Black Tea Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 03/03/22 •  11 min read
black tea benefits and side effects


Energy: black tea is good for / helps aid digestion, asthma treatment and prevention, boost metabolism, improve alertness and focus, improve brain function, reduce kidney stones, relieve stomach cramps

Longevity: black tea is good for / helps combat free radicals, detoxification, diabetes management and prevention, fight and prevent cancer, gut health, heart health, liver health, lower blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, lung health, Parkinson’s disease prevention, reduce blood pressure, reduce risk of stroke

Appearance: black tea is good for / helps weight loss

Black tea is…

a kids book about plant based eating
Teach Kids Where Our Food Comes From. Look Inside!


Water footprint: high, 8,856 liters of water used to produce 1 kilogram of black tea / 1,061 gallons of water used to produce 1 pound of black tea

Carbon footprint: low, 1.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of tea, a car driving equivalent of 4.5 miles or 7.25 kilometers

Destruction: low, black tea production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc., tea plantations have long been considered environmentally friendly, some tea varieties yield suitable leaves for 30 to 100 years, which reduces the need for replanting and any emissions associated with crop planting, most high-quality teas are hand-plucked opposed to machine usage

Black tea is…


Kills: none, black tea production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, black tea production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from black tea production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Black tea is…


Health and safety: hazardous, limited access to clean water, lack of sanitation, which create health risks, may lead to disease, many workers and their children are malnourished, low immunity to diseases, dangerous exposure to pesticides leads to loss of appetite, numbness in hands, breathing difficulties, reports of starvation deaths

Living conditions: poor, in India, Kenya, Rwanda, Bangladesh, most workers live on tea plantations in decrepit homes, no working toilets, minimal electricity, child trafficking occurs as a result of low wages, children then become slaves, child labor to help meet worker quotas, oppressive conditions intensified by caste system

Wages: low, men work non-leaf-plucking tasks and earn a nearly double hourly wage compared to women, tea pluckers must look for additional work elsewhere to supplement their incomes

Black tea has…

Where does most black tea come from?

Kenya and China are the world’s leading black tea producer followed by India and Sri Lanka. The world’s top black tea exporting country is Kenya, followed by China, India, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Malawi, Germany, Argentina, Rwanda, Tanzania.

Is black tea nutritious?

Yes, back tea is also full of healthy substances called polyphenols which are antioxidants.

acidic foods and alkaline diet to improve ph levels

black tea is acidic.

Is black tea alkaline or acidic? Black tea is acidic. What is the pH level of black tea? Black tea has a 4.5 pH level, once digested.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

black tea is gluten free.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Is black tea gluten free? Yes, black tea is gluten free. Black tea does not contain gluten. Black tea is a type of hot, caffeinated beverage made from dried leaves, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

black tea is not a common food allergen.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is black tea a common food allergen? No, black tea is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to black tea but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

black tea has a high water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does black tea have a high or low water footprint? Black tea has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods and beverages.

What is the water footprint of black tea? It takes 8,856 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of black tea / 1,061 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of black tea.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake….quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

black tea has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does black tea have a high or low carbon footprint? Black tea has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of black tea? It takes around 1.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of tea, a car driving equivalent of 4.5 miles or 7.25 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

There are a number of steps we can take to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

black tea is sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is black tea eco friendly? Is black tea sustainable?

Black tea production is relatively sustainable. Tea plantations have long been considered environmentally friendly. Some tea varieties yield suitable leaves for 30 to 100 years, which reduces the need for replanting and any emissions associated with crop planting. Most high-quality teas are hand-plucked opposed to machine usage.

There is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

black tea is vegan.

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

Is black tea vegan? Yes, black tea is vegan. Black tea is made from leaves of tea plants and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

According to Sentient Media, “more than 200 million land animals are killed for food around the world every day. Including wild-caught and farmed fishes, we get a total closer to 3 billion animals killed daily.”

Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

black tea has labor issues and human rights concerns.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is black tea a product with laborer concerns? Yes. At this time there are major concerns with black tea production. It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may be associated with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 


CID Tea, Black (Bags or Loose).pdf – Agricultural Marketing

International labor rights forum: Tea workers in India face problems of child labor, gender discrimination, and wage theft.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

Foodprint: Labor and Workers in the Food System

Adriane Marie

As an educator, author and conscious consumer advocate, I study and organize ethical info for you to quickly see how our purchases impact animals, people and the planet. I hope you find this HEALabel knowledge useful and can apply it to your life for personal and societal improvement and empowerment.