When black tea first arrived in the West in the 1600s, the dark leaves were originally called “Hongcha”—a title meaning red tea, in the Chinese. Growing and industrialized production technologies developed by the black-tea loving British ensure enough high-quantity crops from Sri Lanka and India to supply the great global demand for these teas, while longtime Western influence has popularized a strong and astringent black-tea flavor that mellows beautifully under a dash of cream and sugar. Fully oxidized leaves are produced year-round, thanks to the implementation of modern tea rolling, cutting and curling machines. Fresh harvests are processed on an almost-weekly basis, with well-known regions like Assam, Darjeeling, and Sri Lanka offering the bulk of the world’s bounty. Chinese varieties made in this style are often voluminous and full-bodied, scented with compelling fruit notes. We recommend sipping them straight without cream or sugar to fully appreciate their complex flavor and potency. These teas readily retain their strength through five to seven steepings.