All teas, including black teas, come from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis, with the exception of herbal teas. Classification or categorization of teas is determined by how much the leaves are oxidized during preparation. Black tea leaves are fully oxidized; more oxidized than all other teas, and as a result, they are richer than others in taste and flavor. 

What are black teas? 

Black teas are derived from Camellia plants Var. and the subspecies, Assamica. This differentiation and the level of oxidation in the production of black teas allow them to retain their flavor for many years, unlike green teas. This has made them a more popular option among teas. Black teas are normally named after the region from which they are derived, such as Assam, Darjeeling, Nepali, etc. Black teas brew from reddish-brown to dark brown. They are the most popular types of teas in the West, although green teas have seen a rise in popularity recently.  India is the largest exporter in the world. Other nations that produce black teas are Kenya, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Australia, and Indonesia. 

Brewing and Preparation 

The leaves of the broad Camellia plant are plucked and allowed to wither under the sun. Afterward, the leaves are crushed to activate the oxidation process. During oxidation, the leaves are allowed to turn black before they are fired in an oven—an action that halts the oxidation process. If all black tea leaves are prepared in this same way, how are they differentiated? As with everything else, black teas are affected by variations in terroir and cultivation. Beyond that, differentiation is made by grading. Teas are graded by the number of buds incorporated during production.  Preparation of loose-leaf black teas requires the use of pure water at its boiling point. If the water is cooler, the steep times can be longer to compensate for the lower temperature. 

Taste, Feel and Flavor 

Astringency plays a major role in the taste and feel of loose-leaf black teas. Astringency is loosely defined as a dry, rough, or fuzzy sensation on the palate that occurs when eating or drinking something. This sensation is a result of the sourness and bitterness which often is associated with ripe fruit. 

Black tea leaves have a flavor that feels like a blend of coffee and red wine. When tasting teas, your palate registers a raisin-like sweetness, a gentle lingering acidity, astringency, and a rich, velvety body. Although similar, black teas have different flavors. While some have more sweetness and astringency, some, like our popular Pu-Erh Tea, have more body than the rest. Ultimately, the taste of black teas is a measured crispness resulting from the various influencing factors, leaving it sweet but tart. It is not uncommon to hear this feel referred to as “brisk.”  The flavor, quality, and black teas’ other hard-to-describe factors are called mouthfeel. Some of our most popular black teas include our Assam Organic Tea and our mild Blue Sapphire Tea

Benefits of Black Teas 

Black teas contain some caffeine, which acts as a stimulant for the nervous system. However, with a lower caffeine content than coffee (about 1/3), and the presence of tannin, black teas' effects are not as strong as coffee, and not as immediate. The caffeine content in all teas, in general, is linked to terroir. Processing does not noticeably reduce or increase caffeine content. If you are concerned about caffeine, please try our decaffeinated black teas.   

Please try our loose-leaf black teas. Whenever possible, we offer organic versions of our loose-leaf teas. 

