Due to its bold flavor and its suitability for pairing with foods, black tea is the most popular type of tea in the United States. Many believe that this is due to black teas' bold flavors and relatively long shelf lives of black teas. In the East, black tea consumption is less common, and in China, black tea is known as "hong cha" or red tea due to the reddish color of its liquor or infusion. Consider using black teas in recipes.
Many black tea blends are flavored with fruit, flowers and / or spices. Classic flavored black tea blends include Earl Grey (which is flavored with bergamot essential oil or citrus flavor), Masala Chai (which is blended with various spices) and fruit- or flower-scented black teas (such as Rose Black Tea and Lichee Black Tea, both of which originated in China). In recent years, many tea companies have started to offer more exotic and non-traditional black tea blends. These may include flavors like chocolate or vanilla (often placing them in the category of dessert teas), wood or smoke (as found in teas like Lapsang Souchong and Russian Caravan), tropical fruits, warming spices and dried herbs (such as mint or lavender).
In addition to blended teas, black teas are also sold by their origin. These teas may be blends of teas from a particular region (such as a Darjeeling tea blend or an Assam tea blend) or they may be single-origin teas (such as a Darjeeling first flush black tea or Darjeeling second flush black tea from a single estate or a Keemun black tea from a particular farm).
Black Tea Flavor Profiles
Black teas tend to be bold and brisk (or astringent). The flavors of single-origin teas can be broadly described based on where they are from. Different tea origins produce different black tea flavor profiles due to their unique terroir.
Hong Kong Milk Tea
Hong Kong milk tea is also known as “pantyhose tea” or “silk stocking tea” because it is often brewed in a large tea sock that resembles pantyhose. It has a smooth, creamy texture thanks to the evaporated milk (or, if you opt for sweetened, condensed milk, it becomes beguilingly sweet and full flavored).
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. black tealeaves (preferably a bold Ceylon tea)
1 small (14-ounce) can sweetened, condensed milk, or 14 ounces evaporated milk, plus sugar (to taste)
Combine water and tea in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in sweetened, condensed milk. Return to heat.
Return to a boil. Simmer for 3 more minutes.
Strain and serve hot or (optional) chill and serve over ice. Small glasses are ideal.
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