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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. Mother's Time Black Tea Blend

    Mother's Time Black Tea Blend

    Whether its a one off gift for Mother's Day, or a daily reminder that you deserve the best of everything, this is the tea to drink! This is a tea to savour, whether as a treat for yourself or a gift from a loved one. It has an incredible, natural aroma so complex and beautiful it rivals anything that comes out of a parfumier's boutique. Notes floral, fruity, caramel, honey, frankincense, grape, bergamot, mint, nectarine, rose, muscatel and dark chocolate are some of the aromatics and flavours swirling around in the infusion. Learn More

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  2. Darjeeling Summer Rose Second Flush Black Tea

    Darjeeling Summer Rose Second Flush Black Tea

    This tea has such a complex, astounding, rich, ripe fragrance that I cannot describe it well enough to do it justice! I have noticed nuances of honey, vanilla, peach, orange, musk rose, nectarine, quince, lichee among many others. The picturesque Phuguri garden in the Mirik Valley grows the rare and best clonal tea bush variety known as AV2. This clone produces the best tasting Darjeeling but will only grow in a small number of places there. The flavour is as exquisite as the aroma so if you like Darjeeling you simply must try this. Phuguri is a bio-organic garden. Learn More

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  3. Darjeeling White Orchid First Flush Tea

    Darjeeling White Orchid First Flush Tea

    This Grand Cru tea has a green-golden, shimmering infusion which is smooth, fruity with a very fine fragrance. There are notes of geranium, mango, pomegranate, lotus, cherry blossom and pistachio. This premium harvest is considered to be one of the best of the season. Learn More
    From £20.00

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  4. Honey Hon Cha Black Tea

    Honey Hon Cha Black Tea

    Without a doubt, my favourite black tea. It is delicious without milk but more so with! This hand picked tea is also processed skilfully by hand to produce its elegant spiral shape. Just 500kgs are made a year due to the fact it is made from leaves that have been bitten by tiny insects. This only happens for a couple of weeks in the early summer. It is the damage done to the leaf and the secretions from the leaf to repair itself that give the tea its sweet, honeylike flavour. Most of this type of tea is made into the famous 'Oriental Beauty', also known as Dong Fang Mei Ren. Learn More

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  5. Ruby from Sun Moon Lake Black Tea

    Ruby from Sun Moon Lake Black Tea

    This prizewinning tea from Taiwan was as a result of a tea cultivar breeding scheme started over fifty years ago. I have to say it has the most complex flavour I have come across in a black tea and has become my equal favourite type. It is a broadleaf tea cultivar yielding a tea infusion with a natural cinnamon fragrance and a rich, malty flavour. As with all Taiwanese teas, this manages to combine complex floral and fruit flavours with the rich, malty body to make every sip taste different to the last. Learn More

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  6. Fo Shou Buddha's Hand Black Tea

    Fo Shou Buddha's Hand Black Tea

    This hand-picked tea is processed skilfully by hand to produce its elegant shape. Just a 20kg batch was made of this delicious tea, one of my real favourites, on a farm on the Mirror Mountain of Taiwan. This is the best batch of this tea I have ever tasted. It has a strong red grape aroma in the dry leaves with a raisin-like, sweet, creamy flavour in the cup that also carries subtle notes of bergamot, mint, lilac and nutmeg. Learn More

    Earn 260 loyalty points.

  7. Ancestor Mountain Gabalong Black Tea

    Ancestor Mountain Gabalong Black Tea

    In order to make this, we have had to use tea leaves from very high up the Ali Shan mountains, where the best quality is found. Higher quality, higher 'Gaba' content to start with. Normally, these leaves are made into the famous 'Jade Oolong' of Taiwan and in actual fact, the farmer we have worked with does not understand why we want to do this! However, we British love our black tea, our customers have asked for it and so it has arrived! It has a lovely, malty character with hints of raisins, honey and chocolate and is very smooth. Learn More

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  8. Jin Jun Mei Souchong Black Tea

    Jin Jun Mei Souchong Black Tea

    This Jin Jun Mei is currently the second most expensive black tea in China, with shops selling the slightly higher grade for prices up to $1600 for 100g. It has soared in both popularity and cost since it was created in 2005 by Mr Jiang Yuan Xun, the general manager of Wu Yi Zheng Shan tea company. This leaves the tea to develop a complex character, with aromas of fruit, flower, honey, caramel and malt with a wisp of smoke. Learn More

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  9. 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

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

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