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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. Liu An Gua Pian Angel's Tears Green Tea

    Liu An Gua Pian Angel's Tears Green Tea

    As pure and sweet as its name would suggest, and the oldest of the 'Famous Ten' teas. The mist bound Inner mountain, Qi Tou produces the very best grade, with a lucid, bright infusion, high fragrance and long lasting aftertaste. It is usually picked around the 20th April. Its Chinese name, Guapian is due to the leaves resemblance to melon seeds. It is hand-picked and processed and is best made with filtered water in order to appreciate its strong aroma and fresh, green, clear liquor. It can be brewed several times, yielding a pure, sweet flavour like the tears of an angel. Learn More

    Earn 16 loyalty points.

  4. Ice Peak Classic Taiwan Oolong Tea

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Yunnan Black Gold Black Tea

    Yunnan Black Gold Black Tea

    This tea's appearance, long golden buds in a blend shot through with dark, wiry leaves is beautiful but it is in the cup that this tea really shines. It is made by a tea master with the focus being on maximising the complexity of flavour. As well as all the usual spicy, peppery, subtle earthy notes and a sweetness in the finish, this batch has a very clear note of caramel that we love, with a warm honey flavour too. As you can tell, one of our favourite teas of the year. Learn More

    Earn 16 loyalty points.

  7. 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.

  8. Darjeeling Mountain Mystic First Flush Tea

    Darjeeling Mountain Mystic First Flush Tea

    The fresh, grapefruit-like zesty aroma is balanced with muscatel grape and a hint of something almost cinnamon like. The pale yellow yet rich liquor sits like a satisfying white wine on the tongue, with a layered palette of exotic fruit flavours, such as guava and nectarine and with the characteristic First Flush oil of wintergreen freshness. This is the best tasting Darjeeling of the season and comes from the Turzum garden. Learn More

    Earn 16 loyalty points.

  9. Royal Rose Taiwan Oolong Tea

    Royal Rose Taiwan Oolong Tea

    The beautiful fragrance of Rose has long been used to impart a special flavour to tea, with which it shares some characteristics. We’ve chosen a high mountain Oolong tea as the base for this distinguished blend. The flavour lingers for an age on the palate with a long, sweetness that intensifies with each mouthful and even more so as it cools. The colour of the liquor is a deep yellow. I particularly enjoy it in the early evening. The jade oolong used to make this tea is grown at 1800 metres. Learn More

    Earn 16 loyalty points.

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