All tea is harvested from the Camellia Sinensis, whether it’s your regular Breakfast, an Earl Grey with friends or your to-go Green Tea – it is all derived from the Camellia Sinensis, sometimes called the ‘Tea Tree’ but not to be confused with the Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia), from which, tea tree oil is derived. Confused? Read On.
The varieties, wait… varieteas(?) of tea that we know and love are derived from the Camellia Sinensis, this includes Black, Oolong, Green and White teas. The type of tea is determined by where the tea leaves are grown, whether this is at altitude, the relative light exposure and the chemical composition of the soil; however, the single biggest factor that separates one tea type from another is determined by how it is processed, more specifically, when in its life cycle the tea is harvested and how it is oxidised.
Oxidation is a crucial process in tea production that significantly impacts the characteristics and flavours of different types of tea. It occurs when enzymes in the tea leaves react with oxygen, not dissimilar to when a banana becomes spotted and turns darker. The more oxidised a tea leaf, the higher the concentration of caffeine and the lower the concentration of antioxidants – a Green Tea for this reason, is low in caffeine and high in antioxidants.
Types of Tea
In a Black Tea, the harvested leaves undergo complete oxidation, resulting in leaves with a near black appearance and a rich, robust flavour, and dark tea. This type of tea has a strong taste and is often associated with the classic English Breakfast Tea.
An Oolong Tea is the name given to a tea that has been allowed to partially oxidise, while falling between a Green and Black Tea on the oxidation scale. For this reason, there are a vast number of Oolongs with a diverse range of flavours, where some are closer to a Green Tea and have a light subtle flavour, to others that closer resemble a Black Tea and have flavours that range from floral and fruity to creamy and toasty.
Green Teas undergo minimal oxidation, preserving the natural green colour and delicate taste of the newly harvested leaves. This process helps retain more antioxidants and results in a light, refreshing cup with a grassy, umami or marinal profile.
White Tea is the least oxidised tea of all. It involves minimal processing, with leaves often selected as buds of very young and early leaves, that are left to wither and dry in natural sunlight, without any rolling. These teas are rich in antioxidants, near negligible in caffeine and have a subtle and delicate flavour, with a light colour and often sweet, floral aroma.
A Herbal Infusion, or Tisane are most often naturally caffeine free and are blends that are made purely from herbs, flowers, fruits, or other botanicals. Infusions do not include any leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant and have a diverse array of flavours and aromas based on the specific ingredients used in the blend.
Rooibos or Redbush is a naturally caffeine free herb found only in specific regions of South Africa; full of antioxidants, it is a great alternative to Black Tea and has a rich, warm and slightly sweet flavour. It’s perfect for blending and pairs beautifully with its cousin Heuningbos or Honeybush and is great with a splash of milk.
Fruit Infusions, as the name suggests are blends that are curated predominantly from fruit. Generally caffeine free, these blends produce colourful and sweet brews from the natural fruit sugars and are inherently high in vitamins. These delicious blends can be enjoyed hot or as an Iced Tea.
Over a short period of time, we have carefully built a reputation among industry experts based upon our dedication to high quality ingredients and unwavering focus on ethical and sustainable sourcing. As part of our commitment to excellence, we go beyond sourcing top-notch teas. We also provide free training to baristas, empowering them with knowledge on proper extraction, optimal steeping methods, and the art of showcasing the unique taste profiles of our blends.
Our teas are carefully curated to ensure the best possible flavour when steeping. We know that baristas appreciate attention to detail, as it allows them to create consistently delightful drinks for their consumers. Whether it’s a delicate Green Tea with a subtle vegetal taste or a robust Black tea offering rich and full-bodied notes, our teas deliver an exceptional taste experience that leaves a lasting impression.
We want to offer an experience that is worthy of speciality environments, from restaurants to artisan coffee shops where industry experts can confidently serve premium teas that not only reflect our ethical and sustainable values but also celebrate the diverse flavours of our carefully sourced blends. From extraction to steeping, every step is a celebration of the tea’s journey, resulting in a cup that delights the senses and enriches the tea-drinking experience for everyone.
