Drinking your tea black, without milk, is something of an acquired taste. If you enjoy the taste of tea (rather than the taste of milk and sugar with the hit of caffeine) then you’ll probably like your tea black too.
But you can’t just have any tea black! Brew a dark cup of PG Tips and trust me, you won’t want to sip that without milk. Your generic every day tea from a cheap brand is low quality – and they can get away with that because when you add milk you mask the flavour.
The best thing about drinking tea black is also the worst; it turns you into a tea fanatic… and a little bit of a tea connoisseur! Once you’re really noticing the subtle flavours of black tea, you won’t be able to settle for poor quality tea again.
What to Expect
Drinking tea black pulls out those tea notes better. When you’re reading tea reviews and you come across descriptions like “fruity notes” or “nutty hints” or “floral high notes”, chances are these notes are only noticeable when you drink your tea black.
Without milk, your palate can detect the flavours from the tea leaf better.
Some teas become delicate, others become complex. And some teas, which may have been your favourite, are suddenly dull and one dimensional without the creamy milk to enrich them.
If you brew tea black and it tastes bitter and overpowering, don’t give up. It might just be that you’ve over brewed. Take a look at my Twinings Earl Grey tea review – I photograph the tea at just the right level of extraction for my preference. Note how it’s a warm golden brown rather than deeply steeped dark brown.
So Much Choice!
Drinking your tea black opens up a world of tea to you. There are many delicate, delicious tea blends with black tea that would taste awful with milk. These classics are a good place to start if you want to give black tea a try:
- Twinings Earl Grey (soothing with lemon citrus notes)
- Taylor’s of Harrogate Afternoon Tea (classic and refreshing)
- Teapigs Chai Tea (spiced and vibrant)
If you’re into loose leaf black tea, you have even more choice! These are a few of my personal favourites to try:
- Whittard English Rose (fragrant and delicate)
- T2 Caramel Brownie Black Tea (sweet and comforting)
- The Tea Makers of London Assam Manjushree Tea Garden (malty and warm)
Brewing loose leaf tea is easy to do (subscribe to my blog because there’s a ‘how to…’ coming soon for loose leaf) but it does mean you have some extra washing up at the end of the day. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with brewing tea bags, even for drinking tea black!
Benefits of Drinking Black Tea
There are lots of studies out there. Just do a quick Google search and you’ll come up with thousands of articles telling you drinking black tea regularly reduces your chances of getting certain types of cancer, or that it reduces cholesterol. From WebMD alone, black tea can apparently reduce your risks of developing:
- Ovarian cancer
- Clogged arteries
- Heart attack
- Kidney stones
- Parkinson’s disease
I’m not a scientist or a health expert. I certainly don’t drink my tea black for the health benefits and I wouldn’t recommend drinking your tea black as a way to treat an illness.
But, reducing the amount of dairy in your diet by switching your tea to black does have health benefits especially if you are intolerant to lactose on some level, or just consume too much fat in your diet!
Furthermore, tea in general is bursting with polyphenols which are known antioxidants. Regularly consuming these can help you manage your weight better and even prevent cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
Just like everything else, the key is moderation and balance.
One cup of tea might soothe away stress at work… but 6 cups and that caffeine buzz can actually create anxiety!
It’s certainly an interesting topic to read about. What are your thoughts on drinking tea black? Let me know what you love about black tea or the surprising health benefits you’ve discovered in the comments below…