Black tea originated in China hundreds of years ago and was further developed throughout the world’s other tea growing regions. Unlike green tea processing, which attempts to preserve the green colour of fresh tealeaves, black tea processing encourages fresh leaves to oxidise and change colour from green to coppery-red.
This change in leaf colour during processing is called enzymatic oxidation, often referred to as ‘fermentation’. This process follows the initial drying and rolling of the leaves after they have been picked. Black teas are considered oxidised, and green teas unoxidised.