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Black Tea

Black Tea | Imperial Teas

The tea which we refer to as 'black' in the west encompasses a vast array of flavours born from the process known as 'oxidation'. It is the type of tea we are most familiar with and is broadly drunk in the U.K with milk. In other countries, many of these teas, especially those as light as First Flush Darjeeling are taken without, or sometimes with lemon or orange to taste. There are no rules and should someone find they enjoy their tea made differently to our recommendations that is the best way to enjoy it. Oxidation, a skilfully controlled process, takes place after raw, green tea leaves are rolled or macerated to break down the cell walls. A chemical reaction takes place which converts the catechins found in green tea into theaflavins and thearubigins. These compounds give the tea a brisk, bright taste, depth, body and its yellow through to orange-red colour. In China they call our 'black', 'red' tea. By and large this is a closer description of the colour of the infused liquor, the pale yellow of Darjeeling First Flush aside. My recommendation for preparing this tea to be taken with milk is to use 1g per 100ml of water and to allow 5 minutes to brew. If taking it without milk use a little less tea and infuse for just 2 minutes.
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  1. Lu Yu Golden Thread Black Tea

    Lu Yu Golden Thread Black Tea

    Lu Yu Golden Thread is a special grade of Chinese black tea produced in the high elevation tea gardens of western Hubei, China. Each year, this ‘golden hao ya’ tea is carefully selected from the farmers’ earliest batches of spring tea. It has a mellow and a smooth, refreshing character with notes of nut, longan fruit and caramel with low astringency. It is wonderfully full-flavored with a rich body and is a treat for black tea lovers. A Chinese poet described Enshi, where this tea is grown as "Endless green mountains to walk on, endless clear water going away". Learn More

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  2. Bi Yu Blue Heart Black Tea

    Bi Yu Blue Heart Black Tea

    The strong aroma of ripe fruits, sweet, malty, smooth taste, rich, sappy liquor with hints of nectarine, orchid and caramel have made this rare tea a much sought after treasure. This small leaf tea cultivar is protected by a patent, owned Mr Kang a tea farmer who created it, and it cannot be planted except by agreement, to preserve the quality associated with this high profile tea. It is cultivar number 19 as recognised by the Taiwan Tea Experiment Station, and is also known as ’blue heart‘. Learn More

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  3. Jin Xuan Golden Lily Black Tea

    Jin Xuan Golden Lily Black Tea

    Prizewinning farmer Gau-Bin Zhan who has won the ‘Excellent Farmer’ award many years in a row makes this new tea. His tea garden is located in Juhshan township in Nantou County. Using his finest, summer crop ‘Jin Xuan’ tea cultivar leaves, normally destined to make finest Oolong tea, he has created a tea with a unique character. Jin Xuan is famous for its creamy, milk-like aroma, which complements the rich body and transfers into the flavour with a caramel taste. Hints of honey and frankincense add to the intriguing, complex charm of this special tea. As well as being rich in flavour it is also heavy with theaflavins, exhibited after cooling when they emulsify to create a milky appearance. Jin Xuan translates as Golden Day Lily and this tea is as fragrant as the flower, with a fruity, floral lingering finish. Learn More

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  4. Si Ji Ever Spring Black Tea

    Si Ji Ever Spring Black Tea

    Si Ji Chun is the cultivar selected to make this black tea, and only the best hand plucked summer tea leaves, which have a very high catechin content make the grade. The tea leaves, tight and dark black, produce a deep red, lingering liquor, which tastes smooth, sugar cane sweet and with a strong fragrance and flavour of cinnamon and nutmeg. There are floral notes, grape, damson, eucalyptus and wildflower honey. As with all Taiwanese teas, every sip tastes different to the last. This special tea is made in Zhu Shan in Nantou County, a famous tea growing area. Learn More

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  5. Fortune's Adventurer's Black Tea

    Fortune's Adventurer's Black Tea

    Robert Fortune was a tea pioneer. Let your taste buds follow his trail as he travelled on his daring mission to steal tea secrets from China! The infusion has hints of cocoa, rose, caramel, sweet tobacco, ‘Muscatel’, honey and frankincense, this tea will keep the most discerning palate intrigued for years. Learn More

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  6. Earl Grey Divine Tea

    Earl Grey Divine Tea

    The addition of a small amount of special oil of bergamot from the variety of this fruit grown in Taiwan adds another layer that makes this one our most distinguished Earl Grey teas, one that offers a complexity not usually found in scented teas. This bergamot has a different flavour to our classic top quality Italian oil used to flavour our other Earl Grey varieties. The base tea is Golden Lily, a black tea famous for its creamy, milk-like aroma, which complements the rich body and transfers into the flavour with a caramel taste. As well as being rich in flavour it is also heavy with theaflavins, exhibited after cooling, when they emulsify to create a milky appearance. Jin Xuan translates as Golden Day Lily and this tea is as fragrant as the flower, with a fruity, floral lingering finish. Learn More

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

  7. Yunnan Black Gold Black Tea

    Yunnan Black Gold Black Tea

    This tea's appearance, long golden buds in a blend shot through with dark, wiry leaves is beautiful but it is in the cup that this tea really shines. It is made by a tea master with the focus being on maximising the complexity of flavour. As well as all the usual spicy, peppery, subtle earthy notes and a sweetness in the finish, this batch has a very clear note of caramel that we love, with a warm honey flavour too. As you can tell, one of our favourite teas of the year. Learn More

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  8. Darjeeling Mountain Mystic First Flush Tea

    Darjeeling Mountain Mystic First Flush Tea

    The fresh, grapefruit-like zesty aroma is balanced with muscatel grape and a hint of something almost cinnamon like. The pale yellow yet rich liquor sits like a satisfying white wine on the tongue, with a layered palette of exotic fruit flavours, such as guava and nectarine and with the characteristic First Flush oil of wintergreen freshness. This is the best tasting Darjeeling of the season and comes from the Turzum garden. Learn More

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  9. Fuchow Golden Needle Black Tea

    Fuchow Golden Needle Black Tea

    An unusual flat, smooth leaf in the style of Long Jing green tea, that is worked by hand in a wok. It grows on the 'big leaf' tea tree, in common with our Tea of Life, in the Fujian Province. A rich tasting, fruity liquor with a lingering aroma of chocolate and fresh raspberries. Learn More

    Earn 15 loyalty points.

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