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Darjeeling Black Tea CollectionDarjeeling Black Tea Collection
Darjeeling Black Tea Collection
A selection of three of the best loose leaf black Darjeeling teas.  Save 5% when buying these teas together.
£28.30
All Day Tea CollectionAll Day Tea Collection
All Day Tea Collection
A selection of three of the best loose leaf black teas Pefect to drink throughout the day Save 5% when buying these teas together  
£20.50
5

Ronnefeldt Darjeeling Badamtam First Flush OrganicRonnefeldt Darjeeling Badamtam First Flush Organic
Organic
Ronnefeldt Darjeeling Badamtam First Flush Organic
A distinctive Darjeeling with the characteristic flavour only one of the best first flush teas will provide. Sold in 100g bag
£10.60
4
Ronnefeldt Spring Darjeeling OrganicRonnefeldt Spring Darjeeling Organic
Organic
Ronnefeldt Spring Darjeeling Organic
Superbly balanced Himalayan Darjeeling of outstanding quality. Refreshing and relaxing delicate first flush spring picked tea. Sold in 100g bag
£10.60
5

Ronnefeldt Darjeeling Summer Gold OrganicRonnefeldt Darjeeling Summer Gold Organic
Organic
Ronnefeldt Darjeeling Summer Gold Organic
An elegant top class tea with delicious muscatel flavour. Hand picked in the summer for those who like their tea a little stronger. Sold in 100g bag
£10.60
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Ronnefeldt Darjeeling Margarets Hope Second FlushRonnefeldt Darjeeling Margarets Hope Second Flush
Ronnefeldt Darjeeling Margarets Hope Second Flush
A lovely soft Darjeeling with a strong body and fruity aromatic muscatel notes. It becomes a firm favourite for everyone who tries it. Sold in 100g bag  
£8.50
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Ronnefeldt Greenleaf Darjeeling Organic (North Tukvar)Ronnefeldt Greenleaf Darjeeling Organic (North Tukvar)
Organic
Ronnefeldt Greenleaf Darjeeling
Organic (North Tukvar)
A light-bodied organic green tea from Darjeeling Sold in 100g bag
£6.90
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Ronnefeldt Tea Tasting Selection Black TeasRonnefeldt Tea Tasting Selection Black Teas
Ronnefeldt Tea Tasting Selection Black Teas
A box of ten different samples of Ronnefeldt black tea. Perfect for you to find a new favourite. A great way to introduce yourself or a friend to the best selling varieities of black tea within the Ronnefeldt range.  
£5.90
5

Ronnefeldt Teavelope® Darjeeling Tea OrganicRonnefeldt Teavelope® Darjeeling Tea Organic
Organic
Ronnefeldt Teavelope®
Darjeeling Tea Organic
Exquisite summer black tea from the Himalayas Rich, flowery and mature aroma. 1 box contains 25 tea bags
£4.90
5
Ronnefeldt Joy of Tea Darjeeling Organic Tea BagsRonnefeldt Joy of Tea Darjeeling Organic Tea Bags
Organic
Ronnefeldt Joy of Tea
Darjeeling Organic Tea Bags
An elegant black organic tea with a delicious muscatel flavour. This tea is for Darjeeling connoisseurs who like it a little stronger 1 box contains 15 tea bags
£7.90

Assam Black Tea CollectionAssam Black Tea Collection
Assam Black Tea Collection
A selection of three of the best loose leaf Assam black teas.  Save 5% when buying these teas together.
£21.20
Ronnefeldt Assam NahorhabiRonnefeldt Assam Nahorhabi
Rare Tea
Ronnefeldt Assam Nahorhabi
A mellow, warm and highly aromatic Assam. Sold in 75g bag  
£13.20
5

Ronnefeldt Assam BoisahabiRonnefeldt Assam Boisahabi
Ronnefeldt Assam Boisahabi
This first flush from Assam is something rather special, smooth, tasty and refreshing. Sold in 100g bag
£5.90
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Ronnefeldt Assam Bari (Mokalbarie)Ronnefeldt Assam Bari (Mokalbarie)
Ronnefeldt Assam Bari
(Mokalbarie)
A classic Assam from one of the best known tea gardens. Sold in 100g bag
£10.60
5

