Ever been sipping your morning cuppa and thought to yourself, “just what goes into turning the humble tea leaf into a brew such as the one I am drinking right now?” Well, maybe not, if you’ve had an early start and are still a little bleary eyed – but it’s an interesting subject none the less.

Black teas (all this lovely lot) come from a plant called camellia sinensis (the tea bush to you and I). Louise, the teapigs tea taster, has been professionally tasting and sourcing tea for years and knows just where to find the best tea plantations for our tea.

Once the tea plant has grown enough and the leaves are ready for plucking, the top two leaves and bud (the freshest part of the plant) is handpicked and allowed to ferment (essentially exposing the tea leaves to oxygen for months or years) This fermentation process is what gives black tea that dark colour and rich taste, similar in a way to fresh fruit that has been dried.

The magical thing about the camellia sinensis plant, is that all tea comes from it, not just black tea. But more on that later!