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Black tea originated in China where it is known as red tea, or hong cha, because of the coppery-coloured liquor that it produces. In general, black tea is the most rigorously oxidised of all the tea categories, and simple flavours are converted to richer, maltier notes. An exception to this rule would be first flush Darjeeling, where the young and tender leaves are submitted to a lighter oxidation to preserve their fresh flavours and greenish colour.

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