Working with Roy on the Imperial Tea Court website is a remarkable tea education. It seems that every day there's a new tea he's discovered or a blend he's working on. Selecting teas for ITC is not as simple as I expected.
With today's new found prosperity, China's tea lovers have also discovered a new tea fad -- Black Tea! However, today's black tea produced from China is a far cry from the black tea commonly enjoyed by the west for over a century. Today's Chinese black tea lovers look for a beautifully shaped leaf, western black tea drinkers often look for a good color cup as more important than leaf shape.
Western black tea drinkers often enjoy it with milk and sugar or paired with pastries while the new Chinese black tea admirers wants the tea to stand on its own without interfering the experience with other flavors. The new black tea is expected to produce multiple infusions as oppose to the standard English practice of boiling water for 5 minutes once. Two very different approaches that makes sense due to the intended usage of two very different culture.