The growth of convenience in tea drinking created rising demand from corporate tea producers to supply teabags and packaging at cheaper costs. Subsequently, the ritual of steeping loose leaf tea was lost to teabags, but more significantly, to packaging wrapped in plastic and to teabags containing plastic polymers, which when steeped release microplastics.
We are proud to be 100% Plastic Free. Our packaging uses fully compostable materials like kraft paper and plant-derived PLA, ensuring a sustainable choice and uncompromising freshness. Our teabags are made from Soilon, a plant-based mesh derived from Organic Sugarcane, making them fully biodegradable. You can dispose of our packaging in a food waste bin, contributing to a cleaner environment and supporting a greener future.
We place a strong emphasis on Ethical Sourcing and Sustainability. Our commitment lies in supporting producers who prioritise quality, organic cultivation, and regenerative farming practices, while ensuring the wellbeing of their employees. By paying a premium for these exceptional teas, we actively contribute to enhancing the lives of tea workers and embody the principles for a truly ethical and sustainable tea industry.
Our teas come from a diverse array of unique tea estates in countries like Japan, China, India, and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Each blend is carefully handcrafted in small batches and packaged in the UK, reflecting our dedication to maintaining quality and freshness.
We love the ritual of brewing our favourite cups of tea. For consistent, tasty results we recommend following the guidelines highlighted on the back of our packs and adjusting to satisfy individual preferences and variables, such as water hardness. In order to achieve consistent optimal results, we always recommend steeping with fresh filtered water for the best possible taste. The amount, time and temperature at which your tea is best steeped is highlighted for each individual blend to help maximise the flavours, aromas and key benefits of the ingredients. Some more delicate blends require lower times and temperatures to avoid the release of bitter compounds such as Tannins, whilst maximising benefits like antioxidant concentration.
Tea and its daily rituals have become deeply rooted in our culture and routines. If you’re looking to learn more about your tea, you can find some of our Tea FAQ here:
We take great care in sourcing our teas ethically and sustainably. While not all of our teas are certified organic, we ensure the highest quality by working closely with trusted smallholders and gardens, who follow organic cultivation and responsible farming practices. Many of our teas are either grown using organic principles or exceed organic standards, even though they lack formal certification. There are specific reasons for this approach:
Small Growers: some of the small-scale growers we collaborate with could potentially apply for organic certification. However, this process can be expensive and time-consuming, leading to higher tea prices. Since these growers already experience strong demand from buyers who value their traditional, chemical-free cultivation methods, obtaining organic certification is often unnecessary.
Quality and Origin: our focus has always been on prioritising quality, origin, and above all else, taste. While organic teas have their place, we choose to avoid bulk teas that may lack character and are often traded by large brands solely for their ‘organic’ status. By selecting ingredients based on their inherent quality rather than just their certification label, we get to bring you superior and more flavourful tea options.
Sustainability and Tradition: our commitment to sustainability extends beyond formal certification. We partner with smallholders that employ traditional, environmentally friendly practices without relying on chemical pesticides or artificial additives.
It’s important to highlight that our ingredients undergo rigorous testing to provide you with peace of mind, ensuring they meet all EU Food Safety Standards. Through our careful selection and close partnerships, we get to offer you delicious teas that are not only high in quality but also embody the unique artistry of traditional tea production.
It’s really important to draw a distinction between Fairtrade, a non-profit brand and fairly traded tea. Fairtrade is a commendable non-profit brand, and we respect its initial principles. However, we believe that the Fairtrade certification can create a misconception that all other teas are inherently unfair, which is simply not true. We choose to buy ingredients that prioritise the primary producers involved, ensuring that they receive fair market prices for their tea. The growers and gardens we collaborate with are often small, family-owned, or local co-operatives and obtaining Fairtrade certification for these producers would be impractical and unnecessary due to the associated expenses. Instead, we strive to support producers who prioritise quality, organic cultivation and regenerative farming processes, and above all else, employee welfare. By paying more for these exceptional teas, we contribute to bettering the lives of the tea workers and embody the principles for a truly ethical and sustainable tea industry.
