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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. 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
    From £8.00

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  2. Fuchow Golden Needle Black Tea

    Fuchow Golden Needle Black Tea

    An unusual flat, smooth leaf in the style of Long Jing green tea, that is worked by hand in a wok. It grows on the 'big leaf' tea tree, in common with our Tea of Life, in the Fujian Province. A rich tasting, fruity liquor with a lingering aroma of chocolate and fresh raspberries. Learn More

    Earn 15 loyalty points.

  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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.

  6. 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

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  7. Black Phoenix from Honey Orchid Tree Black Tea

    Black Phoenix from Honey Orchid Tree Black Tea

    Phoenix teas are normally produced as Oolongs but at our request this has been made into a black tea. And what an amazing tea it is, the like of which I have never tasted before. Dan Cong teas are famous for the characteristic of mimicking the flavours of different flowers and fruits, depending upon the strain from which they are made. This black tea has been made from Mi Lan, the Honey Orchid strain. It is hard to describe the complexity of fragrance and flavour in this tea but it is intense, with prominent notes of peach, mango and apricot released seemingly in waves upon the tongue with a rich malty finish. Learn More

    Earn 25 loyalty points.

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