Ronnefeldt Natural Assam OrganicRonnefeldt Natural Assam Organic
Organic
Ronnefeldt Natural Assam Organic
A top class, strong, rare organic Assam tea. Sold in 100g bag
£9.90
5
Ronnefeldt Assam Golden Broken TipsRonnefeldt Assam Golden Broken Tips
Ronnefeldt Assam Golden Broken Tips
A perfect Assam to start the day. Full flavour, malty and can take a little milk. Sold in 100g bag
£5.90
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Ronnefeldt Assam Golden MelangeRonnefeldt Assam Golden Melange
Ronnefeldt Assam Golden Melange
An Assam at its best. A good all rounder and has enough body to take a dash of milk. Sold in 100g bag
£5.70
5
Ronnefeldt Irish BreakfastRonnefeldt Irish Breakfast
Ronnefeldt Irish Breakfast
A full bodied classic Assam.  Sold in 100g bag
£5.70
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Ronnefeldt Builder's Cup (Assam/Java Blend)Ronnefeldt Builder's Cup (Assam/Java Blend)
Ronnefeldt Builder's Cup (Assam/Java Blend)
A strong Assam blended with Java Sold in 100g bag
£4.70
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Ronnefeldt Teavelope® Assam TeaRonnefeldt Teavelope® Assam Tea
Ronnefeldt Teavelope®
Assam Tea
A typical Assam tea Strong, malty and highly aromatic. 1 box contains 25 tea bags
£4.90
5

Ronnefeldt Joy of Tea Royal Assam Tea BagsRonnefeldt Joy of Tea Royal Assam Tea Bags
Ronnefeldt Joy of Tea
Royal Assam Tea Bags
A classic among broken teas; this Assam tea is distinguished by many golden tips and a malty, spicy and lively aroma. Perfect with milk 1 box contains 15 tea bags    
£7.90
Ronnefeldt Assam Tea CapsulesRonnefeldt Assam Tea Capsules
Ronnefeldt Assam Tea Capsules
Assam tea pods Compatible with Nespresso® machines Spicy, powerful black tea with a well-balanced, malty note. Pack of 10 capsules PLEASE NOTE: These capsules are not compatible with Vertuo machines
£3.60
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Ronnefeldt Set of 5 Tea Tasting SelectionsRonnefeldt Set of 5 Tea Tasting Selections
Ronnefeldt Set of 5 Tea Tasting Selections
A set of 50 different teas to try from our black tea, green tea, wellness, fruit and herbal tea tasting selection boxes. Buy a set of five tea tasting selection boxes and get a FREE box of tea filters worth £4.60.  
£31.00
5
Ceylon Black Tea CollectionCeylon Black Tea Collection
Ceylon Black Tea Collection
A selection of three of the best loose leaf Ceylon black teas.  Save 5% when buying these teas together.
£20.20

Ronnefeldt Nuwara EilyaRonnefeldt Nuwara Eilya
Ronnefeldt Nuwara Eilya
An aromatic black tea. Sold in 100g bag
£6.50
Ronnefeldt English Breakfast St JamesRonnefeldt English Breakfast St James
Ronnefeldt English Breakfast St James
A tangy and sparkling Ceylon. Sold in 100g bag
£10.60

Ronnefeldt Ceylon InvernessRonnefeldt Ceylon Inverness
Ronnefeldt Ceylon Inverness
The very best in Ceylon black teas. Sold in 100g bag  
£9.90
5
Ronnefeldt Ceylon Orange PekoeRonnefeldt Ceylon Orange Pekoe
Ronnefeldt Ceylon Orange Pekoe
Our classic black Ceylon tea which is full bodied and aromatic. Sold in 100g bag
£4.90
5

Ronnefeldt English Breakfast TeaRonnefeldt English Breakfast Tea
Ronnefeldt English Breakfast Tea
A robust, fruity, full flavoured tea - the best way to start the day. Sold in 100g bag
£7.20
5
Ronnefeldt Light & Late Decaffeinated Breakfast TeaRonnefeldt Light & Late Decaffeinated Breakfast Tea
Decaffeinated
Ronnefeldt Light & Late
Decaffeinated Breakfast Tea
Gentle decaffeinated loose leaf breakfast tea Sold in 100g bag
£7.50
5

