Fully oxidized. Fresh leaves are gently rolled and placed on flat screens to wither. A deep enzymatic oxidation of the freed polyphenols brings out caramel and tannic flavors. The leaves are then quickly dried at high heat.
Dian Hong – Yunnan Red
This aromatic black tea from the southwestern province of Yunnan features fine, evenly-rolled mahogany-colored leaves with an abundance of orange-gold tips. Crimson infusions bow with a layered fragrance and subtly tart and spicy flavors, malty and faintly reminiscent of citrus. Its strong character and lively flavor make it a good tea for starting a busy day or sharing in a fascinating conversation. Bold and brassy.
Lapsang Souchong – Smoky Tea
This highly esteemed Chinese tea is processed in a bamboo basket over a fire of pine logs giving it its unrivaled smoky aroma and taste. The term Lapsang originates from the Lapu Mountain in Fujian, and Souchong refers to the 4th and 5th leaves of the plant used in making this variety of tea. The solid, black-brown leaves brew cups of pensive essences like welcoming hearth-fires imparting a thermal inner calm.
Keemun – Qi Hong Mao Feng
To complete our selection of Mao Feng (hairy tip) teas, we offer our beloved customers the pleasure of a black Mao Feng. Qimen, “Great Gate,” refers to the town and district of the same name in the Anhui province where it is cultivated near the Yangtze River. It is served in town as a welcome for dignitaries. Only the young, hairy buds of the tea plant are used. When processed, the leaves turn sienna-colored, wiry, and strong enough for two infusions. The vermillion waters bring a contemplative taste, recalling semi-sweet chocolate and roasted chestnuts. Drink this as dessert tea after a good meal or allow the smooth aroma to awaken the mind at breakfast. Perfect for mind opening, heart opening, or commemorating occasions of clarity and liberation.
Golden Needle – Jin Mao Feng
Super-fine Mao Feng tips from the birthplace of Dian Hong, in Fengqing, Yunnan. The delicate orange tips offer a velvety sweet taste with hints of chocolate and deep forest aromas. We serve this gourmet tea in a gaiwan only, with a pot of hot water to allow for many further infusions.
Golden Brow – Jin Jun Mei
Jin Jun Mei means “Golden Beautiful Eyebrows” because of the slender shape of the tea’s tender spring buds. A world-class black tea from the Wu Yi Mountains in China’s Fujian Province, this tea is made exclusively from tiny buds and requires thousands of hand-picked spring buds to make a pound of tea. Growing out of the rocky soil of the Wu Yi Mountains, this tea is rich in minerals. Its flavor consists of rich malty chocolate with a fruity aftertaste. Multiple infusions. Read more here.
Wherever you are in India, if you ask for tea you will be served either tea with very sweet milk or a common black tea. But the tea gardens of this magical land offer some real treasures to the world at several specific times during the year. Indian black tea is known mainly for the products of the famous regions of Darjeeling and Assam where local tea planters cultivate refined varieties of the Chinese and Assam tea plants known for their high quality. The tea plant is also cultivated in other regions of India such as Nilgiri and Sikkim.
Darjeeling First Flush
In the harsh mountain climate of the Darjeeling Himalayas, the first spring tea harvest takes place from March through April and is called First Flush. The tea produced from this harvest is valued for its unique, flowery aroma as well as leaves that are especially green for a black tea. Its supple quality is rapidly lost within a few months of storage making it very important that the first flush Darjeeling be fresh. We buy our first flush directly from Calcutta and have it shipped by air. This means that we can guarantee the freshness of the tea in your cup. It is available only while the fresh stock lasts. A delicacy among tea lovers, the scent and flavor of it reminds one of a walk in a rainy flower garden.
Darjeeling Second Flush
The second tea harvest takes place just before the rainy season, over fifty days from the end of May to early July. The leaves used in Darjeeling Second Flush are larger, more mature, and less tender than the First Flush. The color of the infusion is darker, and this tea has more body. The flowery, astringent flavor and superb muscatel aroma of the teas picked at this time has led to comparisons with the famous wines of Bordeaux. The tea is composed of rather small green-yellow leaves with darker tips.
A pure high mountain Indian black tea, plucked in the Fall on the southern slopes of the Himalayas. This is an original blend, distinguished by the equilibrium of the color of the infusion, its taste and its aroma. The small brown-black leaves with light color tips are evenly rolled into half moons, and in the cup give a red-brown infusion with a rich aroma and robust taste, which we recommend as a good refresher in any season.
An Indian black tea from the valley plantation region on the banks of the enchanting river Brahmaputra. A wild variety of tea plant, later named “Assamica,” was discovered in India by the Bruce brothers almost 170 years ago. This is the variety now cultivated in Assam. Our supply is outstanding for its freshness and sparkling taste. Brown-black leaves with light color tips are evenly rolled into half-moons. In the cup, they produce a dark, red-brown infusion with a rich aroma and a robust, full taste. Suitable for drinking before a long journey.
