Black tea is a kind of fermented tea, originating from green tea after it is mixed, kneaded, fermented, dried, and otherwise processed. The water of green tea is freshly green while that of black tea is orange red. But this difference is only skin-deep. What is more important is that black tea doesn't undergo the processes of steaming green or frying green, but is fermented, during which time the tea leaves go through chemical reactions-tea phenol reduced over 90% and tea yellow element and red element being produced. If these two elements are in a right proportion, the water's color will be red and bright. While green tea retains the thin and freshening flavor of the leaves, the fermented black tea gives a stronger and thicker flavor. Black tea brst appeared in Qing Dynasty, much younger than green tea. But it occupied an important position in China's foreign trade at the end of Qing Dynasty, with the largest amount of al kinds of tea that were exported to Europe and America.
Black tea originated in Fujian and its vicinities, and later spread to other provinces in the south. At present, black tea is the most produced and most widely drunk tea. It can be divided into three groups : Kungfu black tea, small piece black tea, and broken black tea. Broken black tea a new type developed in India to which the black tea produced in Sri Lanka also belongs. China started to trial produce this group in the 1950s.
Small piece black tea is the earliest black tea in China, produced near Fujian (southeast coast of China) and Chong'an. Gongfu black tea is a Chinese specialty developed on the basis of small piece black tea, and is also the most representative black tea of China. Considering the different origins of Chinese Gongfu black tea, they are divided into Qimen Gongfu of Anhui, Dianhong Gongfu of Yunnan, Ninghong Gongfu of Jiangxi, Minhong Gongfu of Fuj ia n, etc. The color of this tea is jet black with a bit gray praised as "precious light." Cooked, the water is bright, red and fragrant, with a lingering aftertaste. With different processes, there are different flavors such as honey flavor, flower flavor and fruit flavor, known as "Qimen flavor."