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TEA

Tea, high quality tea, green tea, black tea | Imperial Teas

Our range of tea is chosen from thousands of samples sent to us each year from the producing countries around the world. No speciality worthy of the name passes us by and often we are the exclusive stockists in this country, if not Europe, of the world's finest and most rare varieties. We now have a special relationship with growers and their agents in the country of origin and this gives us access to teas picked on as little as one morning of the year in the greatest tea gardens of the world and even teas that are grown only for us by special order. This also enables us to keep a good supply as demand for unusual teas has grown over the past ten years and there is fiercer competition for the limited stock. These rare teas are part of our range of over four hundred types. In offering so many, teas that standing on their own would seem like one of the most precious things in the world can slip by unnoticed. We urge you to be as experimental as possible and to take time to discover and enjoy the little gems gracing our shelves.

Tea cultivation is as complex, if not more so than wine producing, so it should not be a surprise to see so many varieties on offer. Great variation in quality and flavour exist, even from the same bush in the same garden! These variations are a result of many things such as climatic conditions, soil type, time of year, how the leaves are picked and as importantly, how they are processed. It is a perfect balance of nature and nurture. Despite this almost boundless choice, most of the tea drunk in this country is blended to remove these unique characteristics and provide a homogenised product where choice is limited to which shape of teabag you prefer! Although as a nation we are one of the largest tea consumers it is widely acknowledged that nearly all of the tea imported into Britain is of the poorest quality imaginable. For the past 25 years we are pleased, with your support and enthusiasm, to have played a small part in changing this.

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  1. Honey Hon Cha Black Tea

    Honey Hon Cha Black Tea

    Without a doubt, my favourite black tea. It is delicious without milk but more so with! This hand picked tea is also processed skilfully by hand to produce its elegant spiral shape. Just 500kgs are made a year due to the fact it is made from leaves that have been bitten by tiny insects. This only happens for a couple of weeks in the early summer. It is the damage done to the leaf and the secretions from the leaf to repair itself that give the tea its sweet, honeylike flavour. Most of this type of tea is made into the famous 'Oriental Beauty', also known as Dong Fang Mei Ren. Learn More

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  2. Ruby from Sun Moon Lake Black Tea

    Ruby from Sun Moon Lake Black Tea

    This prizewinning tea from Taiwan was as a result of a tea cultivar breeding scheme started over fifty years ago. I have to say it has the most complex flavour I have come across in a black tea and has become my equal favourite type. It is a broadleaf tea cultivar yielding a tea infusion with a natural cinnamon fragrance and a rich, malty flavour. As with all Taiwanese teas, this manages to combine complex floral and fruit flavours with the rich, malty body to make every sip taste different to the last. Learn More

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

  3. Fo Shou Buddha's Hand Black Tea

    Fo Shou Buddha's Hand Black Tea

    This hand-picked tea is processed skilfully by hand to produce its elegant shape. Just a 20kg batch was made of this delicious tea, one of my real favourites, on a farm on the Mirror Mountain of Taiwan. This is the best batch of this tea I have ever tasted. It has a strong red grape aroma in the dry leaves with a raisin-like, sweet, creamy flavour in the cup that also carries subtle notes of bergamot, mint, lilac and nutmeg. Learn More

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  4. 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.

  5. Honey Mountain Royal Gue Fei Taiwan Oolong Tea

    Honey Mountain Royal Gue Fei Taiwan Oolong Tea

    I had often imagined a tea being made that could combine my two favourite oolong teas into one. I also imagined it would be impossible. I'm sure you will imagine how thrilled I am that someone has done it! Our supplier in Taiwan made this tea in the summer as an experiment. Needless to say, it is a resounding success! Whilst, not an ‘Oriental Beauty’ tea it has much in common, sharing the need for insects to bite the leaves. Naturally, it too has the beautiful honey, fruit and floral character found in ‘Oriental Beauty’ but also some of the buttery, green and cooler flavours found in a top 'Jade' Oolong. It differs from other 'Oriental Beauty' teas for some important reasons. Firstly, it is grown in a different place and much higher up the mountain at 1500 metres. Learn More

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

  6. 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

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  7. 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.

  8. Lu Yu Golden Thread Black Tea

    Lu Yu Golden Thread Black Tea

    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 a smooth, refreshing character with notes of nut, longan fruit and caramel with low astringency. 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". Learn More

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

  9. 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.

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