Ronnefeldt Teavelope® Decaffeinated Black TeaRonnefeldt Teavelope® Decaffeinated Black Tea
Ronnefeldt Teavelope®
Decaffeinated Black Tea
Full-bodied decaffeinated Sumatran tea Lively and aromatic in taste 1 box contains 25 tea bags
£4.90
5
Ronnefeldt Teavelope® English Breakfast TeaRonnefeldt Teavelope® English Breakfast Tea
Ronnefeldt Teavelope®
English Breakfast Tea
A typical, dark Ceylon tea Tart and lively flavour 1 box contains 25 tea bags
£4.90
5

Ronnefeldt Teavelope® Breakfast Tea - stronger brewRonnefeldt Teavelope® Breakfast Tea - stronger brew
Ronnefeldt Teavelope®
Breakfast Tea - stronger brew
Stronger darker breakfast blend Perfect with milk 1 box contains 25 tea bags  
£4.90
Ronnefeldt Joy of Tea English Breakfast Tea BagsRonnefeldt Joy of Tea English Breakfast Tea Bags
Ronnefeldt Joy of Tea
English Breakfast Tea Bags
A blend of the best of Ceylon Uva Highland teas A delicious fruity – tangy mix  1 box contains 15 tea bags
£7.90

Ronnefeldt China Yunnan OrganicRonnefeldt China Yunnan Organic
Organic
Ronnefeldt China Yunnan Organic
An exceptional slightly sweet Yunnan. Sold in 100g bag
£6.20
5
Ronnefeldt Pu Erh OrganicRonnefeldt Pu Erh Organic
Organic
Ronnefeldt Pu Erh Organic
Earthy black specially fermented Yunnan tea.  Sold in 100g bag
£7.50
5

Ronnefeldt Tarry Lapsang SouchongRonnefeldt Tarry Lapsang Souchong
Best Seller
Ronnefeldt Tarry Lapsang Souchong
A heavenly smoked flavour with a beautiful deep round taste. Sold in 100g bag
£5.50
5
Ronnefeldt China KeemunRonnefeldt China Keemun
Our Choice
Ronnefeldt China Keemun
An elegant low caffeinated black tea with a rounded flavour. Great as a tea for throughout the day. Sold in 100g bag
£5.90
5

Earl Grey Tea CollectionEarl Grey Tea Collection
Earl Grey Tea Collection
A selection of three of the best loose leaf Earl Grey teas.  Save 5% when buying these teas together.
£16.00
5
Ronnefeldt Irish MaltRonnefeldt Irish Malt
Our Choice
Ronnefeldt
Irish Malt
Flavoured black tea with whiskey and cocoa flavours Known as Irish Whiskey Cream in hotels and restaurants Sold in 100g bag
£4.90
5

Ronnefeldt MarzipanRonnefeldt Marzipan
Ronnefeldt Marzipan
Flavoured Black Tea with marzipans flavour. Sold in 100g bag
£4.70
5
Ronnefeldt Duke of Grey OrganicRonnefeldt Duke of Grey Organic
Organic
Ronnefeldt Duke of Grey Organic
An Earl Grey with great flavour. Sold in 100g bag
£9.50
5

Ronnefeldt Golden MilkRonnefeldt Golden Milk
Ronnefeldt Golden Milk
Flavoured blend of organic black tea and curcuma (turmeric) Creamy, indulgent yet healthy Sold in 100g bag
£6.30
5
Ronnefeldt Masala ChaiRonnefeldt Masala Chai
Best Seller
Ronnefeldt Masala Chai
A black assam tea combined with chai spices. Bursting with flavour! Sold in 100g bag
£5.90
5

