Several customers have asked me if I sell “British tea.” I often reply, “What’s British tea?” They usually mean black tea. When I started my tea company, I discovered numerous black tea varieties. I began tasting black teas from Kenya, China, India, and Sri Lanka. Each country produces several black tea varieties, but here are a few of my favorites:
Golden Yunnan Black Tea
Harvested from wild, ancient heirloom tea trees in the famous Yunnan province in China, this black tea has golden tips. When steeped, it produces a dark, full-bodied brew with peppery chocolate notes and a sweet caramel finish. Golden Yunnan is usually blended in breakfast black teas.
Organic Ceylon Black Tea
Grown in the high altitude of Sri Lanka’s famous Nuwara Eliya tea mountain region, this is a rare orange pekoe black tea. An extraordinary tea, it brews a bright, brisk cup with sweet floral notes.
Kenyan Black Tea
Rainforest Alliance Certified black tea from western Kenya’s Kisii region brews a rich, bold, full-bodied cup with a sweet maple finish. Small-scale tea farmers grow their tea bushes on a half- or one-acre plot, or shamba.
Biodynamic Darjeeling Black Tea
Black teas from Darjeeling, India are nicknamed the “champagne of teas.” Tea pickers pluck the best spring leaves for this tea. A 100-percent Darjeeling tea – a rarity – brews a brisk, light-pink cup with apple and grape notes.
All these black teas are completely oxidized and go through similar production methods. The flavor profiles and characteristics are different, though, because of the soil, tea bush species, rainfall, and so on. I hope you have a chance to sample these wonderful black teas!