Tea Craft: The Different Types of Tea

It’s remarkable that so many different types of ‘cup of tea’ come from the same plant - the Camelia Sinensis.

Black and green tea are the most drunk and well known. But added to these two giants: white tea, yellow tea, purple tea, puerh tea, oolong tea, flowering teas.

The fundamental difference between these teas is how the leaf is processed – see our Stories about the different type of teas.

Within each type of tea, there are so many further variations in flavours and colours - not only because of different processing methods, but also because of the ‘terroir’ – the local natural environment. Factors include altitude, climate, soil minerals, water source, cultivation methods and not forgetting – brewing method!


Kama Sutra, Orange and Rose Black Tea Pouch 100g

Net Weight: 100g

The age-old tale of love, passion and sensuality is told in our Kama Sutra blend. A fusion of orange, rose and warming spices with an amber liqour, this black tea fuels both budding and full-blown romances…

The East India Company - Lifestyle


An exclusive fruity and spicy blend using a GFBOP assamica variety of tea from the excellent Mangalam estate in Assam.

'GFOP' means 'golden flowery orange pekoe', which denotes two leaves and the golden tips of the leaf bud ['golden flowery'] in black tea grading language. The insertion of a 'B' means it is broken, indicating that the leaf is no longer whole following processing, but has been broken or cut.

This slightly smaller size helps to achieve an even blend of tea and ingredients in each pot that you make.
Blended with the tea - the essential warming spices: earthy-spicy cinnamon; some black peppercorns to give a little extra heat; the sweet warmth given by ginger.

And to bring the fruity notes, some zesty orange peel and rosehip petals, which are high in antioxidants and vitamin C. Found on the rose plant, being the fruits that appear just under the flowers, they taste floral and sweet, rather than having a rose flavour.

Named somewhat adventurously after the famous, ancient Sanskrit text, our job is just to supply the tea...
Large broken dark brown wiry leaves, with flashes of orange peel and rosehip petals.

In cup, the liquor is a reddish.

The aroma and flavour is sweet, fruity and spicy.

On the palate, it's full bodied, a classic Assam tea with spicy, fruity flavours.




Brewing Time



Black Tea, Cinnamon, Pepper, Rosehip, Orange Peel, Ginger


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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