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The irresistible benefits of black tea

The irresistible benefits of black tea

Black Tea: classic, decisive and goes well with everything, just like the colour of its leaves. Today we would like to tell you about our first love, because it is the very first tea ever to be served at Babingtons in back in 1893; because it was Queen Victoria’s favourite tea; because it is the best afternoon tea bar none; and because it has an irresistible aroma and incredible beneficial properties .

If you are not yet aware of this fabulous tea then let us start at its very beginnings. Like most other teas, black tea comes from Camellia Sinensis or from Camellia Assamica plant , the ‘tea plant’, with its beautiful white blossom. This tea is typically grown in oriental countries and parts of Africa but the most well known and familiar cultivation is in the Assam and Darjeeling plantations in India and Sri Lanka, and Yunnan and Fujian in China.

But the first peculiarity of this tea which instantly assaults the eye is its colour , the blackness of its leaves which then produce a deep red tea. Have you ever asked yourselves why black tea is so very . . . well black?

The irresistible benefits of black tea

The answer lies in the way the leaves are processed . Black tea is 100% oxidised, this means that unlike other teas the leaves are left in the open air for several hours before being rolled and dried. This is how the leaves change their chemical properties thus taking on their characteristic black colouring.

Properties and benefits of black tea

Over the past few years a great deal of attention has been given to the benefits of green and white teas. But black tea also has very important beneficial properties.

There have been many studies of late that demonstrate various benefits of drinking black tea from the prevention of heart disease to delaying the skin’s ageing process. Some studies have even shown that black tea can help to lose weight! This is great news at this time of year in view of the fact that Christmas is just around the corner which is bound to bring a few extra kilos along with the fun and the gifts! Worry not! All you need do is drink a cup of black tea a day and enjoy the festivities! If you are a black tea “novice” then fear not and trust Babingtons where we have been serving tea in Italy since 1893, when we put our faith in this extraordinary blend and have continued to use the original infusions.

Babingtons Black Tea

We mentioned earlier that black tea is our first love, and that is no exaggeration. It is true to say that back in 1893 Babingtons only served black teas from Darjeeling, Ceylon and China Keemun. These three specific teas were served either individually or mixed to form our unique and unmistakable blend . And it was Anna Maria Babington and Isabel Cargill themselves who prepared the blend. The founders and owners of Babingtons brewed their own blend with their own hands back in the days when tea in Italy was almost unheard of and could only be bought at the chemist! Their unique blend of Darjeeling, Ceylon and China Keemun became known as Special Blend and was actually brewed in one of our prettiest and most graceful rooms, the one with the fireplace. This room has since transformed from a small and private tea laboratory to the jewel in our crown where our guests can sit before the crackling fire and savour their tea. Perhaps a cup of our very own Special Blend.

The irresistible benefits of black tea

Following our in history’s footsteps and over the years, we have continued to create a whole variety of blends made solely of scented and refined black teas . We created our Royal Blend in honour of Queen Elizabeth II ’s visit to Rome in 2000 and our Diamond Jubilee to celebrate 60 years since her accession to the throne. We have a blend made in honour of Isabel Cargill’s birthplace and of course the place of origin of our famous scones, Scotland: Scottish Blend.

Let us not forget the teas we have created to honour the Victorian rituals we seek to emulate, our Morning Blend, ideal to suit our English Breakfast. Our Afternoon Blend for those of us who love to sit down in the afternoon to relax and enjoy this tea of little caffeine and a lot of flavour.

Babingtons Black teas do not end here! There are so many, pure or scented, there only remains for you to decide which to choose. Here are the recommendations Chiara Bedini, one of our owners, and great granddaughter of Isabel Cargill, has come up with.

The irresistible benefits of black tea

Chiara’s Tips

When to drink black tea? Chiara will remind us that black tea is the energising tea , a perfect accompaniment to our English Breakfast or any time during the morning. It is also perfectly suited as an Afternoon Tea to be drunk whilst tasting our scones or perhaps our Victoria Sponge cake. Whatever time of day you choose to drink this blend you cannot help but be rejuvenated, have your taste buds woken by its strong and decisive taste and your olfactory senses tickled by its pungent aroma . If this sounds a little strong for you try it with a drop of milk and a dash but sugar, but whatever you do, never lemon!

Which black tea to choose? It seems an impossible task to choose from the great variety of Babingtons black teas. However today I am going to propose three teas in particular which should satisfy everyone’s taste.

The irresistible benefits of black tea

Babingtons Imperial Earl Grey

Is there anyone who is not familiar with this classic blend of bergamot scented tea ? Naturally we refer to Earl Grey, favoured all around the world. We have enriched this classic tea by adding a touch of colour with small pieces of lemon zest, cornflower and safflower petals. Our Imperial Earl Grey is made using Ceylon tea, a black tea with hints if citrus. It’s a great Tea to drink any time of day and is also delicious served iced.

The irresistible benefits of black tea

Babingtons Rainbow Tea

Imagine a table laden with dainty treats, you, your friends and Rainbow Tea . A perfect setting for this exquisite tea. Based on two teas from far off lands, China and Ceylon, this blend sees two completely different scents coming together in perfect unison , ranging from the fresh tang of orange zest to the sweet taste of almonds and the aroma of peaches. This tea is best drunk pure but a little sugar is also delicious.

The irresistible benefits of black tea

Babingtons Colonial Chai

If you absolutely can’t resist a little spice in your life then we would like to challenge you forgo our Colonial Chai . The very best if Indian teas! This is a surprisingly rich and spicy blend with Assam tea at its base. We have carefully mixed cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and pink pepper to give us this extraordinary and unique tea. A tea that is equally good hot or iced, with milk and sugar or in its pure state.