The Journey of Tea
To make each kilo of tea, Typhoo uses around 4.5 kilos of fresh tea leaves.
And because it’s plucked by hand, an awful lot of people are involved. That’s why it’s so important to us to make sure it’s all done right.
With every step, we are committed to making sure you experience a great tea-drinking moment with every brew.
If you’ve ever wondered what goes into making the humble teabag, you can be sure with Typhoo that it’s all good from start to finish – from picking only the top two leaves and a bud from the best tea bushes and blending these to create the perfect taste, to packing the tea in foil and locking in extra freshness.
Typhoo has a responsibility to the communities on our tea estates and works hard to continually develop policies and build on improvements that have already been made.
Tea grows best in regions which enjoy a warm, humid climate with a rainfall measuring at least 30 inches a year.
Ideally, it likes deep, light, acidic and well-drained soil. Given these conditions, tea will grow in areas from sea level up to altitudes as high as 7,000 feet above sea level. There are over 3,000 tea gardens in the world.
90% of black teas that are imported into this country come from Africa, India, Ceylon, Indonesia and Argentina.
Growing wild, a tea bush would grow 15-30 feet high but in the tea gardens it is pruned to a bush 3-4 feet high to ensure a delicate leaf and ease of plucking. The average plucker can pluck approximately 20kg of tea leaves per day. It takes approximately 4kg of tea leaves to make 1kg of black tea.
Once plucked, the tea leaves are placed onto large trays where currents of warm, dry air remove approximately 60% of the moisture from the leaves.
After the tea has been processed at tea estates across the world, the leaves are shipped across to the port of Liverpool. We have thought about the environmental impact of this step too – have a look at our case study here.
Each container arrives holding around 25 tonnes of tea. That’s the same weight as four male African elephants!
Once the tea arrives at our factory, the sacks of tea are unloaded and then the skilful job of blending can begin…
Our tea blenders have a mechanical helper, fondly named Robbie the Robot, which is programmed to pick the correct sacks of tea to be sent for blending each day.
The sacks are torn open and the tea is put into a large rotating drum – which can hold 2 tonnes of tea – and mixed together.
The drum turns slowly for exactly 8 minutes. If they turned the tea for any longer it could risk breaking down the tea leaves compromising the quality of our great Typhoo products.
Our experts will taste each of the blended teas for quality control, comparing them to previous days to ensure that our blends stay consistent; this is due to the seasonality of tea which can cause changes to the crop throughout the year.
Much like working with a fine wine or whisky, the art of tea tasting & blending is splendidly refined.
The blended teas are taken to another machine which will put just the right amount of tea in every teabag before sealing them. The teabag making machine can make 2,000 bags every minute.
Next the tea bags are wrapped in foil to keep them fresh for longer. Once packaged up and sent to store, the tea bags are ready for us to buy and make into a refreshing cup of tea!