Our selection of black teas comprises purely orthodox teas. That means loose leaf black teas that have been produced using traditional methods which aim to keep the leaf as whole as possible. Generally speaking, the larger the leaf particles, the more mellow and complex the flavour of the tea will be. The most famous and established areas for high quality orthodox teas are Darjeeling and Assam in India, the highlands in Sri Lanka and Yunnan and Keemun in China. Depending on which variety and cultivar of the tea plant were used, and what the terroir is like in the different growing ares, black tea can range in taste from being light and floral to malty and chocolatey.
Great Britain is famous for its blends, such as English Breakfast Tea. Back in the 19th century, when British tea companies wanted to make the strong flavours of Indian teas palatable to the middle-classes in the UK, they started mixing – blending – different teas with each other. The most famous blend of all is Earl Grey, which simply means a tea or blend of teas to which bergamot oil or flavouring has been added. The advantage of blends is that while orthodox teas vary from harvest to harvest, the actual mix of a particular named blend can be adapted to ensure that the finished blend is always consistently good. For more information about black tea please see our magazine article “A beginners guide to black tea“.
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