Loose-Leaf Black Tea

Size

Color

Brand

Price

Assam - Organic Loose Black Tea
$ 9.50
Assam is the main ingredient of all breakfast teas. It adds the brisk or astringent flavor.  What’s the best part of a morning routine? Many people would say coffee, but the epicureans among us may say tea. If you are a true tea aficionado, you are a fan of Assam tea and if you are a tea-lover who hasn’t tried Assam, you will be a big fan. So intense and yet smooth, this tea appeals to both the palate of a reluctant tea drinker and that of a gourmet. But, for those who know tea, Organic Assam is a staple drink. Robust, complex and pungent describes the lush and intense tea leaves, big and dark, hailing from the Assam region of India. Organic, this black tea is the fruit of cool nights and hot days, hallmarks of the perfect tea-growing climate.   Substantial and malty, this breakfast tea is cream of the crop—of the tea crop,...
Blue Sapphire Loose Black Tea
$ 8.00
A milder black tea from lush valleys of Kenya Catch your breath and remind yourself of the glassy depths of the world of black teas. Start with the look of it: this brambly blend reveals its simplicity striking proposition at first glance. Cornflower is laid in all of its deep blue beauty atop the black tea that you know offers a mellow, afternoon-ready character. Clarity is key in this unassuming two-note tea, known for aiding focus and providing antioxidant support. This hot black tea also isn't afraid to wield a sapphire-smooth kick: it's medium caffeine levels add to its rebellious naturalism. Kenya through and through – with a pointed, glassy collection of floral black notes. Named after the famed Kenyan gemstone, Blue Sapphire is as memorable as it looks. Let this exquisite black tea bring gentle flavor to your morning, afternoon, or evening.   Base leaf: Black tea from Tinderet, Great Rift Valley, Kenya. orthodox production TGFOP - Tippy...
Ceylon - Organic Loose Black Tea
$ 7.00
A classic black tea from Sri Lanka with a delicious clean tangy aroma, and refreshing citrus taste.  Sri Lanka’s balmy island has been given many names. Its current name in Sanskrit means “resplendent island.” The British called it Ceylon, derived from another Indian word meaning “blood of a lion,” a term reserved for heroes. The Persians called it “Serendib”, from which the word serendipity was coined. And so it goes for any unsuspecting adventurer who takes a sip of this unassuming tea, bound to serendipitously discover a resplendent brew that truly is the hero of its own story. Along the bronze-hued beaches and temple ruins of that marvelous island, favorable trade winds have created many microclimates suitable for growing a diversity of teas. And the tropic climate has produced year-round harvests. This Ceylon is a classic black tea that lives up to its home-grown heritage.  Smell it first. You’ll be greeted with a clean, tangy aroma. Take a sip. You’ll...
Darjeeling - Organic Loose Black Tea
$ 13.00
Affectionately called the "Champagne of Teas", Darjeeling tea hails from the foothills of the Himalayas where the steeper slopes begin.  At 6,600 feet, the growing climate is distinctly different from those of other areas of India or even china. The temperatures here are cooler but the sunshine and rain plentiful. Some say the higher elevations makes the sun more intense, but there is no science to back this up.  IF YOU WANT DECAF DARJEELING CLICK HERE The soil here is minerally and drains well and is perfect for growing tea. Soil and sun are strong determiners of the quality of the tea leaves which give this tea a unique muscatel wine flavor which has been prized by European tea drinkers for centuries. It is perhaps the worlds best know black tea. Our tea is graded TGFOP which stands for Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe. The simple rule to understanding this arcane...
Earl Grey Supreme Loose Black Tea
$ 9.50
Keep lots of this Nobleman's tea on hand. You never know who might drop in. Imagine being a nobleman. Imagine living in the 1800's in England on a great sprawling manicured estate. On that estate, you tend to take your tea when the landscape is fresh and lush and the part of the day that is hectic is behind you or in front of you but is not now—No, now you are at peace. Now you retreat into all that is splendid. Ushering in the reflective, calm, you sit on your marble patio, drinking in both your dense, flavorful Earl Grey  tea as well as drinking in a breath of calm in your day.  Imagine being given your very own tea that is completely unique and tantalizingly refreshing. The second Earl Grey of England received an exquisite tea named in his honor in the early nineteenth century, thought to be a gift of diplomatic tribute....
East Frisian Loose Black Tea
$ 9.50
A traditional black tea that calls for sugar and milk.  A tea whose name speaks volumes. Every tea is forever tied to its place of origin: that's the sublimely adaptable fact of the ancient beverage. But some show their character in spite of what one might expect based on their home. East Frisian is not one such tea. It's visceral mimicry of the grim, layered part of the world from which it hails is as clear as this black tea's.  On the North Eastern coast of Germany, Frisia is the sort of place that one might expect something stronger than tea is occasionally needed to make the gray days pass.  But from tough land comes tough people, and oftentimes the best sense of humor is found where men and women must work for their leisure time, if any is to be had. Thus, meet East Frisian tea: a full, almost steeled flavor that locals enrich even more...
English Breakfast - Organic Loose Black Tea
