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.


Pomegranate & Hibiscus Oolong Tea Pouch 100g

Net Weight: 100g

A Taiwanese rolled oolong tea, blended with hibiscus flowers and a touch of pomegranate for a truly refreshing and fruity cup. Excellent iced with a dash of cordial in the summer months.

The East India Company - Lifestyle


A classic Taiwanese 'green' oolong rolled tea, with hibiscus flowers and natural pomegranate flavour to create an exclusive fruity oolong tea to The East India Company.

Now famous for its oolongs, Taiwan was late to tea, starting to export only in the late 19th century and it specialised in oolongs only in the last 50 years or so - the majority are now these lightly oxidised very green-coloured oolongs with lovely floral flavours.

The name oolong comes from the chinese word for 'black dragon', as the Chinese darker oolongs are twisted (and dragon-like apparently] rather than rolled.
To our summer-harvested oolong, from Nantou County in the scenic mountainous central area of Taiwan and home to the finest oolongs, we've added hibiscus flowers with a boost of natural pomegranate flavour.

Hibiscus is a common ingredient in teas and infusions. As well as bringing a touch of tartness and acidity it's considered healthy being rich in iron, vitamin B and calcium. Pomegranate flavour elevates the fruitiness, bringing both sweet and tartness.

For more about Oolongs, see our Stories section below.
A pale green, yellow liquor.

Aromatic notes from the oolong tea combine with fruity notes from the natural pomegranate flavour and hibiscus.

To make a refreshing iced version, make your tea a little stronger than usual with hot water, remove the tea after brewing and leave to cool. Top up with sparkling water or lemonade, add crushed ice, a splash of The East India Company Hibiscus Cordial and some sliced strawberries to garnish.



200ML OF WATER AT 75-80ºC

Brewing Time



Oolong Tea, Hibiscus Flowers, Natural Pomegranate Flavour


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


Oolong Tea – Between a Black and a Green Tea

Just like all the other teas [apart from White Tea], it starts with a small ‘just-plucked’ green tea leaf, usually about 5 cm long. The pickers deliver their freshly-picked leaves to the local factory for processing.

Oolongs are made mainly in China and Taiwan and sit somewhere between Black and Green Tea by virtue of being partly oxidised. A dark, open-leaf Oolong Tea is 70% oxidised, whilst the greener Oolongs are only 30% oxidised and are rolled into ball-shapes.

Step 1 - ‘Withering’: the whole leaves are spread out in the warm sun and then brought inside to be laid on bamboo shelves.

Step 2 - Partial Oxidation: the whole leaves are turned and shaken every couple of hours. This breaks the cell walls, releasing the enzymes, starting the oxidation process.
Depending on whether a dark open leaf oolong or a balled green oolong is being made, the process is slightly different:

Step 3 Dark Oolong - ‘Firing: Once oxidation has hit 70%, the tea is quickly pan fried to stop oxidation and then completely dried in ovens, ready to be packed.

Step 3 Green Oolong - ‘Firing’: Once oxidation has hit 30%, the tea is quickly pan fried to prevent further oxidation, followed by partial drying in an oven, before being left overnight.

Step 4 Green Oolong – ‘Balling’: The following day, the Oolong Tea in waiting is tightly bagged in cloth and rolled in a machine that will pressurise and bruise the leaves inside. The bag gets opened out and then wrapped up again. This is repeated over and over, until the leaf is in the ‘correct’ ball shape. Complete drying follows and the tea is ready to be packed.

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  • FAQ

    Does oolong tea contain caffeine and is there more or less than black and green tea and coffee?
    Yes it does, and it varies. All tea leaves, just like coffee, contain caffeine. Tea usually has a lower level of caffeine than coffee, which averages around 95mg for a normal cup of coffee. But it is impossible to give a precise answer, because there are so many variables at play - the length of brew time, the amount of tea used, the age of the leaf, the provenance of the leaf. Even the temperature of the water. Our best advice is to treat all 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

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