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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. Superior English Breakfast Black Tea

    Superior English Breakfast Black Tea

    Chosen by the 'Independent' newspaper as the perfect breakfast tea, it is a hearty but smooth blend of garden Assam tea with lots of golden tips. Blended solely with quality in mind this traditional 'English' tea uses three different leaf styles to deliver a rounded cup with 'Superior' flavour, aroma and appearance. It is the only breakfast tea we offer, believing that no one would want to drink what could only be considered an 'inferior' breakfast tea! This is best appreciated with the addition of full cream milk using one rounded spoon per cup. Learn More
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  2. Assam Keyhung Garden Black Tea

    Assam Keyhung Garden Black Tea

    This is strong, full-bodied tea with excellent maltiness and rich colour – perfect for an early morning pick-me-up. The aftertaste is nuanced with a refreshing citrus sensation due to the high proportion of tips. This tea was previously listed as Zaloni. Learn More
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  3. Ceylon Mountain Stream Orange Pekoe Black Tea

    Ceylon Mountain Stream Orange Pekoe Black Tea

    Grown on the eastern slopes of the Central Mountains, this black tea yields a bold and crisp infusion of deep amber that lingers on the palate with delicate notes of astringency. A refreshing cup for the morning or afternoon. The aromatic notes include fresh, sappy wood, plum fruits, molasses through to spice, pepper and mint. Previously listed as Dotel Oya. 1307 Learn More
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  4. 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
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  5. 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
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  6. 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
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  7. Assam Immortal Leaf Black Tea

    Assam Immortal Leaf Black Tea

    The Halmari garden produces many of the best tasting teas in Assam and this exquisite batch is no exception. It has a creamy, delicious malty flavour with hints of dark beer, spice and treacle with a hoppy, orange rind finish. This tea is picked at the peak of the summer season and carries the fine flavour the garden is noted for but at a reasonable price due to the slightly lower content of tips in the finished batch. Learn More
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  8. 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
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  9. 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
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