Ronnefeldt Princess GreyRonnefeldt Princess Grey
Ronnefeldt Princess Grey
A blend of Darjeeling and Keemun with sparkling fresh bergamot.  A gentle earl grey - fresh with a hint of citrus. Sold in 100g bag  
£5.20
5
Ronnefeldt Viva VanillaRonnefeldt Viva Vanilla
Our Choice
Ronnefeldt Viva Vanilla
Flavoured black tea with sweet vanilla notes Sold in 100g bag Previously sold as Bourbon Vanilla
£4.90
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Ronnefeldt Rooibos Earl GreyRonnefeldt Rooibos Earl Grey
Ronnefeldt Rooibos Earl Grey
High grown Rooibos with the citrus lift of bergamot Caffeine free Sold in 100g bag
£5.50
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Ronnefeldt Rose Tea with PetalsRonnefeldt Rose Tea with Petals
Ronnefeldt Rose Tea with Petals
A flavoured blend of black and green tea with rose. Sold in 100g bag
£4.60
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The History of Black Tea

 

When it comes to popularity in the West, black tea stands head and shoulders above the rest. Made from the same tea leaves as green and oolong tea, black tea owes its characteristics to the way that it is produced.

As green tea is unfermented, and oolong semifermented, so black tea is a fully fermented tea: that is to say, one whose leaves are left to oxidise completely. 

Black tea was first produced in the Fujian province during the Ming Dynasty.

There are different versions of this story but one legend says that an army entering the Fujian Province were exhausted and so stopped for a rest. They just so happened to stop near a tea factory where the leaves were drying out in the sun.

The army wanted to try these leaves and needed to speed up the drying process so they could carry on with their journey after their rest. To do so, they decided to smoke the leaves and inadvertently invented the Lapsang Souchong variation of black tea.

Another story goes that the famous Emperor Shennong, Father of Agriculture, had an awareness of health and hygiene far ahead of his time.

He believed that all water should be boiled before it was consumed so on a long journey one day he made his servants sit down and boil some water.

Some leaves from a nearby Camellia tree accidently blew into the water and the water turned brown and black tea infused! He tried the liquid and enjoyed it.

Black tea remains the most popular tea variety worldwide with a rich cultural importance in many countries.

Originally, black tea was dried and stored in bricks enabling it to retain its distinct colour and flavour for many years and was therefore historically used as an important bargaining tool in trade agreements. This was well before people knew much about food preservation. T

he drying method would also ferment the tea in a way that would increase the amount of caffeine per cup compared to other teas. The caffeine was important because this meant black tea could be used to boost energy for meditating monks, those on long voyages or for medicinal purposes.

While all black teas tend to be stronger in taste, and higher in caffeine, than the less-fermented teas, their other characteristics are far from uniform.

Black teas come in a kaleidoscope of flavours – and we are proud to stock some of the best from around the world.

Popular varieties of black tea include Darjeeling teawidely acknowledged to be the finest black tea in the world, Assam tea  and Ceylon tea, including the classic English Breakfast.

the production of black tea

 

Immediately after picking, the fresh green leaves start their journey through the five stages of traditional tea production as described below

Withering

The tea is spread out on large withering racks and fanned with warm air for around 12 – 18 hours. This is how long the withering process takes, during which the leaf loses up to 60% of its moisture and a considerable amount of its volume.

Rolling

In the rolling machine rotating discs break open the leaf cells in the tea leaves without destroying them. This releases the cell juice. The liquid in the cells oxidises with the oxygen in the air and fermentation begins.

Oxidizing (Fermenting)

Rolling sets off fermentation – an oxidation process that takes around 2 – 3 hours. The cell sap comes into contact with oxygen and begins to oxidise. The leaves take on a coppery red colour and the tea acquires it characteristic aroma. The quality of the tea later on depends on the skills of the fermentation master, since he decides how long the process lasts. This process of fermentation determines the flavour of the tea: the shorter the process, the fresher the flavour and the lighter the tea is in colour. Longer fermentation produces stronger and darker teas.

Drying

The residual moisture is extracted from the tea at 90C in a multi-level dryer and the oxidised cell juice dries on the leaf. This is when tea darkens and becomes black in colour. This process takes around 20 minutes and is monitored carefully to ensure that the tea does not develop a burnt taste. Residual humidity: 3%

Grading

In this final step, the tea is graded into four different leaf grades using vibrating sifts. The sifting process produces high quality leaf teas, broken teas, fannings and tea dust.

Premium teas like we sell at Cup of Tea can only be produced using the traditional, orthodox method as described above. However only about 20 to 25% of the entire worldwide tea production is manufactured using the gentle orthodox method, the majority of all tea produced is by using the must faster more economical process of CTC production.

