Loose leaf black tea is a type of tea that is completely oxidized, unlike our other tea varieties, which are oxidized to lesser degrees. Oxidation is key in the development of many aroma and taste compounds, which give a tea its characteristic color, potency, and briskness. In China, loose leaf black tea is known as "red tea", which is based off the liquor color; in Western culture, the term "black tea" is derived from the color of the oxidized leaves. Another interesting tidbit about loose leaf black tea, is that it holds its flavor for several years, whereas green tea flavor usally fades within a year. It is, by far, the most popular loose leaf tea in the West.