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. 

Apricot Loose Leaf Black Tea
$ 8.00
Delicate sweetness compliments the astringency of the bold black tea, just like Bogart and Bacall. Black Apricot tea is a full-fledged part of the fruit-tea renaissance, adding its name to the list of elegant blends that exemplify how well a black base can mix with natural fruits flavors. True elegance does not overwhelm, but rather implies simplicity. Therefore, when this steely-yet-warm black apricot blend is referred to as “elegant” - remember that that doesn't mean that it will take over your whole mouth. Quite the opposite, actually. Measure by measure, this apricot flavor luxuriates; yes, but not in a way that ever distracts from the black leaf. Tea indeed it is, astringent, nutty, a little touch of complication, somehow even. Inviting, isn't it? This singular blend shows off the balance of a basic black tisanal and an unlikely dried fruit; our friend the apricot. With the sharp sweetness of apricot...
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,...
Black Currant Loose Leaf Black Tea
$ 8.00
Like a relative unknown, Black Current makes it big splash in the loose tea world. We invest time in important people and things. If we're lucky, our returns are true: matching our investments and then some. Such it is with this fine Black Currant tea; a prime example of letting a flavor settle into its match with its base, and not simply insist on itself. Put differently: currant's make for a polite house guest, one well suited to the clear, uncomplicated pleasures that a clean black tea has to offer. China black pairs and pairs and pairs. There's none that could accuse it of requiring a delicate partnership (like, say, the viscous, bushy Rooibos family) or of tending to dominate no matter what (looking at you, matchas). While those qualities make for their own unique rewards and fascinating blends; there's still a place firmly embedded in the heart of every tea lover for the elegance of a one-flavored black....
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...
Chocolate Mint Loose Leaf Black Tea
$ 8.00
Like the ice cream or the Girl Scout cookies, this tea will delight your palate. Close your eyes and imagine pleasure in its purest form. For your sense of taste chocolate is a powerful seducer. For the more delicate palate, a sprig of mint can make a meal. Long known as additionals, add-ons, and flavorings; chocolate and mint take center stage in this wonderful tisanal blend. Mint brings to mind sharpness and clarity. With a razor-like coolness, it divides up the other flavors it is combined with and takes its own unique taste right to the roof of the mouth. Rising into the sinuses, mint is a natural mate for the grounding, melty, warm presence of chocolate. Balance is key but we don't mind saying that this desert tea is a chocolate tea first and a minty concoction second. In that sense, the flavors are team mates and not rivals. Best in the...
Sale
Classic Black Tea Tasters Collection - On Sale
$ 12.00 $ 14.00
Suppose that you know you love the classic black teas, but aren't sure which blend you specifically are drawn to. Perhaps you already have a favorite, but are curious about the flavors behind a few of our other traditional black teas. Whatever your preference may be for black teas, we wanted to create a tasters collection that would expose you to our six top black teas without you needing to buy each one individually. Thus, we introduce you to our Classic Black Tea Tasters Collection! In this beautiful compilation you will find 3 tablespoons of each of the following: - Assam - Blue Sapphire  - Earl Grey Supreme - English Breakfast - Keemun Panda #1 - Ceylon Click on each one of the above to read a more in depth description of each! ** LIMIT 2 PER CUSTOMER **
Cream of Earl Grey Loose Leaf Black Tea
$ 8.00
This is a must have tea in your stash. Always have some on hand.  One of the most enduringly loved and widespread teas is certainly a ripe candidate for variation. And so we have Cream of Early Grey, a wonderful and silky take on the incredibly popular Earl Grey stalwart. But we'll not leave you guessing: the difference is melting sweetness; vanilla and floral, and it beautifully and without overwhelming, answers the question: how could Earl Grey possibly be improved? Earl Grey's distinguishing element is Bergamot, the citric oil whose sharp-sweet enriching flavor seems designed to cling to steam and heat itself as they rise up through a perfect hot cuppa. The simplicity of Earl Grey can be appreciated in how the Bergamot naturally matches the plain black at-home warmth of the drink. Any additional flavor, it might follow, would do well to also provide a mellowing layer rather than a...
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...
Sale
Decaf Black Tea Tasters Collection - On Sale
$ 12.00 $ 14.00
While black tea is wonderful, we oftentimes hear that our customers are bothered by it's caffeine or that they wish they could enjoy it into the evening. We direct them toward our decaf black teas, but individuals many times have trouble deciding which to try first. This was the reasoning behind the creation of our Decaf Black Tea Tasters Collection. In this collection we have included 3 teaspoons of each of the following: - Decaf Ceylon - Decaf English Breakfast - Decaf Going Coconuts - Decaf Raspberry  - Decaf Splendid Vanilla - Decaf Peach Click on each one of the above to read a more in depth description of each! ** LIMIT 2 PER CUSTOMER **
Decaf Cream of Earl Grey - Organic Loose Decaf Black Tea
$ 10.00
Completely Organic and decaf blend of smooth Vanilla and Bergamot in a black tea blend. CO2 decaf process.
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....
Earl Grey with Lavender Loose Leaf Black Tea
$ 9.50
We started blending this tea in our shop, because so many people were requesting it.  It's a base of Earl Grey Supreme, mixed with some of our French lavender.  The two combined create a sophisticated European flavor, and a very relaxing aroma.  The bright purple lavender stands out well against the black tea both in color, and in its distinctive flavor.  The bergamot bridges the gap.  It's citrus flavor blends the lavender and black tea into a single experience.   Base leaf: Black tea. Health properties: Anti-oxidant properties, natural calming. Flavor strength: Moderate. Primary collection is lemony bergamot, relaxing Lavender over black tea. Caffeine: Moderate.
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...
Florence Loose Leaf Black Tea
$ 8.00
Florence is a rich blend of black loose leaf teas with chocolate and hazelnut flavors. It's a delicious, guiltless alternative to richer drinks like hot cocoa. Always the subtle romantic... aren't we? The soft murmur of the crowds sifting through the Piazza della Signoria, the song of swifts and goldfinches perched on the rooftops about the square, the far off voice of a street-side aria-for-hire; you may not be outside the Palazzo Vecchio sipping hot cocoa, but with this tea, you can dream you are. This Florentine inspired tea is so finely bold, Lucy Honeychurch herself could not pretend to be offended by its subtle decadence. Hints of chocolate, vanilla, almond and hazelnut pair seamlessly with the black tea, giving a medium body worth a second sip. The china black tea leaves keep the more unruly flavors in check, for a sophisticated balance sure enough to sooth your palate, and get people talking.  The chocolate and vanilla...
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...
Heaven Sent Chai - Organic Loose Leaf Black Tea
$ 8.00
A totally organic mix of Masala spiced tea that will take you away to India. It’s undeniable: loose leaf chai holds the spotlight among young and new tea-drinkers. A sharp,distinct, rich blend whose warmth practically leaps out of the cup and hugs the drinker, chai is a bold but accessible tea. Much like India Pale Ales in the brewing world, the go-to drink bridging connoisseurs and casual drinkers is a distinctly spiced yet sophisticated blend: chai. It’s instantly recognizable (layered warmth filtering through milky cardamom) yet easily varied. And what variety there is. Each sip of this carefully-layered chai reveals different roles for each spice to play. Clove and cinnamon each bring uniquely astringent sweetness, with the first an ineffable and lingering flavor that cleanses the palate for what’s next. Cardamom and ginger offer distinctly eastern richness, sharpening and refining the base (black) leaf’s consistent clear taste and reminding that...