$ 9.50
 Although the English were not the first Europeans to bring tea from China, they certainly are credited to making it immensely popular.  In the early days, tea was a super luxury item and only the very rich (royalty and nobility) could afford.  IF YOU WANT A DECAF VERSION OF ENGLISH BREAKFAST CLICK HERE But whatever the "in crowd" liked the masses also wanted. As teas popularity increased, special fast sailing vessels called Clippers transported tea to the eager English tea drinkers. With the advent of steam ships, shipping became faster and less expensive.  As the British empire expanded and tea was grown in India and Africa and as transportation costs decreased and tea production increased, tea became less expensive, its popularity increased and demand soared. The masses adored it and it soon became a very English habit. Even though the English loved their tea, it is believed that the moniker English Breakfast...
Harsha Loose Black Tea
$ 9.50
A top shelf blend of India's finest and prized Darjeeling and Assam black teas. Are you searching for a black tea with deep, bold flavor and comforting aromas? If so, HarSha is the perfect fit. HarSha, a Hindi word meaning “bliss”, is an aromatic tea with ingredients imported from the Indian villages of Darjeeling and Assam. Darjeeling is a small town known for it's aromatic, crisp teas and rich Bengali heritage. In the Eastern Himalayan hills, tea is cultivated by farmers whose talents run generations deep. Assam, located in northeastern India on the Bangladeshi border, is also famous for its fine teas, the production of which dates back to the early years of British colonization. The properties of Darjeeling and Assam teas are combined to produce a simple yet intricate network of blissful flavors. Harsha is tea mixture comprised of dark brown and golden leaves, mimicking the earthy tones of the north Indian landscape. Second flush Darjeeling leaves are...
Keemun Panda #1 - Organic Loose Black Tea
$ 8.00
The loose black tea first introduced to the Europeans centuries ago and still beloved. What is Keeman Panda #1 and why is it causing such a stir among tea lovers? You may be surprised to know that Keeman Panda tea is among the most popular of teas. How, you say, can this be?  Keeman Panda #1 is a primary tea chosen for the ever-popular English Breakfast tea that we all enjoy. When tea first arrived in Europe, the Chinses choose to sell the Europeans black tea because it was less delicate than the green teas the Chinese preferred.  As such, Keemun loose leaf black tea became one of the first to be adopted by the English. Keemum is one of the teas hailing from China that requires a great deal of preparation know-how, a congou-type tea, meaning that it is a laborious process of twisting the tea leaf to form strips without breaking the leaves....
Pu-Erh - Organic Loose Black Tea
$ 8.00
With its deep earthy tones, Puerh offers a deep full bodied flavor akin to coffee. Like the aging of wine or spirits or the modes of distinguishing some cheeses; a tea's interaction with the elements - and the seeming wear they have on it – is part of its character and flavour. Pu-erh teas, from China's Yunnan Province, are the only fully-fermented family of tisanal blends. As yeast occurs among the dried leaves, they are carefull prepared and stored to allow fermentation to set in at an accelerated pace. The result? An earthy, singular brew. The sort that becomes an instant, intense favourite for some. This is a tea that no drinker will forget. Yunnan's expansive, storied relationship with tea speaks volumes. Origin of the very first cultivated tea trees; it is also the fitting home for this “final” blend, an elemental, dark, rich, heady tea that insists on its flavor, reducing even the most seasoned tea...
Temi Sikkim Loose Black Tea
$ 9.50
This bold, flavorful Temi Sikkim black tea is an exotic luxury for seasoned connoisseurs. At the Indian-Nepalese border is the small village of Sikkim. The least populous and second smallest state in India, Sikkim is a remote area robust with biodiversity and breathtaking landscapes. Darjeeling tea has very strict production guidelines, so there is only one tea farm in Sikkim that produces this coveted tea.  Temi Sikkim is a caffeinated, medium-bodied tea that steeps to a rich medium brown color. The dried leaves are a rustic, deep amber color that brings to mind the sun setting behind the ancient Himalayan foothills. The tea's calming brown color is matched by its wooden, earthy flavor with notes of honey and red fruit. One sip generates feelings of warmth and comfort, as if relaxing below a tea tree in the Sikkim Valley. It can be paired with milk and sugar or enjoyed plain, in its natural, simple state. If you...
Yunnan Jig Loose Black Tea
$ 8.00
Tippy black tea leaves steep sweetly, rounding off its flavor with an astringent-free creamy flair.  Where else could such a blend come from but from the very home of the first tea China's Yunnan Province?  This tea is distinctly mild, with no bitter flavor or astringency typical of a black loose leaf tea. There's a reason that tea is such a narrative drink at heart. From source to saucer, each tea brings a wealth of history that one can imagine is packed into each sip. Sometimes the source and flavour match: as with the vegetal, gardenial tones of bush-grown Rooibos. Other times it may surprise: as Yunnan's Jigs dance of spiced, soft, melty tones found in the subdued, misted Yunnan. Yunnan Jig – which you can spot by the golden-tipped leaves – is a true black tea beloved for many things, from the surprise of its simple presentation and complex flavor, to the playful notes in...

