BEHIND THE CRAFT
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Tea Craft: The Tea Bush

It all starts with an evergreen plant called Camellia Sinensis, which has 2 original subspecies, one from China and one from India.

The plant will grow to a tree if it is not pruned – there are ancient trees more than 100ft high in Yunnan - it flowers with delicate creamy petals, a little like an orange plant and the mature leaves are thick and shiny.

Camellia Sinensis Sinensis [the Chinese plant] likes the cooler temperatures found in higher altitudes [these were the bushes planted by the East India Company in Darjeeling foothills of the Himalayas] and they a productive life of about 100 years. The Indian ‘Assamica’ prefers the hot and humid conditions of the plains of the Brahmaputra River of Assam and has a shorter life.

Find out more about where tea is grown.

FGTE13121

Orange Pekoe Pedro Estate Black Tea Pouch 100g

Net Weight: 100g

£20.00
Grown high above sea level in Nurawa Eliya, Sri Lanka from leaves that are over a hundred years old, our Pedro Estate tea is light and especially high in antioxidants. A tea connoisseur’s favourite.

The East India Company - Lifestyle

Food and Beverages

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£15.00
From the historic Pedro Estate of Nuwara Eliya in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. The estate sits on the very land where 'Father of Ceylon Tea' James Taylor first planted tea.

Today it's a stunning and vibrant-green tea garden, once visited never forgotten, and also home to the famous Lovers Leap tea. The traditional and noisy factory at the heart of the estate only operates at night to protect the tea from the sunlight, processing the tea just picked in the early hours.

Nuwara Eliya itself was an area 'discovered' by the British [by Dr John Davy, brother of Humphry Davy of Davy lamp fame] in the early 19th century and was initially important for one reason alone - the climate was British, due to the altitude. It became a retreat for the colonists, before being converted for agriculture later in the century.
The tea itself is an orange pekoe grade, which means the tea leaves were harvested after the end buds had opened, meaning the leaves are large and the tips are missing.

Orange has nothing to do with colour - it's a reference to the House of Orange in Netherlands, one of the first European countries to trade tea and is a name connected with quality and forever used in the black tea grading lexicon. Pekoe is from the Chinese word that describes the tiny silvery hairs on the underside of a tea leaf.

Picked very early in January, it's a small batch tea and one of the finest single estate teas of Sri Lanka, grown at 1890 metres above sea level on Pidurutalagala Mountain. It's a personal favourite of our Sri Lankan Tea Master Lalith Lenadora.
A bright, golden liquor in cup.

With a fragrant, aromatic aroma.

A light-bodied, but brisk liquor with aromatic notes.

It's a true connoisseurs favourite and high in antioxidants too.
Quantity

2.5 GRAMS PER CUP

Temperature

200ML OF WATER AT 100ºC

Brewing Time

4-5 MINS BREWING TIME

Ingredients

Ceylong Black Tea

Storage

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

Stories

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.

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