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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. Tarry Lapsang Crocodile Black Tea

    Tarry Lapsang Crocodile Black Tea

    The original and best grade of this famous smoky tea is grown in a nature reserve. It is smoked naturally with the authentic Chinese pine root and is gentle, clear and full flavoured. Learn More
    From £6.50

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  2. Keemun Lion Mountain Black Tea

    Keemun Lion Mountain Black Tea

    This Keemun from the Lion Mountain in Anhui province to the west of Shanghai is the next highest grade after the Hao Ya teas. Its flavour is malty with a subtle hint of fruit and its famed aroma is compared to orchid, rose and chocolate, which is also evident in the infusion. A very reasonably priced tea for its high quality. Learn More
    From £6.00

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  3. Russian Caravan Blend Black Tea

    Russian Caravan Blend Black Tea

    A classic blend that has doubtless changed over the centuries but this version is still incredibly popular. It is a blend of two distinctive types of tea from China that combine to produce a smooth, light and refreshing cup. Hints of chocolate, orchid, rose and a warm, woody character means it is equally at home with or without milk and makes a delightful afternoon tea. Learn More
    From £6.00

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  4. Smoky Caravan Black Tea

    Smoky Caravan Black Tea

    A blend not dissimilar to our Russian Caravan but with the addition of some Tarry Lapsang Souchong. In truth, this recipe is closer to the original 'Russian Caravan' flavour which has changed over the years to suit the British palate. One can, however, imagine this tea brewing on top of a steaming Samovar and listening to Alexander Pushkin reciting his poems. The malty, chocolate notes of the two non-smoked components of the blend are complemented by the sweet, smoked pine fragrance. Learn More
    From £6.00

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  5. Assam River Fortress Black Tea

    Assam River Fortress Black Tea

    When looking for great Assam tea we expect to find teas with great body and aroma. This is no exception, it yields a complex infusion supported by a malty, rich body, with hints of caramel, cinnamon, raisin, apricot, nougat, candied orange peel and molasses. Previously listed as Mokalbari. Learn More
    From £6.00

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  6. Assam Rasbhari Jaam Black Tea

    Assam Rasbhari Jaam Black Tea

    This very distinctive tea grown in the renowned Itakhooli garden is made from a clonal bush known as K1. It is unique for its natural hint of fresh raspberry flavour and aroma. When taken builder's style with creamy milk and two sugars, it is almost like having a scone, cream and jam! One of my favourite teas of the year for breakfast toast and jam or afternoon tea accompaniment. It has a beautiful tippy appearance which helps to deliver a rich, sappy infusion that is very smooth. Previously listed as Itakhooli. Learn More
    From £6.00

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  7. Dambuster's 617 Blend Black Tea

    Dambuster's 617 Blend Black Tea

    When I read that Squadron Leader George 'Johnny' Johnson, the last surviving ‘Dambuster’, having survived the dangerous mission, celebrated with a cup of tea, I was reminded how so often at times of stress and crisis we turn to this ‘water bewitched’ for comfort. The two teas I’ve chosen are a strong, smooth Assam blend and a very special tea that adds a touch of honey, sweet tobacco and malt to the flavour. It also has an intriguing appearance. Learn More
    From £6.00

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  8. Ceylon Ella Rock Orange Pekoe Black Tea

    Ceylon Ella Rock Orange Pekoe Black Tea

    Our most popular Sri Lankan tea manages to capture all of the qualities of the Uva district tea growing area. It has the richness and colour of the mid-elevation teas, which carry notes of black treacle, currants and plum, and the fine high notes that evoke grapefruit zest, minty menthol tones and a green wood edge. Previously listed as Pettiagalla. Learn More
    From £5.00

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  9. Ceylon Ruhuna Orange Pekoe Black Tea

    Ceylon Ruhuna Orange Pekoe Black Tea

    A very distinctive, large leaf that gives a satisfying, good coloured infusion, brightly flavoured with nuances of spice and fruit. Full-flavoured black tea is a distinctively unique Ruhuna speciality. Learn More
    From £5.00

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