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Black tea is made from the leaves of a bush called Camellia sinensis. A process called oxidation turns the leaves from green to a dark brownish-black color. Oxidation means the leaves are exposed to moist, oxygen-rich air.

Tea manufacturers can control the amount of oxidation. Black tea is a fully oxidized tea. Green tea comes from the same plant, but is not oxidized.

Why do people use black tea?

Many people drink black tea for alertness and energy. There is good scientific evidence to show this works. Black tea has a lot of caffeine. It also contains a little bit of a stimulating substance called theophylline. Both can speed up your heart rate and make you feel more alert.

Black tea is also full of healthy substances called polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that can help protect your cells from DNA damage.

Some scientists think that specific antioxidants in tea, including polyphenols and catechins, may help prevent some types of cancer. For example, some research shows that women who regularly drink black tea have a much lower risk of ovarian cancer than women who do not.

But more research is needed. So far, research has shown that black tea does not lower the risk of breast, stomach, or colorectal cancer.

Black Tea Benefits