BLACK TEA

All tea starts out as a green leaf. So-called 'black' tea is named for the colour of the leaves and the deep, rich infusion. The process of turning green tea into the black tea most familiar to us in the west is called oxidisation. In the best teas, this can impart flavours such as malt, chocolate, honey, toffee or sweet, woody smokiness.

We offer the best types from the growing countries where the quality of production ensures unique characteristics in the cup.

  1. As low as £12.00
    This black tea is a relative newcomer to the roster and is produced on an ‘oolong’ cultivar, meaning that it is a tea of great complexity, is strongly aromatic and very light in body. Whilst it does not produce dark liquor it is delicious taken with milk as well as black. The creaminess of milk combines with the naturally occurring flavour of honey and caramel that this tea possesses.
  2. As low as £14.00
    This very rare tea grows wild in the woods of Georgia, near the Mtirala National Park, just a few kilometres from the Black Sea. These hand-produced teas have the quality of some of the finest teas in the world grown in Taiwan and are similar in complexity. The soft, infusion almost without any bitterness has nuances of wild berry, maple, pine, malt, raisins, honey, cocoa, caramel, apple, chestnut and spice. The long, wiry matt black leaves also look like those of Taiwanese teas, the larger leaf size reflecting the fact they are produced on tea trees rather than bushes. Many of these tea trees were planted in the 19th century and until recently were not harvested. The rich forest soil, the surrounding trees offering shade mean that these wild trees produce naturally high quality material for artisan tea makers to express.
  3. As low as £21.00
    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.
  4. As low as £21.00
    Only young Benifuuki leaves are first harvested by hand and then stored and oxidised for 3 months in the dark at low temperatures. This laborious process results in a tea that is extremely high in methylated catechin content, which is claimed to help combat hay fever and seasonal allergies. The flavour is smooth, full of honey and floral notes with some cool, mentholated, mineral tones normally found in Japanese green teas. Other flavours noted are apple, quince, raisin, cereals, muscatel and vanilla.
  5. As low as £11.00
    Jenny’s favourite teas, which she brewed ceremonially every morning and drank from her favourite cup, long before anyone else was awake, were Keemun Hao Ya B and a big leaf, malty Assam from Mangalam. We’ve blended the two together to combine the pleasure she took from drinking them. Both teas have a rich body but are smooth; the notes of malt, molasses, orchid, chocolate and rose complement each other perfectly.
  6. As low as £17.00
    This rare tea treasure is from the fertile gardens in the high mountains of Fujian province. It is a new variety of black tea produced from a new hybrid created to produce a new type of oolong tea. The idea was to combine the buttery, alpine character of Tie Guan Yin with the osmanthus scent of Huang Jin Gui. The tightly twisted, black leaf with fine silvery-gold tips gives a deliciously sweet, smooth, exceptionally flavoured drink with hints of fruit and pepper. It is made entirely by hand from young tips that are withered, twisted, oxidised then dried and shaped before the final sorting is done.
  7. As low as £21.00
    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.
  8. As low as £14.00

    One of the world's best black teas and one from our range with a deeply devoted following. It is deliciously complex in flavour with a rich liquor that makes it a perfect breakfast tea. This is Lion Mountain's finest offering, although only a very small quantity is made. It has a complex, smooth, malty flavour and golden infusion, with a beautifully handcrafted leaf. A superb tea that can take milk and makes a delightful afternoon drink. Hao Ya is one of China’s ‘Famous Ten’ teas.

  9. As low as £8.00
    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.
  10. As low as £18.00
    This is one of the rarest and finest of China's black teas, indeed the world's. It is a tea master produced, organically grown, long tender leaf variety from the Lion Mt. in Qi'Men with a light bodied, honey-sweet, chocolate malt infusion. It is a tea with a pronounced flavour yet with very little tannin and makes a good afternoon or early evening tea. It is made with the first golden down covered buds of spring, full of nutrition, picked before the Chinese Qing Ming festival. To put this wonderful tea's rarity into context it would make just 200,000 of the U.K's yearly consumption of 60,225,000,000 cups! Remember this is just the U.K, my calculator didn't have enough digits to work out the world's consumption! We can never get enough of this tea to last the year so try it while you can.
  11. As low as £6.00
    The King of African teas which has a medium-strong, slightly flowery flavour and shining orange cup.
  12. As low as £8.00
    To this day, the Lincoln Imp stands frozen in place....or at least until no-one is looking, when he often indulges his taste for a fine cup of tea by visiting one of Lincoln's other magnificent Norman buildings, home to Imperial Teas. Not content with helping himself to a cup of tea, he also likes to mess around in our blending room. The result is that we have no idea what he puts in this tea from one blend to the next! Needless to say our blending room only contains the finest teas and flavouring ingredients so we can guarantee you get a surprise of quality! We can't promise you'll get the same tea twice though! The tea is strong and malty with a subtle hint of whatever takes the Imp's fancy.
  13. £5.00
    To this day, the Lincoln Imp stands frozen in place....or at least until no-one is looking, when he often indulges his taste for a fine cup of tea by visiting one of Lincoln's other magnificent Norman buildings, home to Imperial Teas. He likes his tea strong and malty so we've selected a rich, tasty pure Assam tea from the peak of the harvest from one of our favourite gardens. As we hope you might expect from us, just because it's a tea bag doesn't mean we've compromised our standards. We've used the same high quality teas as our loose leaf teas, packed at a 40% higher dose than you'll find in other tea bags, into plastic free tea bags for your convenience.
  14. As low as £11.00
    Only the best will do when sending your love from the beautiful city of Lincoln. Perfect as a gift or drink to celebrate a great memory you have of Lincoln. Even if you've never been the flavour is worth savouring anyway! We have selected five of the best black teas in the world, all from Taiwan, to make this stunning blend, on a base tea of finest Assam from India. The liquor will offer a rich, sappy liquor that is sugarcane sweet, malty, has hints of caramel, honey, ripe nectarine, cinnamon, nutmeg, frankincense, raisin, red grape, muscatel, bergamot, rose, mint and dark chocolate. The fragrance is equally complex, flittering through the four seasons from evergreen, wild, mountain meadow flowers and ripe summer fruits. Lincoln was a Roman city and continued its importance through the Norman era when construction of our beautiful cathedral began. Lincoln continues to grow as a modern city built around its historic buildings and heritage.
  15. As low as £21.00
    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".