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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
    From £5.00

    Earn 5 loyalty points.

  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
    From £5.00

    Earn 5 loyalty points.

  3. 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
    From £6.00

    Earn 6 loyalty points.

  4. 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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    From £7.00

    Earn 7 loyalty points.

  5. Ceylon Precious Jewel Black Tea

    Ceylon Precious Jewel Black Tea

    A real speciality, this rare tea has a smooth, malty character and richness reminiscent of the finest Assam with a very elegant leaf, edged with silver and gold. The sweet honey-like aroma, with tones of apricot and exotic flowers, lifts Precious Jewel above the ordinary realm of Ceylon teas. The honey character transfers into the cup, enhancing the full and well-balanced creamy flavour, which also carries nuances of chocolate, vanilla and blackcurrant. Learn More

    Earn 9 loyalty points.

  6. Keemun Hao Ya

    Keemun Hao Ya

    One of the world's best black teas and one from our range with a deeply devoted following. It is deliciously complex in flavour with a rich liquor that makes it a perfect breakfast tea. This is Lion Mountain's finest offering, although only a very small quantity is made. It has a complex, smooth, malty flavour and golden infusion, with a beautifully handcrafted leaf. A superb tea that can take milk and makes a delightful afternoon drink. Hao Ya is one of China’s ‘Famous Ten’ teas. Learn More

    Earn 13 loyalty points.

  7. Yunnan Black Gold Black Tea

    Yunnan Black Gold Black Tea

    This tea's appearance, long golden buds in a blend shot through with dark, wiry leaves is beautiful but it is in the cup that this tea really shines. It is made by a tea master with the focus being on maximising the complexity of flavour. As well as all the usual spicy, peppery, subtle earthy notes and a sweetness in the finish, this batch has a very clear note of caramel that we love, with a warm honey flavour too. As you can tell, one of our favourite teas of the year. Learn More

    Earn 16 loyalty points.

  8. Sichuan Zao Bai Jian Spring Black Tea

    Sichuan Zao Bai Jian Spring Black Tea

    This is one of my favourite teas and one of the best black teas I have ever tasted. Even in the dry leaf, it has the wonderful aroma of chocolate covered Turkish Delight, more when infused and the taste reminds me of Bournvita, with its silky blend of real cocoa, malt and rose. The appearance of the fine, golden tipped, tightly twisted leaves is also an indication of the respect this tea has in China's tea market. Learn More

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

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