Do you know Black Tea was discovered by accident?
The story goes that an army from Jianxi entered in the Fujian province in China and camped at a nearby tea factory. Due to the unexpected visit, the farmers were caught off-guard. They didn’t have time to process the plucked tea leaves and inadvertently left the tea leaves out in the sun much longer than usual, thus causing those leaves’ color to turn in deep red. To salvage those leaves, the farmers placed the leaves over a fire of pine wood resulting in a deep, smoky flavored tea. And thus, BLACK TEA was born! Black tea continued to be popular in China and traveled westwards. Initially black tea was sold at very high prices and only consumed by rich and wealthy. It became a status symbol in society. Princes Catherine introduced black tea to the British Palace and around 1840s, the concept of afternoon tea was introduced by Duchess Anna Telford. When East India Company decided to grow tea in Darjeeling, the gardens were planted with saplings from China. Around the same time, British also discovered another similar species in Assam, the Camellia Sinensis Var, a black tea plant, which had longer leaves and much stronger than the Chinese tea. This variant went on to become a popular base for English Breakfast tea in the West.