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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 Wild River First Flush Tea

    Darjeeling Wild River First Flush Tea

    This is a slightly richer charactered tea for the First Flush with notes of orange blossom, fresh cut grass, wildflower hay, grapefruit, hazelnut and a subtle, honeyed spiciness. Learn More
    From £8.00

    Earn 8 loyalty points.

  2. Father's Time Black Tea

    Father's Time Black Tea

    This is a tea to savour, whether as a treat for yourself or a gift from a loved one. We use a beautiful, golden tipped tea from the birthplace of tea Mount Meng Ding. It has a rich flavour, like cocoa and rose, almost Turkish Delight! This is balanced by a tea grown in primaeval forests in another province of China, near the Lancang River, that is smooth, toffee-like, with hints of sweet tobacco and honey. The third part has a complex flavour and an astonishing, floral and fruity fragrance. Perfect gift for Father's Day! Or just to say I love you! Even if it's to yourself! Learn More

    Earn 14 loyalty points.

  3. A Taste of Honey Black Tea

    A Taste of Honey Black Tea

    A special blend of three of the world's best black teas that have a unique flavour profile that give the infusion a natural taste of wild honey. Malt, spice, fruit, honeysuckle, peach, nectarine and chocolate notes are among the many that compete for recognition as the tea reveals its character seemingly in waves upon the tongue. Learn More

    Earn 15 loyalty points.

  4. Black Velvet Black Tea

    Black Velvet Black Tea

    A velvety smooth blend of three exquisite teas. The deep red, lingering liquor of one of the components, carries a strong fragrance and flavour of exotic spice. Another has a strong red grape aroma in the dry leaves with a raisin-like flavour in the cup that also carries subtle notes of bergamot and mint. The third part delivers dark chocolate, rose, peach, and honey. Learn More

    Earn 15 loyalty points.

  5. 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
    From £16.00

    Earn 16 loyalty points.

  6. 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

    Earn 18 loyalty points.

  7. 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

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

  8. Bi Yu Blue Heart Black Tea

    Bi Yu Blue Heart Black Tea

    The strong aroma of ripe fruits, sweet, malty, smooth taste, rich, sappy liquor with hints of nectarine, orchid and caramel have made this rare tea a much sought after treasure. This small leaf tea cultivar is protected by a patent, owned Mr Kang a tea farmer who created it, and it cannot be planted except by agreement, to preserve the quality associated with this high profile tea. It is cultivar number 19 as recognised by the Taiwan Tea Experiment Station, and is also known as ’blue heart‘. Learn More

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

  9. Jin Xuan Golden Lily Black Tea

    Jin Xuan Golden Lily Black Tea

    Prizewinning farmer Gau-Bin Zhan who has won the ‘Excellent Farmer’ award many years in a row makes this new tea. His tea garden is located in Juhshan township in Nantou County. Using his finest, summer crop ‘Jin Xuan’ tea cultivar leaves, normally destined to make finest Oolong tea, he has created a tea with a unique character. Jin Xuan is famous for its creamy, milk-like aroma, which complements the rich body and transfers into the flavour with a caramel taste. Hints of honey and frankincense add to the intriguing, complex charm of this special tea. As well as being rich in flavour it is also heavy with theaflavins, exhibited after cooling when they emulsify to create a milky appearance. Jin Xuan translates as Golden Day Lily and this tea is as fragrant as the flower, with a fruity, floral lingering finish. Learn More

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

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