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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. Sencha Shimizu Oku-Yutaka Green Tea

    Sencha Shimizu Oku-Yutaka Green Tea

    This is a First Flush, or 'Shincha' Sencha from the slopes of Ryokuchi, Shimizu in the mountains of Shizuoka. The farm is on the island of Honshu. Shincha teas are the cream of the crop. The farmer, Yamamoto Kengo through the use of environmentally friendly techniques produces superb quality tea, which has a rich flavour and a strong fragrance. It is sweet and slightly floral with some creamy notes, a hint of toasted almond, sweet melon, a refreshing menthol tone and a cleansing grapefruit finish. Learn More

    Earn 17 loyalty points.

  2. Sencha Kagoshima Yutaka Midori Green Tea

    Sencha Kagoshima Yutaka Midori Green Tea

    This is the highest quality Sencha from Kagoshima Prefecture, made from 'Shincha', or first flush tea which is the most highly prized plucking in Japan. It has sweet, smooth liquor which has a rich, 'umami' quality in the cup with very little astringency with notes of citrus, green muscat, flowers, creaminess, fresh greens, melon, fresh grass fragrance and nettle flower nectar. It is grown in pure, natural land. Learn More

    Earn 17 loyalty points.

  3. 'Ice Peak' Classic Oolong

    Ice Peak Classic Taiwan Oolong Tea

    The infusion is sweet with a lingering taste malty taste and a fragrance reminiscent of orchard fruits and high mountain pines. Due to its slightly higher roasting the green flavours found in other Jade Oolong changes to a fruitier character. One of the interesting ways careful processing can bring out desired characteristics from the same raw leaves. Learn More

    Earn 16 loyalty points.

  4. Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls White Tea

    Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls White Tea

    This is the finest grade of this popular hand-rolled tea. Each kilogram in weight is made up of 14,000 pearls. Just eight will make a half pint of tea and you can use the same leaves again for at least another brew. If you do the maths you'll find it works out at just six pence a cup for one of the finest and rarest teas in the world! The tea buds that make this tea are hand-picked in gardens found among the chains of mountains, hidden in mist close to the Fujian border with Jiangxi. Each leaf is skillfully hand rolled into a tiny pearl size ball. The tea is then wrapped in silk mesh and carefully dried. Learn More

    Earn 16 loyalty points.

  5. Da Hong Pao Big Red Robe Wuyi Oolong

    Da Hong Pao Big Red Robe Wuyi Oolong

    The most renowned of the four famous 'Rock' teas of the Wuyi Mountain and one of the most highly prized of China's 'Famous Ten'. These ancient trees grow in the mineral-rich, sandy soil and yield just one pound of tea each. Believed to be one of the healthiest teas The infusion is golden coloured, with a rich, fruity fragrance and mellow, sweet taste that has a hint of apricots and a subtle aftertaste of toasted bread with Seville orange marmalade./p> Learn More

    Earn 16 loyalty points.

  6. Heart Shaped Hei Cha Dark Tea

    Heart Shaped Hei Cha Dark Tea

    Dark Tea or Hei Cha is a famous tea product of Anhua, in the Hunan Province of China. It shares the same processing of post-fermentation through microbial action as Pu Erh. It is similar in flavour to Pu Erh too. We have chosen to have this tea made into heart shapes to reflect the many alleged health benefits found in drinking this heavy but very mellow charactered tea. One heart should be brewed in 500ml of filtered, boiling water. It is infused for just 20 seconds with the leaves being re-used 5-6 times to extract all the goodness. Listed below are a number of the claims made for its health benefits. Learn More

    Earn 16 loyalty points.

  7. Ice Peak Evergreen Taiwan Oolong Tea

    Ice Peak Evergreen Taiwan Oolong Tea

    This oolong is grown in the Deer Valley in Taiwan's Nantou County, close to the famous Dong Ding or Tung Ting Peak. This is from the premium spring flush and so yields a fresh, floral green or a 'Jade' style oolong. There is a butteriness in the aroma and cup due to its light oxidation, which also brings a Camellia and Lilac flavour out of the tea. Oolong tea like green tea is rich in healthy polyphenols which remove free radicals from the body. Chinese doctors also recommend it for helping to control obesity by activating the enzyme responsible for dissolving triglyceride (fatty deposits) and enhancing the function of fat metabolism. Of course more important than this is that it makes a delightful cup of tea! Learn More

    Earn 16 loyalty points.

  8. Earl Grey Celeste

    Earl Grey Céleste Tea

    A sumptuous, almost overwhelming liquor that revitalises and lifts the spirit. An extra shot of natural bergamot oil makes it particularly fragrant and refreshing, in a way few Earl Grey teas can compare. The base tea has hints of cocoa, malt and raspberry. Learn More

    Earn 15 loyalty points.

  9. 'White Crystal' Yin Zhen

    Yin Zhen White Crystal

    This rare and famous tea was first produced in 1796. It is extremely high in polyphenols, low in caffeine and has a light, subtle infusion. This is the finest of its kind and is made entirely of silvery buds covered in fine white hairs. It has been a challenge to find Yin Zhen this year, with adverse weather conditions adversely effecting the size of the already small crop. This tea has almost doubled in price in China and took much longer than usual to arrive, due to the floods in China. Our contacts in China however, always make sure we can offer some of the highest quality made and at a reasonable price. I have seen it selling elsewhere for £20 for 25g.

    Learn More

    Earn 15 loyalty points.

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