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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

    Earn 22 loyalty points.

  2. 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

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

  3. 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

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

  4. 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

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

  5. 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

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

  6. Japan Benifuuki Wakoucha Black Tea

    Japan Benifuuki Wakoucha Black Tea

    Only young Benifuuki leaves are first harvested by hand and then stored and oxidised for 3 months in the dark at low temperatures. This laborious process results in a tea that is extremely high in methylated catechin content, which is claimed to help combat hay fever and seasonal allergies. The flavour is smooth, full of honey and floral notes with some cool, mentholated, mineral tones normally found in Japanese green teas. Other flavours noted are apple, quince, raisin, cereals, muscatel and vanilla. Learn More
    From £20.00

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

  7. 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.

  8. Yunnan White Gold

    Yunnan White Gold

    We had to request a special manufacture of Yunnan (Dianhong) Gold tea this year, so an already scarce tea has become almost non-existent. This is due to the fact that most of the juicy buds used to produce it are now being used to make the very popular Pu Erh tea. This tea is made up entirely of long, golden buds and is the highest grade available of Yunnan tea. Although satisfyingly strong it is impossible to make this tea full of golden buds bitter, the longer you brew it the richer and smoother it becomes. The most wonderful thing about this tea, made entirely from plump, hairy buds, is that no two cups taste the same. Instead, one is treated to an array of flavours that change almost with the weather! It varies from peppery spiciness to a sweet toffee character in a moment yet always has an exotic perfume. Perfect with or without milk. Black tea perfection! Learn More
    From £20.00

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

  9. Thailand Santikhiri Hill of Peace Black Tea

    Thailand Santikhiri Hill of Peace Black Tea

    Thailand is a relative newcomer to the world of tea production but due to the use of fine Taiwanese tea stock and expertise is making big waves in the high-quality tea market. This rarity has a fruity, caramel-like bouquet with a cup that shines in amber tones. It is very aromatic with a subtle sweetness and hints of honey on the palate. Learn More
    From £18.00

    Earn 18 loyalty points.

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