Köhler's Medicinal Plants

The tea plant is well worth celebrating for its beauty as well as for its usefulness. It's a small evergreen plant with dark, pointy leaves with serrated edges. Fragrant, delicate white flowers bloom in the Spring.

We celebrate this most important plant with a beautiful representation from Kohler's work of the late 19th century, on our Signature range of teas.

Of true historical botanical importance, Köhler's Medicinal Plants is a three-volume work by Hermann Köhler, a German chemist and physician.

A guide to the known botanicals of the time, it contains hundreds of stunning and precise illustrations, produced by a process called chromolithography, the common method of producing colour prints at the time.


Fine Loose Leaf Tea Mini Caddy Gift Set x 5

A gift of five of our finest loose leaf teas: Governor Aungier’s Bombay Chai; Royal Breakfast; The Staunton Earl Grey; Peppermint; and The Forbidden City Jasmine Blossom Green Tea. For tea lovers and explorers.

The East India Company - Lifestyle


Small but perfectly formed: a gift set collection of 5 quality loose leaf teas and infusions from our Signature range.

Staunton Earl Grey Black Tea: A tribute to George Staunton, the man who introduced the western world to this famous blend. One of our most popular loose large leaf teas, with a vibrant and refreshing flavour of bergamot and neroli.

Peppermint: Made from the finest English Mitcham black peppermint. Naturally caffeine free, with a pleasant and invigorating aroma and flavour. Wonderfully refreshing no matter the time of day.
Forbidden City Jasmine Blossom Green Tea: With an irresistible floral fragrance of delicate jasmine blossom with sweet Chinese green teas. A calming blend for any time of the day.

Royal Breakfast Black Tea: The ultimate expression of the most popular blend of tea in the world. An expertly created, full bodied blend of the finest Assam and Ceylon teas. Start your day like a King or Queen.

Governor Augnier's Bombay Chai Black Tea: Honouring the vibrancy of Bombay and the legacy of Gerald Aungier, president of the East India Company in 1699, our Bombay Chai blend infuses black tea with fragrant cinnamon, clove and cardamom.
A super mini-caddy gift set for a discerning loose leaf tea drinker, who also likes a story with their cup of tea. Just enough of each to make a couple of generous pots of tea of our Signature teas, each with a story to tell.

Fragrant afternoon tea with our Staunton Earl Grey, uniquely with Bergamot and Neroli oil, to an after-dinner indulgence of Governor Augnier's Bombay Chai Black Tea, with cardamom and ginger.

If you would like to find out more about any of the teas in the selection, go to the individual product page to find out more including ingredients and allergens.


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.

Our spirit delivers no ordinary products

  • 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.

  • Reviews