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Chinese Black Tea

Chinese Black Tea | Imperial Teas

The whole range of these handmade teas deserves to be tried. They are intriguingly varied in character but are all surprisingly rich, sweet and malty with subtle chocolatey undertones and make wonderful breakfast teas. Amongst them you will find teas seldom seen outside of China and batches made to our specific specification. Most of them are suitable for taking with milk but are equally at home without. The brewing procedure is quite different though, depending which method you opt for. If you take them with milk brew them like an Assam, for between 5-7 minutes. If you prefer it without milk, brew for two minutes and then using the same leaves you can brew once or twice again. The difference in flavour is most beguiling.

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  1. Russian Caravan

    Russian Caravan

    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. It is equally at home with or without milk and makes a delightful afternoon tea.

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    From £5.00

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  2. Smoky Caravan

    Smoky Caravan

    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.

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  3. Keemun Lion Mountain

    Keemun Lion Mountain

    Chinese black teas are very versatile for the fact that, depending on one's taste, they can be made strongly and drunk with milk, or taken black when a bright, gentle brew may be appreciated in the early evening. This Keemun from the Lion Mountain in Anhui province to the west of Shanghai is the next highest grade after the Hao Ya teas. Its flavour is malty with a subtle hint of fruit and its famed aroma is compared to orchid, rose and chocolate, which is also evident in the infusion. A very reasonably priced tea for its high quality.

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    From £5.50

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  4. Tarry Lapsang Crocodile

    Tarry Lapsang Crocodile

    The original and best grade of this famous smoky tea is grown in a nature reserve. It is smoked naturally with the authentic Chinese fir root and is gentle, clear and full flavoured.

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    From £6.50

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  5. 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

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  6. Fuchow Monkey King

    Fuchow Monkey King

    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

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  7. Lu Yu Golden Thread

    Lu Yu Golden Thread

    Lu Yu Golden Thread is a special grade of Chinese black tea produced in the high elevation tea gardens of western Hubei, China. Each year, this ‘golden hao ya’ tea is carefully selected from the farmers’ earliest batches of spring tea. It has a mellow and refreshing character that is smooth with low astringency. It is expertly oxidised, with even graded leaves and big, golden buds. It is wonderfully full-flavored with a rich body and is a treat for black tea lovers. A Chinese poet described Enshi, where this tea is grown as "Endless green mountains to walk on, endless clear water going away". If taking without milk, brew in the Chinese style with 2g of tea, three minute infusion time but the leaves can be brewed 3-4 times.

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  8. Jin Jun Mei Souchong

    Jin Jun Mei Souchong

    This Jin Jun Mei is currently the second most expensive black tea in China, with shops selling the 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. Whilst accompanying some guests on a visit to the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian, famous for Oolong teas, some wild tea bushes were discovered growing at over 1800 metres altitude in the Wuyi Nature Reserve. This leaves the tea to develop a complex character, with aromas of fruit, flower and honey and malt.

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    Earn 31 loyalty points.

  9. Fuchow Golden Needle

    Fuchow Golden Needle

    An unusual flat, smooth leaf in the style of Long Jing green tea, that is worked by hand in a wok. It grows on the 'big leaf' tea tree, in common with our Tea of Life, in the Fujian Province. A rich tasting, fruity liquor with a lingering aroma of chocolate and fresh raspberries. Learn More

    Earn 15 loyalty points.

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