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Loose-Leaf Black Tea

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.  

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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.  

Russian Country Loose Leaf Black Tea
$ 11.00
A hearty flavor that peasants and nobles alike can agree is Russian in its essence.  This four-tea blend shares most common ground, interestingly, with a Lapsang Souchong. Smoky in character and undeniably rich, one might magine that it took such a robust collection to ensure survival across the Asian plains towards Russia.This Chinese blend was an original prized export along the silk road, making its way thousands of miles with dedicated merchants and their pack animals. A plain, strong flavour collection made for, while robust, quite a charged black blend that Russian purveyors found to be the perfect smoke-rich balance for teatime sweets. The Lapsang Souchong leaves help to fill out the strength at the core of this tea whose underlying flavours can be trying to detect beneath the Lapsang. Russian Country has citric notes, fruit notes, and even the peachy red hints of oolong according to the lesser leaves of the blend....
Scottish Caramel Pu-Erh - Organic Loose Leaf Black Tea
$ 13.00
An earthy, deep loose tea mellowed by melty caramel is an excellent breakfast tea Creamy and earthy; here's a Scottish blend if ever one was to be had. Unabashedly a tea to fill pot after pot with, this has all the makings of a table-ful of smiles on a Scottish afternoon. But there's more to this blend. Indeed this tisanal hails not only from Caledonian hills but also from China. Two nation's whose characters mix into an altogether unique, burnt sweetness.  ALERGEN ALERT - Contains Nuts.   Charmaine Houck Review Scottish Caramel Puerh with her son. He liked it so much, he helps himself to second cup with no coaching from Mom. Often noted for its gardenial, hillside earthiness; this loose tea's collection is a lungful and one for a discussion. From China comes this tea's more curiously healthy tinges. That's right: even in a decadent cupful of Scottish Caramel black tea,...
Spice Bomb - Organic Decaf Loose Leaf Black Tea
$ 12.00
Completely Organic blend of Masala spices puts a little heat into this decaf black tea blend. CO2 decaf process.
Splendid Vanilla - Decaf Organic Loose Black Tea
$ 12.00
Completely Organic and decaf blend of creamy Vanilla in a black tea blend. CO2 decaf process.
Strawberry Sunshine - Decaf Loose Leaf Black Tea
$ 12.00
Rich strawberry flavor that shines through the decaf black tea.  CO2 decaf process.
Temi Sikkim Loose Black Tea
$ 11.00
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...
Vanilla Chai - Loose Leaf Black Tea
$ 10.00
An undertone of vanilla keeps the spices in line so the black tea's flavors prevail. This spicy take on Chai goes easy on the black and adds a seasoned kick to the vanilla that's determined to make itself known in the tea's flavor.  A fun, full-flavored competition for herbal supremacy; loose leaf Vanilla Chai will have you wondering why you ever even added milk in the first place. This tea is often temped down with extra plain black: so potent is its cardamom cinnamon one two punch of chai spicing. Chai is often referred to as tea for starters of tea for those who don't like bitter flavors. Its accessibility is largely due to its near festival-like riot of flavors – instant transportation to sensory holidays. Access the rich childlike pleasure of a full-bodied cup of Vanilla Chai. Vanilla is known for its sharp smoothing effect on flavor collections. It condensed...
Vanilla Loose Leaf Black Tea
$ 10.00
Nothing is as comforting, familiar and welcoming as Vanilla essence. In a tea its fabulous. Playing complement to a black tea is no simple task. Of the most popular flavorings, vanilla is perhaps the only truly viable candidate to be considered as a baseline pairing with a straight black tea. Why? Let's consider the character of a black tisanal. Straightness and clarity are two prized characteristics of a classic black tea. A plain, unassuming nature is fundamental to this “grown up” brew. Sound familiar? Vanilla has long had a similar reputation among flavorings. Consider the collection found in a vanilla-centric aroma. It's simple, clean, vaguely sweet, ready to be blended. Possessive of itself and avoiding any analysis: vanilla is, upon deeper inspection, a well-positioned mate for black tea. Vanilla Black proves this as it gains ground through its quiet, uncomplicated collection. With health qualities and upper-class details taking the sideline; flavor...
Yunnan Jig Loose Black Tea
$ 10.00
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...
Yunnan Noir Loose Leaf Black Tea
$ 10.00
Hailing from the Yunnan province of China, this hand rolled black tea is a decadent blend that is rolled into an almost snail type shape. It is unique in that you will notice sweet flavors of honey, complemented by a spice. Savory and winey on the palate, with smooth, deep fruity astringency, tremendous depth of flavor, cinnamon bark and nutmeg in the finish. A terrifically textured cup of tea