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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. Darjeeling House of Green Leaves First Flush Tea

    Darjeeling House of Green Leaves First Flush Tea

    This rare, completely handmade tea has a golden-yellow infusion and is highly aromatic. It has a smooth, complex floral character with a freshly baked biscuit quality. The lively infusion sparkles and bursts with flavour in the mouth at once sweet, vanilla-like and jasmine, lavender floral. Mango, citrus, green apple and almond tones can also be picked out. All in all like a welcome burst of gentle Spring sunshine. Puttabong consistently produces the highest qualities with distinctive character. Previously listed as Puttabong Silver Sun Learn More
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  2. Jin Guanyin Golden Goddess of Mercy Black Tea

    Jin Guanyin Golden Goddess of Mercy Black Tea

    This rare tea treasure is from the fertile gardens in the high mountains of Fujian province. It is a new variety of black tea produced from a new hybrid created to produce a new type of oolong tea. The idea was to combine the buttery, alpine character of Tie Guan Yin with the osmanthus scent of Huang Jin Gui. The tightly twisted, black leaf with fine silvery-gold tips gives a deliciously sweet, smooth, exceptionally flavoured drink with hints of fruit and pepper. It is made entirely by hand from young tips that are withered, twisted, oxidised then dried and shaped before the final sorting is done. Learn More
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  3. 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

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  4. Assam Rhino Valley Gold Tips Black Tea

    Assam Rhino Valley Gold Tips Black Tea

    This prizewinning tea is made with leaves grown on the famous P126 clonal variety of tea bush. Clonal teas, not to be confused with GMO, are the result of decades of selection of seedlings that exhibit unique characteristics. In the Halmari tea garden, this clonal character is enhanced by the particular terroir and production methods and brings out a sweet, floral green, geranium leaf-like, cinnamon-wood quality with a neroli orange nuance. We order this tea in advance to ensure a supply from the peak crop in June. It also has a typically Assam flavour, full of maltiness, molasses, dried fruit and a touch of real ale! Learn More
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  5. Darjeeling White Orchid First Flush Tea

    Darjeeling White Orchid First Flush Tea

    This Grand Cru tea has a green-golden, shimmering infusion which is smooth, fruity with a very fine fragrance. There are notes of geranium, mango, pomegranate, lotus, cherry blossom and pistachio. This premium harvest is considered to be one of the best of the season. Learn More
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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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

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  9. 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

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