All teas, including black teas, come from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis, with the exception of herbal teas. Classification or categorization of teas is determined by how much the leaves are oxidized during preparation. Black tea leaves are fully oxidized; more oxidized than all other teas, and as a result, they are richer than others in taste and flavor. 

What are black teas? 

Black teas are derived from Camellia plants Var. and the subspecies, Assamica. This differentiation and the level of oxidation in the production of black teas allow them to retain their flavor for many years, unlike green teas. This has made them a more popular option among teas. Black teas are normally named after the region from which they are derived, such as Assam, Darjeeling, Nepali, etc. Black teas brew from reddish-brown to dark brown. They are the most popular types of teas in the West, although green teas have seen a rise in popularity recently.  India is the largest exporter in the world. Other nations that produce black teas are Kenya, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Australia, and Indonesia. 

Brewing and Preparation 

The leaves of the broad Camellia plant are plucked and allowed to wither under the sun. Afterward, the leaves are crushed to activate the oxidation process. During oxidation, the leaves are allowed to turn black before they are fired in an oven—an action that halts the oxidation process. If all black tea leaves are prepared in this same way, how are they differentiated? As with everything else, black teas are affected by variations in terroir and cultivation. Beyond that, differentiation is made by grading. Teas are graded by the number of buds incorporated during production.  Preparation of loose-leaf black teas requires the use of pure water at its boiling point. If the water is cooler, the steep times can be longer to compensate for the lower temperature. 

Taste, Feel and Flavor 

Astringency plays a major role in the taste and feel of loose-leaf black teas. Astringency is loosely defined as a dry, rough, or fuzzy sensation on the palate that occurs when eating or drinking something. This sensation is a result of the sourness and bitterness which often is associated with ripe fruit. 

Black tea leaves have a flavor that feels like a blend of coffee and red wine. When tasting teas, your palate registers a raisin-like sweetness, a gentle lingering acidity, astringency, and a rich, velvety body. Although similar, black teas have different flavors. While some have more sweetness and astringency, some, like our popular Pu-Erh Tea, have more body than the rest. Ultimately, the taste of black teas is a measured crispness resulting from the various influencing factors, leaving it sweet but tart. It is not uncommon to hear this feel referred to as “brisk.”  The flavor, quality, and black teas’ other hard-to-describe factors are called mouthfeel. Some of our most popular black teas include our Assam Organic Tea and our mild Blue Sapphire Tea

Benefits of Black Teas 

Black teas contain some caffeine, which acts as a stimulant for the nervous system. However, with a lower caffeine content than coffee (about 1/3), and the presence of tannin, black teas' effects are not as strong as coffee, and not as immediate. The caffeine content in all teas, in general, is linked to terroir. Processing does not noticeably reduce or increase caffeine content. If you are concerned about caffeine, please try our decaffeinated black teas.   

Please try our loose-leaf black teas. Whenever possible, we offer organic versions of our loose-leaf teas.