Tea Craft: Where is Tea grown?

Most tea producing countries are found in a tropical belt around the equator, the finest teas are found at altitudes between 4000 and 6000 ft [‘high grown’], where mist and cloud protect the plants and allows a slower development and consequently, more flavour.

Whilst the majority of tea comes from countries like China, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Kenya and Japan, there are some new surprising origins. Tea is now successfully grown in New Zealand and Scotland for example. Indeed, a tea bush can be grown very successfully in your home with a little TLC.

Find out more about how tea is grown.


Holyrood Estate BOPDF Black Tea Pouch 100g

Net Weight: 100g

From the Dimbula region of Sri Lanka, our BOPF grade Holyrood Estate tea has a striking aroma. Distinctly rich and full of flavour, this lovely black tea is a welcome addition to our breakfast tea stable.

The East India Company - Lifestyle


From the Holyrood Tea Estate, established in 1870, in the Dimbula tea district just west of the central mountains of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.

One of the first areas to be planted, by the pioneers of The East India Company and others, it was wild and unihabitable, the domain of elephants, leopards and pythons. The first teas produced were was found to be distinctive and the industry grew and plantations became prevelant.

Wet and misty conditions through the year, the drenching of the high-elevation (c.4000ft) western-facing estates by the southwest summer monsoons, followed by cool and dry winds, create perfect picking conditions in Spring.
Our Tea Master Lalith has chosen a BOPF black tea to represent the Holyrood Estate in our range. Although there are multiple micro-climates in the Dimbula area, the teas are distinctive to the district - orangy in colour, full bodied and strong.

Some explanation of the tea language used: BOPF means Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings. From the middle part, Orange Pekoe refers to those longer, pointed leaves plucked after the buds have opened. Broken refers to the fact that these leaves are no longer whole following processing, but have been broken or cut. Fannings are the finest siftings after the whole and larger broken pieces have been removed. The high quality of the leaf means high quality fannings and a tea that brews more quickly than the larger leaf.

Presented in a convenient air-tight resealable slim pouch, so the air can be removed for optimal storage.
Very consistent dark brown tea fannings.

A rich coppery, golden-orange colour liqour.

A full bodied, strong tea, that is quick to brew. It is mellow and takes milk very well, for a breakfast tea.

Our artisan Tea Master Lalith hails from Sri Lanka and this is one of his favourite recommendations.




Brewing Time



Ceylon Black Tea


Store in a cool, dry place avoiding direct sunlight and strong odours.


What makes Black Tea black?

It all starts with a small ‘just-plucked’ green tea leaf, usually about 5 cm long, delivered fresh by the picker to the local factory for processing. Whilst varying by region, there are always 5 core steps to making a Black Tea.

Step 1 - ‘Withering’: the leaves are spread out in warm air for up to a day to reduce the water content by about 20%. The leaves wilt and lose some of the vibrant green colour.

Step 2 - ‘Rolling’: the wilted leaves are soft and malleable and are placed in an ‘orthodox’ rolling machine. It presses the leaf and breaks down the cell walls, releasing the enzymes required to start the oxidation process. Sometimes the leaf is broken more by a rotavane ‘mincing’ machine that produces smaller grades of tea. If a very small teabag grade is required, a Cut-Tea-Curl machine is used.
Step 3 - ‘Oxidation’ [not fermentation, which requires a microbe involvement]: takes half an hour or so depending on the conditions. Chemical reactions are now creating the natural chemicals that deliver flavour and [reputed!] health benefits. The leaf darkens, just like a cut apple after a few minutes.

Step 4 - ‘Firing’: the oxidised tea is fed into a dryer at about 120 Celsius. This does 3 things - it destroys the enzymes, so oxidation stops; secondly it removes nearly all the water [about 3% remains]; and thirdly, it darkens the colour from light brown to dark to almost black, depending on the length of firing.

Step 5 - Sorting: tea exits the firing process in different sizes, which will complicate brewing - hence the last stage of the process is grading – fired tea is poured into the top of a sifting machine with different mesh sizes from top to bottom. It vibrates and the different sized tea leaves are separated as the tea travels from top to bottom, the biggest leaves being left the top.

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  • FAQ

    Does this tea contain caffeine and is there more or less than in coffee?
    Yes, all tea like coffee, contains caffeine. The amount in both teas and coffees does vary, depending on the type, but typically Sri Lankan black tea is lighter than other teas in caffeine content, usually between 50 and 90mg for a normally brewed 230ml serving. This compares to about 95mg for a normal cup of coffee. The best advice is to treat tea and coffee similarly if you need to manage your caffeine intake.

    I’ve heard that tea contains theanine. What is it and what does it do?
    Tea does indeed contain theanine, which is an amino acid [the building blocks of proteins]. Tea is one of only a few sources of theanine. It represents about 1% of dry weight and is at its highest concentrate in shade-grown teas like matcha and gyokuro. Whilst not yet proven in scientific studies that would permit specific health claims to be made, it is believed by many to be able to reduce mental and physical stress, promote relaxation and a sense of well-being. But not only that, it is more recently being thought to aid cognitive function. It’s one explanation for tea’s famous ability to create calm in a crisis [the Great British solution to all problems – ‘putting the kettle on’] and to stimulate when a little boost is required.

  • Delivery & Returns

    UK Standard Delivery: £3.95
    UK Next Day Delivery (mainland UK only): £9.95 (Order before 12pm)
    International Delivery is available, please see our delivery page for details. For more information and Terms & Conditions, please see our Delivery page.

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