Also Known As: Tea-black, black, Black tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. It has a cooling, slightly bitter, astringent flavour which many enjoy.
The phrase herbal tea usually refers to infusions of fruit or herbs made without the tea plant, such as rosehip tea or chamomile tea. Alternative phrases for this are tisane or herbal infusion, both bearing an implied contrast with tea. This article is concerned exclusively with preparations and uses of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis.
Plain black tea without sweeteners or additives contains negligible quantities of calories, protein, sodium, and fat. Some flavored tea with different herbs added may have less than 1 gram of carbohydrates. All teas from the camellia tea plant are rich in polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant.
A 2001 Boston University study has concluded that short and long-term black tea consumption reverses endothelial vasomotor dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease. This finding may partly explain the association between tea intake and decreased cardiovascular disease events.
In 2006, a German study concluded that the addition of milk prevents vascular protective effects of tea.
Theaflavin-3-gallate, a theaflavin derivative found in black tea, could reduce the incorporation of cholesterol into mixed micelles.