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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. 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
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  2. 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
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  3. Yunnan Imperial

    Yunnan Imperial

    This is a remarkably fine tea for such a small amout of money. It is thick liquored but will not become bitter, even if brewed for ten or more minutes. Its leaf appearance this year is much larger than usual because of weather conditions, meaning it needs a lengthy infusion time to yield all the flavour locked up in them. In the cup it is delicious, with all the typical Yunnan characteristics evident, such as sweet pepperiness and caramel. It is a splendid breakfast tea on its own and is also useful in a blend, adding great weight and smoothness.

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  4. Darjeeling Summer Thunder Second Flush Black Tea

    Darjeeling Summer Thunder Second Flush Black Tea

    This tea has a mellow, smooth, sweet tasting liquor that is full in the mouth and has a strong body. It has a typical nutty character found in second flush Darjeeling with hints of papaya, amber, geranium, plum and chestnut. Singbulli is one of Darjeeling's top gardens. Learn More
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  5. Sunny English Afternoon Black Tea

    Sunny English Afternoon Black Tea

    A very smooth but full flavoured infusion given a beautiful 'Muscatel' aroma by the touch of Second Flush Darjeeling added to the blend of teas from fine gardens. This is slightly lighter bodied than our Superior English Breakfast but offers a fine, traditional cup of tea any time of the day. Learn More
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  6. Darjeeling Silver Blossom First Flush Tea

    Darjeeling Silver Blossom First Flush Tea

    This late spring tea carries some of the early bud fragrances of elderflower and blackberry with just a hint of fresh, spring greens, mown grass and a touch of cinnamon.This smooth, silky tea with has a great green spring freshness. It is pale amber in colour and offers up a flavoursome, intense, flowery tea in both taste and aroma. Learn More
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  7. Darjeeling Wild River First Flush Tea

    Darjeeling Wild River First Flush Tea

    This is a slightly richer charactered tea for the First Flush with notes of orange blossom, fresh cut grass, wildflower hay, grapefruit, hazelnut and a subtle, honeyed spiciness. Learn More
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  8. Ceylon Naturally Decaffeinated Black Tea

    Ceylon Naturally Decaffeinated Black Tea

    An anthracite coloured, long and wiry leaf which is mild and tender in taste with a copper coloured infusion and pleasant fragrance. The tea is safely decaffeinated using the CO2 technique. Learn More
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  9. Darjeeling Eagle's Hide Second Flush Black Tea

    Darjeeling Eagle's Hide Second Flush Black Tea

    This tea has a complex character and an almost rose scented quality to the prominent spicy flavour. It is a tea to be relished. These bushes grow at over 6000ft and the perfect climate, shifting between fog and sunshine reduces the growing speed of the tea plants to guarantee an extremely high-quality tea. The second flush term refers to teas plucked during May to June in the gardens of Darjeeling. Each ‘invoice’ from the 90 or so gardens is unique and amounts to approximately just 90kgs. Learn More
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