We do not have Rainforest Alliance accreditation for our blends. While the Rainforest Alliance has its merits, our experience indicates that it does not hold the same significance for tea estates by purchasing fairly traded ingredients.
Unlike Fairtrade, the Rainforest Alliance does not pay a premium to the estates or their employees. Its primary function is to serve as an independent auditor, verifying producers’ systems and practices. Some major companies, like TATA, which owns brands like Tetley and Teapigs, have significant purchasing power with Rainforest Alliance-accredited estates. As such, we try to steer clear of these vast gardens that supply tea for mass market preparation and big corporations, instead opting for smallholders who share our views on independent trade.
We remain committed to sourcing ingredients that prioritise quality, sustainability, and the wellbeing of the tea producers. Our focus is on supporting smallholders, who, despite not holding specific certifications, maintain sustainable and responsible practices in their tea cultivation.
The caffeine content in our blends varies depending on the type of tea and how it’s brewed. As all tea comes from the Camelia Sinensis plant (Black, Green, White, and Oolong), they naturally contain caffeine in differing amounts. Several factors influence caffeine levels, including the tea’s origin, the degree of oxidation, and the steeping time.
On average, a cup of tea can contain anywhere between 30 to 75mg of caffeine. In comparison, a cup of coffee typically contains between 100 to 170mg of caffeine. To make it easier, we label our blends Caffeine Free, Low Caffeine, Medium Caffeine and High Caffeine.
We love a caffeine free cup, so most, but not all, of the herbal teas we blend are naturally caffeine free. You can discover our caffeine free blends here.
In the context of tea, antioxidants are natural compounds that play a crucial role in promoting health and protecting the body from harmful free radicals. Tea is rich in various types of antioxidants, such as Catechins, Flavonoids, and Polyphenols.
Free Radicals are unstable molecules that when present in the body, can cause cellular damage and contribute to various health issues if left unchecked. When we are exposed to factors like Pollution, UV Radiation, and certain foods, free radicals are generated in the body.
The naturally occurring antioxidants found in tea can help to neutralise these free radicals, preventing them from causing harm to cells and tissues. Regular consumption of tea, particularly those high in antioxidants, such as Green Tea and White Tea, have been associated with health benefits due to their antioxidant content.
By enjoying tea as part of a balanced diet, individuals can introduce valuable antioxidants into their system, supporting overall health and wellbeing by combating free radicals.
Properly storing your tea is essential to maintain its freshness and flavour. Once opened, keep your tea in a cool, dark, and dry space, or use an airtight container to protect it from moisture and UV light. Our Tea Jars offer an attractive option for both display and storage. When stored correctly, our tea blends can retain their quality for at least six months after opening, although some blends may last longer than others. Scented teas like Earl Grey should be consumed within six months to preserve their aroma and flavour. Remember, due to the dried nature of the ingredients, tea won’t go bad when stored correctly, however, its flavour may gradually diminish over time. Enjoy the best taste by consuming your tea within the recommended timeframe.
The primary difference between tea and an infusion (or tisane) lies in their ingredients. Tea is a blend that contains actual leaves or leaf buds from the Camellia Sinensis plant, which includes varieties like Black, Green, White, and Oolong tea. These teas naturally contain caffeine and offer a wide range of flavours based on factors like processing, oxidation and origin.
An infusion, on the other hand, also known as a tisane, is a blend made purely from herbs, flowers, fruits, or other botanicals. Infusions do not include any leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant and are generally caffeine free. They provide a diverse array of flavours and aromas based on the specific ingredients used in the blend.
We are dedicated to sourcing our tea with a strong emphasis on ethical and sustainable practices. Our commitment lies in supporting producers who prioritise quality, organic cultivation, and regenerative farming processes, while also ensuring the wellbeing of their employees. By paying a premium for these exceptional teas, we actively contribute to enhancing the lives of the tea workers and promoting a truly ethical and sustainable tea industry.
To ensure the best tasting teas in each blend, we have sourced our tea leaves from a diverse array of unique tea estates. These estates originate from various countries, including Japan, China, India, and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Each blend is carefully handcrafted in small batches and packaged in the UK, reflecting our dedication to maintaining quality and freshness.