Image: Black tea infusion
Black tea styles can be Single-Estate, Classic Blends or House Blends. A good pantry selection of single estate teas might include the following-
Assam: A robust, malty tea from the northeastern Indian state of Assam, where more than 800 tea gardens are cultivated. It is often a favourite at breakfast, sometimes with milk.
Darjeeling: A delicate, slightly green black tea from the state of Darjeeling in the Himalayan foothills of India, where 86 tea gardens produce exceptional and expensive teas known for their distinctive muscatel overtones. The four yearly pickings are First Flush, Second Flush, Rainy Teas and Autumnal Flush.
Golden Monkey: A famous Chinese black tea with leaf shapes resembling monkey paws, originating from the Fujian province of China. After careful plucking and hand-processing of only one leaf plus one bud, this Golden Monkey tea is sweet with pleasant aromas of savoury roasted apples, walnut, rye and spice notes that linger. A rich, coating texture and a very smooth, soft flavour. This is a very complex black tea and can be enjoyed in multiple infusions. A real treat for black tea lovers.
Ceylon Orange Pekoe: Many tea blenders offer a tea called orange pekoe (OP). It is not a blend and has nothing to do with oranges. Orange pekoe is a grade of uniformly long, pointed tea leaves, usually from either India or Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon). An ideal tea for all-day consumption, with or without milk.