The Right Type of Bag

It was a happy accident when the customers of American Thomas Sullivan, mistakenly started to brew the tea they received still in the sample bags. The tea bag was born and it was Liptons who took the teabag to the masses in the 1950s.

As tea connoisseurs, we love quality loose leaf tea - but for convenience, speed and consistency, there is much to be said for a quality teabag, which requires both a high-quality blend of tea and use of the right type of bag.

Our teabags are doubled-chambered affording more space for the tea to brew than the regular teabag. Because each double-chamber teabag is created by folding rather than ‘gluing’, the paper is 100% biodegradable and contains no plastic. Automatically tied shut with cotton, faster than the eye can see, it is finished by wrapping in an individual sachet sleeve for protection.


The First Estate Assam Sachet 1x2.5g

Net Weight: 2.5g

Celebrating the first teas from Assam to be landed in London in 1838, this is our classic rich and malty full-bodied indigenous Assam tea. Enjoy with a sweet biscuit or a square of Swiss milk chocolate.

The East India Company - Lifestyle


By the middle of the 18th century, the British had a serious Chinese tea habit, but it was expensive and not sustainable due to the Chinese monopoly. When the East India Company lost its own trading monopoly on tea in China, it looked elsewhere.

A wild tea variant had been discovered by Robert Bruce in hot and humid Assam, and with some cross-breeding with Chinese plants that had been smuggled out of China, the company was able to start growing tea in Assam.

12 chests were sent in triumph to the London tea auction in 1839 - the Assam tea industry was launched. Our Signature Assam tea is named after this First Estate.
From that first discovery, Assam is now the largest tea growing region in the world. It lies in the north of India, either side of the Brahmaputra River, which carries rich minerals to the fertile plains on which tea is grown.

It has a monsoon climate, which the indigenous Assamica tea plant loves, with the tea being grown at sea level – a key difference to the Chinese tea plant, which enjoys a little more altitude and cool weather.

Assam teas, key components of breakfasts teas, are wonderful. They have a malty, rich, caramel flavour and are thick and full of body [important in English Breakfasts blends].

Our First Estate blend is a classic blend of fine second flush Assam teas.
In cup, the liquour is a dark brown, coppery colour.

Aroma is strong and aromatic.

And the flavour is classically rich and malty.
A cup of Assam tea with a good splash of milk is accompanied very nicely by a buttery biscuit, like our rather indulgent Butter Shortbread and Clotted Cream biscuit.




Brewing Time



Single Estate Black Tea.


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.

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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