Tea Basics

What is tea?

The journey to your cup begins in tea gardens around the world, where Tetley tea is made from the young leaves and unopened buds of the plant, Camellia sinensis. We grow and buy tea from all across the world to get that lovely, full-bodied flavour that’s unique to Tetley.

Where Does Tea come from?

Tea plants flourish in warm, moist climates and can grow 20 feet high if left unchecked. There was a time when all our black tea came from China, but not anymore!

Our experienced buyers work closely with thousands of tea gardens in over 20 different countries to select the very best tea leaves out there. The finest tea is grown in sunny climates and at high altitudes, with the tea plants trimmed to only three to four feet in height. The largest producers of tea leaves are Kenya, Sri Lanka, India, and China, but tea is grown wherever there is a healthy amount of rain and sunshine.

At Tetley, we have been making tea since 1837, so we know a thing or two about how to make the perfect cup. For us, it is about helping to create a thriving, global tea industry that is socially fair and environmentally sustainable. That is why we are founder members of the Ethical Tea Partnership and source 100% of our tea from Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM gardens.

The journey of your cuppa starts in the tea gardens all around the world, where Tetley is made from the young leaves and unopened buds of the plant, Camelia Sinensis. We grow and buy tea from all across the world to get that full-bodied and unique Tetley flavour. Before landing on a shelf at your local store, each Tetley blend undergoes a crucial four-stage journey from crop to cup. The key ingredients are care and attention – after all, that’s what goes into making a great quality cup of tea. The tea farmers and tea pickers take great pride in getting the best tea leaves for your brew.





What are the different tea types?

Tea can be grouped into mainly three types, according to the degree of oxidation or exposure to air.

Black Tea: Strong in flavour, the black tea leaves are withered, rolled, oxidized and dried for a bright copper colour.

Green/White Tea: Extremely popular in China and Japan, green tea leaves are free from the oxidation process. White tea, which is again non-oxidized, features young or minimally processed Camellia sinensis leaves.

Oolong Tea: Oolong tea is semi-oxidized, and the leaves have a distinct greenish brown colour.




how to brew the perfect tea

The Perfect Brew

Learn more about how and why we blend tea and how we assess its quality.