CTC stands for Crushing, Tearing and Curling. It is an automated mass production that brings out only simple flavours, no fine aromas and no large leaf grades. It takes only 8 to 12 hours to produce one batch of black tea versus 20 to 24 hours it takes by using the traditional orthodox way.

None of the teas we sell comes under the grade ‘dust’.

Decoding The Acryonyms

 

In the course of tea history, English terms and combinations of letters describing the various qualities of tea have become standard: 

  • Fine: Fine, excellent quality.
  • Tippy: Tips are the light-coloured leaf buds. They contain less cell sap and do not become as dark during fermentation.
  • Golden: This description indicates golden brown teas and is only used for teas from India.
  • Flowery: This term describes the fragrance and aroma of a tea.
  • Orange: This is an indication of a special quality. It can be traced back to the Dutch Royal House of Orange and means royal, exquisite and simply especially good.
  • Pekoe: This Chinese word (=white down), refers to the fine, this hairs on the jagged leaf edge of young, delicate tea leaves. In this combination both the terms Orange and Pekoe are used to describe the tea grade.
  • Broken: Broken and, therefore, a small-leafed tea.
  • Fannings: These are the larger pieces of the small leafed particles left after sifting. They are ideal for top quality tea bags like our Teavelope range.
  •  Dust: This is the lowest grade left after the final sift. Because it is so fine, it is called dust. None of the teas we have on offer contains Dust grade.

 

Next time you see a collection of letters on your tea’s label you can now read the details and ‘decode’ them as per the following example FTGFOP which read like ‘Fine, Tippy, Golden, Flowery, Orange, Pekoe’. The description indicates a carefully sifted tea with plenty of light-coloured and golden brown leaf tips, a richly flowery aroma and delicate leaves of the highest quality grade.

First Flush Darjeelings

Set against the spectacular backdrop of the Himalayas, Darjeeling is one of the most famous tea-growing regions in India. Each year, the arrival of spring heralds the prized first flush: the first new shoots of the season, which produce a flowery, fragrant and delicately-flavoured tea.
 
Our first flush Darjeelings, such as Organic Spring Darjeeling, Badamtam and Darjeeling Namring, all boast the finest flavour that only a top quality first flush can produce
 
 
 

Second Flush Darjeelings

Harvested slightly later in the spring, second flush Darjeelings boast a more intense, full-bodied flavour than their first flush predecessors. Add to this a warm, golden-amber colour and mellow aroma, and the result is a tea that is simply delightful. If proof of this is needed, it can be found among our selection of second flush Darjeelings, such as Darjeeling Summer Gold or Margaret’s Hope.

 

Assam Teas

A neighbour to Darjeeling, the Indian state of Assam is famed as the largest tea-growing region in the world. Fertile, low-lying land and a hot, wet climate combine to produce teas that are dark in colour, with a strong, malty flavour: the perfect choice for those who prefer their tea with a dash of milk or sugar. Assam Bari, Assam Nahorabi, Assam Broken Gold Tip or Assam Boisahabi are among our favourites – why not give them a try?

 

Ceylon Teas

 

One of the largest black tea exporters in the world, Sri Lanka – formerly Ceylon – produces a wide variety of top-quality teas. From Uva in the east, Dimbula in the west and Nuwara Eliya in between, come some of the best teas in Sri Lanka. Teas whose fragrant aromas and crisp, citrus flavours create nothing short of a sensory delight. Ceylon teas are delicious as single estate teas or as part of a black tea blend. The most sought-after varieties include Inverness, Orange Pekoe and the blended classic English Breakfast.

 

Chinese Black Teas

Produced mainly for export, Chinese black tea originates from the southern regions of China. Typically mild, with a deep, earthy flavour, these teas are generally low in tannin and caffeine. And, because their leaves are so carefully crafted, Chinese black teas are notable for their looks, as well as their taste. Popular Chinese black teas include Lapsang Souchong, KeemunYunnan and Pu Erh.

 

Other black teas

In addition to teas from the larger tea-growing areas, we offer a selection of black teas from lesser-known regions such as Nepal, Sikkim and Southern India