We believe passionately that our knowledge of tea growing built up over 140 years, and our understanding of the unique characteristics of each of our farms, helps us to create the finest teas for you to enjoy every day. Every one of our teas is created by our master blenders using our own harvest, which is then exhaustively tested to ensure that the subtleties of taste, colour and overall quality always delivers. We know that you will taste the difference. Our tea growing process is carefully carried out from start to finish over a period of 30 hours...
Dawn: As the dawn breaks the first of the pluckers make their way to the fields of green tea bushes. There is dew on the ground and mist hangs over the valleys – the good news is that it rained in the night and the bushes are ready to spring to life and push up tender leaves for the pluckers to harvest.
Breakfast - hour 3: As tea farmers we cherish the red and acidic volcanic soils that are ideal for growing tea. The pluckers work systematically across the farm so that the whole is covered every ten days and whilst we still pluck the tea by hand we do make use of the very latest digital technology - plenty of time to weigh the plucked leaf and also grab a mug of hot nourishing uji.
Noon - hour 6: The sun is very hot on the Equator and as soon as the leaves are plucked we need to work fast to transport them to the factory. The processing, simple but an art then begins with the leaves fluffed up in large enclosed troughs to allow moisture to evaporate away and the leaves to wither.
Sunset - hour 12 and all night long: Every hour we check to see that the wither is just right to ensure that the quality in the leaves flows through to your cup. When we can bend a leaf without snapping we know it is time to rupture the cells and start fermentation.
Dawn the second time - hour 24: To rupture the cells in the leaves we either roll or cut using high speed stainless steel rollers that spin in opposite directions for the most uniform cut.
Just before Breakfast number two - hour 25 and a half: The ruptured leaves are conveyed into continuous fermenting troughs where the temperature is kept constant with cool moist air.
Breakfast number two - hour 27: As time passes the leaves slowly change colour from green to brown, much like a cut apple. This is a gentle process that ensures all the good things in tea are kept in for your cup of tea.
Time to put the kettle on for tea - hour 29: If we allowed the fermentation to continue unchecked the tea would become a rotten mass and taste terrible. Instead we arrest the fermentation by cooking the tea at very high temperatures. The heat is supplied from our steam boilers, which are fired using wood from eucalyptus trees grown on our farms, excellent for reducing our carbon footprint.
Tea time - perfection on the 30th hour: As the black tea comes out of the cooker it is ready to drink! Simple but always an art form to make sure the tea tastes perfect for you.