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Black tea, also translated to red tea in various Asian languages, is a type of tea that is more oxidized than oolong, yellow, white and green teas. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor than other teas. All five types are made from leaves of the shrub (or small tree) Camellia sinensis. Two principal varieties of the species are used – the small-leaved Chinese variety plant (C. sinensis var. sinensis), used for most other types of teas, and the large-leaved Assamese plant (C. sinensis var. assamica), which was traditionally mainly used for black tea, although in recent years some green and white teas have been produced. First originating in China, the beverage's name there is hong cha (Chinese: 紅茶, "red tea") due to the color of the oxidized leaves when processed appropriately. Today, the drink is widespread throughout East and Southeast Asia, both in consumption and harvesting, including in Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Singapore. Similar variants are also available in South Asian countries.
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The health effects of black tea and flavonoids

Carrie H.S. Ruxton Nutrition & Food Science ISSN: 0034-6659 Publication date: 22 May 2009 Reprints & Permissions

Abstract Purpose The purpose of this paper is to review evidence on the impact of black tea on health, highlighting the role of flavonoids. Design/methodology/approach This review builds on previous systematic reviews by incorporating new studies on black tea and health published between 2004 and 2009. Findings Black tea was strongly associated with heart disease prevention by plausible mechanisms linked to flavonoid bioactivity. In vitro studies suggest that tea has anti‐cancer properties, but this needs to be confirmed by additional long‐term human studies. Emerging research indicates that tea may benefit cognitive function and weight management, although more studies are needed. Tea flavonoids are bioavailable with or without milk. Originality/value The benefits of tea drinking are of relevance to public health as tea is the main contributor to dietary flavonoids in Western countries. Consuming one to eight cups of black tea per day is associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease. Caffeine intakes at this level are moderate. Keywords: tea Citation Ruxton, C.H.S. (2009), "The health effects of black tea and flavonoids", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 39 No. 3, pp. 283-294. Emerald.com

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