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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 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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  2. Yunnan White Gold

    Yunnan White Gold

    We had to request a special manufacture of Yunnan (Dianhong) Gold tea this year, so an already scarce tea has become almost non-existent. This is due to the fact that most of the juicy buds used to produce it are now being used to make the very popular Pu Erh tea. This tea is made up entirely of long, golden buds and is the highest grade available of Yunnan tea. Although satisfyingly strong it is impossible to make this tea full of golden buds bitter, the longer you brew it the richer and smoother it becomes. The most wonderful thing about this tea, made entirely from plump, hairy buds, is that no two cups taste the same. Instead, one is treated to an array of flavours that change almost with the weather! It varies from peppery spiciness to a sweet toffee character in a moment yet always has an exotic perfume. Perfect with or without milk. Black tea perfection! Learn More
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  3. Japan Benifuuki Wakoucha Black Tea

    Japan Benifuuki Wakoucha Black Tea

    Only young Benifuuki leaves are first harvested by hand and then stored and oxidised for 3 months in the dark at low temperatures. This laborious process results in a tea that is extremely high in methylated catechin content, which is claimed to help combat hay fever and seasonal allergies. The flavour is smooth, full of honey and floral notes with some cool, mentholated, mineral tones normally found in Japanese green teas. Other flavours noted are apple, quince, raisin, cereals, muscatel and vanilla. Learn More
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