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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. 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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  2. 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.

  3. 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

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  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Si Ji Ever Spring Black Tea

    Si Ji Ever Spring Black Tea

    Si Ji Chun is the cultivar selected to make this black tea, and only the best hand plucked summer tea leaves, which have a very high catechin content make the grade. The tea leaves, tight and dark black, produce a deep red, lingering liquor, which tastes smooth, sugar cane sweet and with a strong fragrance and flavour of cinnamon and nutmeg. There are floral notes, grape, damson, eucalyptus and wildflower honey. As with all Taiwanese teas, every sip tastes different to the last. This special tea is made in Zhu Shan in Nantou County, a famous tea growing area. Learn More

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

  7. Earl Grey Golden Buddha Tea

    Earl Grey Golden Buddha Tea

    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. The addition of a small amount of special oil of bergamot from Taiwan adds another layer that makes this one of our most distinguished blends, notes of neroli, geranium and linalool dominate the citrus tones. This bergamot has a different flavour to that of our classic top quality Italian oil used to flavour our other Earl Grey varieties. Learn More

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

  8. Fortune's Adventurer's Black Tea

    Fortune's Adventurer's Black Tea

    Robert Fortune was a tea pioneer. Let your taste buds follow his trail as he travelled on his daring mission to steal tea secrets from China! The infusion has hints of cocoa, rose, caramel, sweet tobacco, ‘Muscatel’, honey and frankincense, this tea will keep the most discerning palate intrigued for years. Learn More

    Earn 20 loyalty points.

  9. Earl Grey Divine Tea

    Earl Grey Divine Tea

    The addition of a small amount of special oil of bergamot from the variety of this fruit grown in Taiwan adds another layer that makes this one our most distinguished Earl Grey teas, one that offers a complexity not usually found in scented teas. This bergamot has a different flavour to our classic top quality Italian oil used to flavour our other Earl Grey varieties. The base tea is Golden Lily, a black tea famous for its creamy, milk-like aroma, which complements the rich body and transfers into the flavour with a caramel taste. 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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