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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. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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