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In the Mandarin black tea is called Hong Cha, meaning red tea. This is fully fermented (oxidised). The process of making these teas involves drying, firing and full fermentation. The method of heating, the time of harvest and the quality of the soil all contribute to the unique taste of the teas. During the fermentation, complex chemical reactions occur within the leaf, affecting the taste and the concentration of certain nutrients, e.g. caffeine anti-oxidants are concentrated in the leaf.

Keemun Best £2.70  – China

This has an interesting dark taste, which is both natural and almost roasted whilst remaining slightly fruity.  This is just one of a massive group of China red tea, and, as the name implies, one of the best. It has very low levels of caffeine.

Lapsang Superior £2.70 – China

This has a strong smoky flavour, which has tantalised tea tasters for generations.  Apparently the smoky character originated from when tar from Chinese fishing nets melted into a cargo of tea that was subsequently shipped to Britain.  People were so impressed with its distinctive taste that it became much sought after.  However, it is more likely to have always been smoked, and in China this is still done in the traditional way, in pans over open fires.

Yunnan Black Tea £2.70 – China

The fresh taste of the mountains and plains of the Yunnan province is well complimented with a sustained natural slightly smokey floral flavour. The aroma and flavour of this golden brew appears to capture the essence of the tea

Organic Yunnan Pu-erh – £2.70- China

The cultivation of Pu Erh stems to the times of the package-horse reliant spice trade. The strange thing about this robust, full bodied, rich, earthy tea is that the more mature the tea leaves the better the tea. Amongst tea connoisseurs a good vintage Pu-erh is highly prized, sometimes stored for 50 years in the tea cellar!

Pu Erh Tuo Cha Silvery Strawberry – £3.20

Tuo Cha is a good quality Pu Erh which comes compacted and wrapped in white silk paper, hence the epithet. Up until the 17th century these and other kinds of compressed teas were used as currency. This tea is apparently good as an aid to weight loss.

Assam BOP – GTGFOP – Dikom £2.70

An incredibly good standard black standard grade tea, stimulating with a sweet floral aroma and taste, with which milk and sugar go well, though the subtlety of the flavour may be lost to some extent.

Darjeeling TGFOP – Puttabong – £2.70

This is made from good second grade leaf, which creates a more immediate “in your face” Darjeeling palatal effect. Milk and sugar may be added.

Darjeeling First Flush – Margaret’s Hope – £3.60

The queen of teas, it is made from the freshest tea leaves of the first spring harvest. Picture the crystal air of majestic snow-capped mountains, bubbling burns flowing through luscious vegetation surrounding tea gardens which are carved as steps into the mists of the Himalayan massive. A subtle sophistication of floral complexity gradually enriched by a pollinated sweetness.

Malawian Satemwa TGFOP £3.60

Malawi has long had close ties with Scotland, especially in regards to tea. Similar to the first tea plantations of Darjeeling, Scots were the very much the tea innovators of Malawi. Tea at Satemwa, a high altitude area with plenty of almost “Scottish” style dreich wet weather, first started to be planted by Maclean Kay of Ayrshire, and has remained in the Kay family until today. Satemwa is reputed as producing the highest quality of tea in Malawi. Likewise it is well known for its work for the community that live in and around the plantation.

Golden Nepal £3.60 

As Nepalese tea is rarely seen outwith Nepal we feel honoured to have been able to add this black tea to our menu, especially since it is such a very good quality tea. Not only is it rare to come by but it has a rare taste, with all the flowery potency of a Darjeeling as well as a body, aroma and after taste which is quite unique, which suggests gentle incense floating over the pallet and awakening

Organic Fair Trade Breakfast Blend £2.70

Traditional blend of small leaf teas from Assam, Dooars and Darjeeling.

Ceylon BOP – Nuwara Elya £2.70

Grown in the highlands of Ceylon this tea, known as the “Champagne” of Ceylonese teas, represents the highest quality of the island. The lower temperature and the high rainfall in the region where this is grown finds its way into the taste and aroma, creating a richly tropical experience.  A perfect all day tea.  

Oraganic Ceylon OP – Idulgashina £2.70

From the high lying tea gardens of Ceylon, this tea is soft and aromatic but with a wonderfully robust, rich body and with a touch of organic earthiness.

Russian Caravan £2.70

This, the tsar’s preferred choice in tea, harks back to the old caravan trade in tea which was eventually superseded by the building of the Trans-Siberian railway in the late 19th century. Our own blend has the fresh mountainous taste of Assam mixed with hints of warm, earthy Keemun body.

 Rize £3.40

This stimulating black tea has a deep almost wood smoke taste, which works in harmony with its rich aroma. One of the highest quality black teas from the Rize plantation region in Turkey this tea is served with a complimentary Turkish delight. As described by an old Turkish associate of the tea house one must first regard the colour of the tea in the glass, let the aroma drift past the nose before sipping it thoughtfully.