We regularly get asked lots of different questions about how we make our delicious tea. We’ve racked the brains of our very knowledgeable team and hopefully you will find the answer you’re looking for.
Click on any of the categories below to reveal our frequently asked questions and answers.
Tea is commercially grown in many more countries than you might think! There are of course the well-known origins, such as China, India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya, but tea is also grown in less familiar places, such as Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Turkey and Vietnam to mention just a few. Not all origins are capable of producing the same quality or varieties!
There are estimated to be in the region of 1500 varieties of tea, however most can be placed under the following headings: Black Tea, Green Tea, White Tea, Oolong, Pu-erh, and Yellow Tea.
Herbal teas are not derived from the traditional tea plant. The name ‘herbal teas’ refers to the process of infusing plants or fruits in hot water.
We think the perfect cup of tea is made by pouring freshly boiled water (not that water that has been sat in your kettle since your last cuppa!) over the tea bag, and leaving it for two to five minutes, but everyone has their favourite way to brew a cuppa.
Staining of the cup is due to tannin, and although it’s a bit annoying having to give your mug an extra scrub, this compound helps give tea it’s slightly astringent flavour. To avoid getting your mug stained, you could always use a teapot to prepare your brew!
We would love to be able to support everyone but as a well-known, ethical brand, we receive lots of requests on a daily basis asking for samples and help with fundraising and sponsorship. I am sure you can appreciate that unfortunately we are unable to accommodate every request, which is why we have a policy in place where we prioritise concentrating our efforts on proudly supporting a nominated charity. Currently we are supporting the great work of the International Tree Foundation. For more information feel free to visit their website http://internationaltreefoundation.org/
We try very hard to source 100% Fairtrade ingredients, but it’s not always possible. However, we do work closely with our suppliers to strive to ensure all our ingredients are ethically sourced. All our black and green teas are Fairtrade. Our herbal teas are 100% organic.
We source our teas from a number of different origins across the globe, including India, Sri Lanka, China, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda, but the specific estates are a secret! All the teas we source are then brought home to Beaminster, Dorset UK, where we take loving care to blend them, and check the quality to ensure they are just right before they are packed for their journey on to our customers.
We work very hard to minimise the risk of gluten getting into our products, so we can say there’s no gluten in our drinks, until you dunk in a biscuit.
We do not use any nuts within our products or factory, and work really, really hard to keep nut contamination risk as low as possible.
Tea is a natural product and there are lots of variables which can affect the exact caffeine content, including preparation. We only measure caffeine levels in our decaf tea, but to give you an idea, you can assume there’s approximately 40 – 70mg of caffeine in a cup of everyday tea.
Most of our herbal teas (those which do not contain any tea, Camellia Sinensis) are naturally caffeine free, but some do contain caffeine. For those which do contain caffeine, we put a little note on the back of packs, near the ingredients list.
It’s a different colour because it hasn’t been bleached! It may make the bags look a little different, as it is more naturally brown in colour and we appreciate that it seems quite a contrast to the white tea bags that you are used to seeing. We know that the unbleached teabag paper has no impact on taste, so we felt it was only right to use the most natural packaging we could source.
No, you can rest assured that our lovely teas will remain just as delicious! Our expert Tea Guys carefully tested and retested our teas in the unbleached tea bags (and sometimes as just a cup of hot water with the paper in, bless ‘em!), and even with their incredible taste buds, attention to quality and detail they were left satisfied that the great taste of Clipper would not be compromised. To top it off, we even ran some blind tea tasting sessions with bigger groups of tasters and they could not tell the difference between the tea in bleached and unbleached paper too! The quality of our blends is something that we pride ourselves on, always sourcing premium ingredients with a clear conscious.
Here at Clipper, we’d suggest that the decision to choose whether or not to use bleached tea bag paper is mainly aesthetic, although there are obviously supply chain implications to both options. While other tea companies may be comfortable to use bleached paper, at Clipper we think that if we can remove one step from the production process and still bring you the best tasting teas that it’s an easy decision.
Yes! And what’s more, they are also non-GM and plastic-free. Hooray!
Bleaching paper for use in tea bags is not dangerous or harmful to tea lovers based on the current methods; it’s a purely cosmetic decision. As we are now in a position to source unbleached paper for our entire range, we feel that it is the best decision for Clipper and our consumers, and we’re helping to make change better.
At Clipper, if we had to use bleached paper we would opt for the process known as TCF (total chlorine free). TCF paper does not use chlorine (as its name suggests!); instead it uses oxygen and either hydrogen peroxide or ozone. Through this process, the oxygen is used to remove the colouring (lignin) from the wood and ozone and/or hydrogen peroxide is used to complete the bleaching process. The alternative process used for bleaching teabag paper is known as ECF (elemental chlorine free) where the wood pulps are bleached typically with chlorine-dioxide. Through our own developments with the paper suppliers, we are extremely pleased and excited to have unbleached paper that can be used throughout all of the Clipper production.
We feel that by not using any bleached paper at all, we are being as environmentally friendly as possible as we are not using any bleaching agents or practices towards our paper; in fact, we’re being as simplistic about this as possible. We are pleased to be able to remove it from our processes and supply chain to bring you a great tasting, natural cup of tea.
The tea bag paper is sourced via our experts within Clipper and our teabag paper supplier and all our teabag paper is manufactured in the UK. The main elements of tea bag paper are the wood pulp, which is sourced globally (but mainly from Europe) and cellulosic long fibres, such as abaca, which are sourced from the Philippines and Asia. We are really proud that all of our tea bags are not only unbleached, but also non-GM and plastic-free.
Yes, the wood pulps that are used in the paper production are either FSC or PEFC certified.
The teabag paper is biodegradable and will break down over time, however this may take longer than is expected within home composting environments. Therefore we recommend that you pop the tea bag in your home food waste container.
Our teabags are sold in envelopes; this is to help them stay fresh, to protect them and to keep their taste so special. When they are wrapped, the ingredients can be protected from external factors like sunlight and moisture, allowing the great taste and flavours to remain. It also helps if they’re in a cupboard full of tea, keeping their great flavour in and the other aromas floating around your tea cupboard out! We also know that more and more people want to take their favourite tea with them when they pop out; go to work; to put in their handbag or to keep in their overnight bag, so by giving the teabag its own envelope, our consumers can drink the great taste of Clipper when they’re out and about.
Our current envelopes are made out of paper with a thin heat seal coating. Recently we have completed successful trials and we are happy to announce our new envelope is 33% lighter making it a more sustainable option.
We are in the final stages of an implementation plan for rolling out this material to all of our enveloped products in 2019.
Yes they are. Hooray! You can put our envelopes in your paper recycling bin.
Absolutely not! The same great taste and quality remains at the heart of all we do.