Nepal Illam – First Flush
On the Nepalese side of the majestic Himalayas, “just over the hill” from the famous Darjeeling region, enterprising Nepalese planters have brought a delicately rich, high-mountain black tea to the world. This first-flush, made up of brown-green uniformly rolled leaves with a high content of silvery tips, easily rivals the freshest Darjeeling. The tea is full of aroma and has an unobtrusively astringent, sweet, and captivatingly flowery taste.
Myanmar Wild Black Tea
A rare and unique wild crafted tea from Dobra’s latest tea travels! After years of building relationships with local farmers, we now offer this exceptional tea from wild Assamica tea fields located in the Shan region of Burma/Myanmar just on the border of China. Its taste has a balanced richness with hints of fig and a honey-like sweetness.
In late 19th Century Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon, robust varieties of tea plants brought from India began to thrive on the ruins of Ceylon's coffee plantations, which had been destroyed by a coffee plant disease. The tea plantations produced rich, full-value crops that soon found their way to a market that had previously been controlled by China and India. The names of the Kandy, Uva, Matale, Dimbula and Nuwara Eliya districts represent tea gardens at all levels, from the feet of the mountains to 2,000 feet above sea level to high mountain teas that grow in the highest tea gardens of the world at heights of 7,500 feet above sea level. Our menu includes two of Ceylon's finest teas which we discovered when we visited the island for the first time in 1996.
Ceylon Adam’s Peak
A black, high-mountain leaf tea from the Labookelie gardens in the Nurawa Eliya region. A delightful tea, dark but not overbearing, that evokes the sweep of the gardens that spread out under the peaks of the Samanalakande Mountains, “the mountains where butterflies go to die.” Perfect for afternoon tea parties or as a late morning pick-me-up.
Ceylon Tiger River
An excellent, fully aromatic low-mountain tea from the Kandy region of the captivating island of Sri Lanka. It produces a rich infusion in the cup, reminiscent of Assam tea, and with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Suitable for solitary tea drinkers.
A tea from the wild equatorial region of Africa. Malty and dark, with rich hints of chocolate. This tea is guaranteed to bring sunshine back into your spirit even on the coldest winter day.
A gourmet black tea that we recently discovered on our tea trip to South Korea, this tea is plucked and processed entirely by hand. The slow, final high firing of this tea gives it an irresistible lingering taste with subtle flavors of honey, cacao, and vanilla.
Vietnam Wild Tree Black
A tippy black tea produces in the Ha Giang mountains of northern Vietnam, this exquisite tea is from wild Assamica trees. The copper-color liquor has a smooth, rice and malty flavor.
A red, strongly aromatic, finely ground tea. We first heat the dry leaves in a pot, then steep them in hot water for an extended period. The process produces a dark red-brown infusion in the glass, with a very strong robust taste and a mildly sweet aroma. We serve it in a Turkish pot and glass. Served with a side of sugar. Sure to give a lift. Grown without pesticides.
Aromatized Black Teas & Blended Black Teas
Lychee Black Tea
Naturally sweet, this enticing blend is a traditional recipe from Guangdong. Black tea leaves, aromatized in the Chinese method, hum with an intensely fruity flavor that produces smiles and sighs on consumption. The lychee fruit, native to the subtropical regions in Asia, has a unique taste somewhat in-between a pear and a grape. This tea is perfect for drinking with the first snowfall.
Vanilla Black Tea
A treat for vanilla lovers! The succor of vanilla offsets the natural astringency of the black tea, giving this balanced tea a dessert-like quality. This tea from the Guangdong province is aromatized in the traditional Chinese way.
Rose Black Tea
The romance of a dozen roses! This tea is served in a special double-spouted teapot, pouring simultaneously into two cups for love-struck couples. A burst of rose arises over the flavor of black tea, sure to awaken the Casanova in anyone.
Plum Black Tea
Black tea infused with the floral and fruity taste of plums.
Earl Grey – Bergamot English Tea
A black tea flavored with the oil of bergamot made according to an ancient Chinese recipe obtained by the 2nd Earl Grey, as a gift, on his travels through China in 1830. In England the new preparation gained world-wide renown under the name of its discoverer. Served in the “English style” with milk (cow, soy, almond, coconut, or rice milk) and pure cane sugar. Its unique bergamot aroma is unmistakable.
Memories of Prague
Black Assam tea is mixed with bitter chocolate and served with milk (cow, oat, coconut, almond, rice, or soy) and honey. A favorite among American visitors in the Czech Republic, this infusion has a seductive sweet aroma.
Taste of Kashmir
This drink has an aroma that elates and summons up the seductive distances of the East. It is a blend of green, black and oolong teas with dried apples, orange peel and cloves. This yellow-green infusion has a penetrating clove aroma and slightly biting flavor with a fruity aftertaste.
Sweet Smell of Jerusalem
A black Indian tea, spiced with ground cinnamon according to a traditional recipe from Eastern Europe. The combination of cinnamon with the strong black tea produces a mildly uplifting, calming drink.