An Infinity of Patterns

The word ‘Kaleidoscope’ is a permanent memory of childhood play and curiosity. From Greek, it means the “observation of beautiful forms”.  We recall those beautiful patterns, never repeated.

David Brewster, the inventor of the ‘modern’ Kaleidoscope, said it might be of great value in "all the ornamental arts" as a device that creates an "infinity of patterns".

Our brand is like a sedimentary rock: layers of experiences from faraway lands washed together, connecting, over time creating a structure of uniqueness and beauty. Constantly being reinvented, but always remaining inclusive, tolerant, harmonious.  Turning the familiar to the unfamiliar, the mundane to the exotic.

For our finest tea caddies, we bring together individual patterns and images from the past and present to create a contemporary kaleidoscopic canvas for the future.


Darjeeling Reserve FTGFOP1 Loose Leaf Black Tea Gift Caddy 100g

Net Weight: 100g

The first pick of the second flush, from our private reserve in the Namring Estate of Darjeeling, this silver-tipped black tea produces a medium-bodied cup with a typical second flush muscatel note.

The East India Company - Lifestyle


Tea connoisseurs will know that FTGFOP1 is one of the best grade of black tea possible.

For those not so familiar, it's 'official' black tea grade language used for black teas from India. It stands for: Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe.

Working backwards, Flowery Orange Pekoe [FOP] denotes two leaves a bud from the end of the plant - the finest, tenderest young leaves. Flowery is self-explantory, Orange refers to the Dutch House of Orange, and Pekoe is of Chinese origin referencing the silvery hairs on the buds.

Golden refers to the golden yellow leaf buds and when these are in abundance, it becomes Tippy.

Finest.... it's self-explanatory. And finally the '1' - denotes the first invoice of the harvest.
This special tea is from the high altitude Namring Tea Garden of Darjeeling, part of the Namring Estate. It's one of the first and oldest estates in Darjeeling established about 170 years ago.

The estate grows the ideal combination of China, clonal & Assam hybrid tea bushes, which produce excellent black teas every season produced in a well managed and modern tea factory.

The tea flourishes in the well-drained steep slopes and a mix of cool dry and warm moist air through the year” says Lalith Lenadora, The East India Company's Tea Master.

We keep this precious tea safe in one of Kaleidiscope Gift Caddies - perfect for storing your tea and displaying elegantly.
A wiry black dry tea with lots of silver tips, it brews to a delightful amber colour.

An initial lightness and slightly fruity sweetness to the liquor, followed by a well-balanced dryness of the palate. Hence the description most associated with Darjeeling second flush teas - Muscatel.

This of course refers to the Muscat grape, one of the oldest grape varieties. Good examples of Darjeeling second flush teas share this grape-like character: floral sweetness followed by the emergence of drying tannins, making for a complex brew that changes through the cup.




Brewing Time



Black Tea


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


Darjeeling Tea - How it started

The British needed tea from an alternative source to China. They achieved this, to Darjeeling's benefit too, thanks to 2 officers of The East India Company.

Robert Fortune was a Scottish botanist. He knew China well and had survived hair-raising adventures. He was a Mandarin speaker and blended in with his choice of Chinese attire and appearance and he would carry out The East India Company’s strategy to bring tea cultivation and knowledge to India from China.
Incognito, Fortune extraordinarily managed to smuggle out of China more than 20,000 seedlings and plants.

These Chinese tea plants, Camellia Sinensis, together with a wild variety from in Assam, were planted in Darjeeling in 1841 by Dr Archibald Campbell, who was establishing a hill station for the British stationed in Kolkata. One year later, 2000 plants were growing in 3 experimental gardens. Back came Fortune to review progress and it was found to be the Chinese variant, from similar higher altitudes than the warm, humidity-loving Assamica variety, that was flourishing.

The first commercial tea gardens opened in 1856 and the rest is history.

Our spirit delivers no ordinary products

  • FAQ

    Does this tea include 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 have a problem with caffeine.

    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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