Black tea is a confusing name. In the West, Black tea refers to what the Chinese call "Red tea", the term we use in our shop. Most true "Black tea" in the West is Pu'er tea, which represents a small subset of Black teas. Other Black teas are often called "Dark tea" to avoid confusion with the unfortunate choice in Western naming convention.
Black tea is the only category of tea that is fermented, with the exception of Sheng Pu'ers which undergo active fermentation. A common mistranslation has made many Western consumers believe that teas like true Reds, Oolongs, and Yellows are fermented to some degree. This is false. These are all oxidized to some degree, but not fermented.
Black teas have a very distinctive flavor profile compared to other tea categories. They are earthy and woodsy, but can have hints of sweetness and floral flavors as well. While some of our Black teas come in cakes, we stock loose leaf Black teas that are a great way to explore the category without committing to a cake.