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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. Kenya Kericho Highlands Black Tea

    Kenya Kericho Highlands Black Tea

    The King of African teas which has a medium-strong, slightly flowery flavour and shining orange cup. Learn More
    From £5.00

    Earn 5 loyalty points.

  2. Russian Caravan Blend Black Tea

    Russian Caravan Blend Black Tea

    A classic blend that has doubtless changed over the centuries but this version is still incredibly popular. It is a blend of two distinctive types of tea from China that combine to produce a smooth, light and refreshing cup. Hints of chocolate, orchid, rose and a warm, woody character means it is equally at home with or without milk and makes a delightful afternoon tea. Learn More
    From £6.00

    Earn 6 loyalty points.

  3. 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
    From £6.00

    Earn 6 loyalty points.

  4. Assam Immortal Leaf Black Tea

    Assam Immortal Leaf Black Tea

    The Halmari garden produces many of the best tasting teas in Assam and this exquisite batch is no exception. It has a creamy, delicious malty flavour with hints of dark beer, spice and treacle with a hoppy, orange rind finish. This tea is picked at the peak of the summer season and carries the fine flavour the garden is noted for but at a reasonable price due to the slightly lower content of tips in the finished batch. Learn More
    From £6.00

    Earn 6 loyalty points.

  5. Keemun Monkey King Spring Gold Black Tea

    Keemun Monkey King Spring Gold Black Tea

    This is one of the rarest and finest of China's black teas, indeed the world's. It is a tea master produced, organically grown, long tender leaf variety from the Lion Mt. in Qi'Men with a light bodied, honey-sweet, chocolate malt infusion. It is a tea with a pronounced flavour yet with very little tannin and makes a good afternoon or early evening tea. It is made with the first golden down covered buds of spring, full of nutrition, picked before the Chinese Qing Ming festival. To put this wonderful tea's rarity into context it would make just 200,000 of the U.K's yearly consumption of 60,225,000,000 cups! Remember this is just the U.K, my calculator didn't have enough digits to work out the world's consumption! We can never get enough of this tea to last the year so try it while you can. Learn More

    Earn 12 loyalty points.

  6. Fuchow Monkey King Black Tea

    Fuchow Monkey King Black Tea

    This is the best grade of the black teas called Fuchow, hence the name 'Monkey King'. You can tell from its appearance with the abundant tips and golden hairs that it will be a rich, smooth tea with a complex character. It is predominantly malty in character with notes of cocoa and according to some of our customers a hint of ginger. Extremely exclusive and a current Imperial favourite. Learn More

    Earn 15 loyalty points.

  7. 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
    From £18.00

    Earn 18 loyalty points.

  8. Jin Jun Mei Souchong Black Tea

    Jin Jun Mei Souchong Black Tea

    This Jin Jun Mei is currently the second most expensive black tea in China, with shops selling the slightly higher grade for prices up to $1600 for 100g. It has soared in both popularity and cost since it was created in 2005 by Mr Jiang Yuan Xun, the general manager of Wu Yi Zheng Shan tea company. This leaves the tea to develop a complex character, with aromas of fruit, flower, honey, caramel and malt with a wisp of smoke. Learn More

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

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