If you've been trying to cut back on your daily cup of coffee or caffeine intake, you probably already know that swapping it with tea can help you get a similar energy boost. But of course, if you want to drink tea for the caffeine, you're going to want to choose the right blend. Some are better suited for bedtime, after all. Enter black tea, the powerhouse drink that you can brew to start your day off right or give you a little pick-me-up.
So what exactly is black tea? There are different varieties. "Black, oolong, and green tea are all made from leaves of the evergreen species Camellia sinensis. The difference between them is the leaf fermentation levels (fully fermented, partially fermented, and unfermented, respectively)," explains Geoffrey W. Abbott, M.Sc., Ph.D., professor of physiology and biophysics at the University of California, Irvine. "All three naturally contain caffeine. Varieties of black tea include Assam, Darjeeling, Ceylon, Lapsang souchong (a smoky tea), Earl Grey and Lady Grey (both of which contain oil of bergamot, while Lady Grey also contains citrus peel), and English and Irish breakfast teas."
Black tea is a great alternative for coffee because it's generally a stronger flavor and is higher in caffeine compared to other teas, adds Ivy Carson, NP-BC, IFMCP, a nurse practitioner at Parsley Health. "In fact, a strong cup of black tea may contain as much caffeine as half a cup of coffee," she says. Sounds pretty good, right?
And in addition to the caffeine boost, it's also good for your health. The experts shared some black tea health benefits below.