinking factor related to enhancing your happiness and an overall mood, there is still a little evidence that supports this thinking.
The most obvious can be due to the fact that drinking black tea is in the habit of many people, so it occurs naturally that fulfillment of a habit brings happiness and enhances their overall mood.
If you are one of those people that just occasionally drink black tea than this article is certainly going to make you add at least one cup of black tea in your daily diet.
It will also help you resume your black tea drinking habit if you have discarded it completely due to the enormous number of disadvantages and health risks you have been told about it.
And for those that drink it as a habit or because it is a cultural trend, well you can surely be proud of belonging to a culture that promotes healthy lifestyle choices.