Frequently Asked Questions
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 questions below to find the answers.
general tea FAQs
Where does tea come from?
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. In fact, there is even a tiny amount of tea grown in Cornwall, but not all origins are capable of producing the same quality or varieties!
What are the different types of tea?
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.
How do I brew the perfect cup of black tea?
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, leaving it for three to five minutes, and serving it with a splash of milk, but everyone has their favourite way to brew a cuppa.
What is the significance of the elevation at which tea is grown?
The elevation at which tea is grown affects the flavour in a number of ways; one of the main factors is that temperatures are cooler at higher elevations, meaning the leaves grow more slowly, giving them more time to develop greater depth of flavour. Darjeeling is a tea grown high-up, situated on the foothills of the Himalayas, the elevation reaches up to 7000 feet above sea level, and it is said to be the champagne of teas, with it’s delicious unique muscatel character.
Please can you explain the staining of my tea cup?
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!
What is Redbush?
Redbush, also known as ‘Rooibos’, is a South African plant which has the botanical name Aspalathus Linearis. While most of us may consider it a tea, it’s actually a naturally caffeine-free herbal infusion. Whilst it has its own unique and delicious flavour, it’s the closest to tea of all the infusions, and can even be enjoyed with milk like black tea! Clipper is proud to be a member of the UK Tea Council. For more information and insight into the wonderful world of tea please visit www.tea.co.uk.
Would you provide your products for charity/fundraising purposes?
Thank you for your interest in our products! As a reputable and well known brand, we receive many 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 which we are looking forward to announce in the next few weeks. We thank you for your interest in our products and for thinking of us. We encourage you to keep checking our website and Facebook pages for any new promotions and competitions which may interest you.
Plastic-free tea bags FAQs
Do your tea bags contain plastic?
From the 20th October 2018 we moved all our production to the first plastic-free, unbleached and non GM (genetically modified) tea bags and we won’t be going back! But we don’t believe in waste so please bear with us while the current packaging stock sells through the shops. This may take a few months but we are hoping that by the time you buy your next box it will have wonderfully plastic-free tea bags in it!
Why did you have plastic in your tea bags in the first place?
We needed a way to seal the two layers of our tea bag paper together, as paper will not stick to paper, and glue was never used. Unbleached filter paper containing polypropylene was our solution to this and provide the heat-seal function. We never used or considered using PLA (polylactic acid) material in the past (the biodegradable material used for some pyramid bags and other packaging) as it is derived from corn which may be from GM sources. But recent developments mean there is now a new source of PLA which is guaranteed to be from a non-GM source. We were delighted that finally a non-GM source had been found and we started work on development of our new unbleached plastic-free & non-GM paper straight away.
What are the new plastic-free tea bags made of?
Our new tea bag paper is made from natural plant based materials – a blend of abaca (a species of banana), plant cellulose fibres and PLA- a bio-polymer derived from non-GM plant material that helps hold the paper together – and what’s great is that it does not contain any synthetic polypropylene material.
How will I know if my tea bag is plastic-free?
After lots of production trials throughout 2018 we are proud to say that all products produced from the 20th October will be made with the first plastic-free, unbleached non-GM tea bag paper and we won’t be going back! Look out for the on pack flash on some of our products. Don’t see it? Don’t worry. Change takes time. We won’t send perfectly good product or packaging to waste, so there’ll be a transition as shops make way for the new plastic-free bags. This may take a few months but we are hoping that by the time you buy your next box it will have wonderfully plastic free tea bags in it.
Will this affect the taste of my cuppa?
Absolutely not! The same great taste and quality remains at the heart of all we do, it’s just that the used tea bags will be suitable to be popped into your food waste container.
How do I dispose of the used tea bags?
The new plastic-free tea bag paper is biodegradable and compostable to industrial standards. The best place to put the used tea bags is into the food waste container provided by your local council. The paper and tea inside can be commercially composted and then used as compost elsewhere. See following link for more information. http://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with/food-waste-0
Can I place the used tea bags into my home composting bin?
The new paper is biodegradable and will break down over time, however this may take longer than is expected within home composting environments. While its certainly wet enough in the UK for composting, unfortunately it is rarely warm enough to make efficient home composting possible. We recommend that you pop the tea bag in your home food waste container.
Are your packs recyclable?
The majority of the packaging we use is recyclable where facilities exist, but unfortunately it has not been possible to achieve this for all the packaging components across our range.
Why don’t all your blends have the Fairtrade mark?
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. If you would like to know more about Fairtrade support in Assam click here.
Where do you source your teas?
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, 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.
Can Clipper tea bags be composted?
The Clipper Square Heat-sealable tea bags cannot be said to be fully compostable due to the polypropylene fibres present to provide the heat-seal function. However there is some opinion held that these type of bags remain appropriate for home composting under considered conditions. In our opinion the information provided in the following links gives useful insight and balanced views on this topic to help consumers reach their own informed decisions on this matter.
Whilst the above links offer considered opinion and guidance we agree that this is still not an ideal situation and we have been working together with our packaging providers to find a better alternative to polypropylene in tea bags.
We are working as hard as we can and have already completed two production trials to test an alternative solution and have another planned this month (April). Being plastic free is very important to us as a brand and we are working hard to ensure we can do this as soon as possible whilst also maintaining the high quality of our tea.
Are Clipper teabags bleached?
We only use unbleached paper for our Clipper tea bags. In fact we have worked very hard to ensure that we are able to use unbleached tea bags across the full Clipper range. You’ll notice that our tea bags are a more natural colour than you may find elsewhere; all part of us keeping it natural, fair and delicious.
dietary requirements FAQs
Are your products gluten free?
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.
I have a nut allergy. Can you guarantee that my drink hasn’t been near any nuts?
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.
What caffeine levels are present in your teas?
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.
Do your Infusions contain caffeine?
Most of our infusions (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.
How is your tea decaffeinated?
We use the carbon dioxide method to remove the caffeine from our decaffeinated teas, because it’s better for the planet than some other methods which use chemicals such as Ethyl Acetate and Methylene Chloride. You can read more about it here.
I live in the UK, where can I buy your tea?
We sell our teas throughout the UK’s supermarkets, including Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda, Morrisions, Waitrose and Booths, online through our webshop, Ocado and Amazon, and through lots of lovely health food stores and independent retailers.
I live abroad, where can I buy your tea?
Clipper Teas are supplied by a number of distributors worldwide; to find out where to buy our drinks, please visit this page to contact one of our international distributors directly. Of course, you’re welcome to buy from our online shop. For any questions about international online orders please contact email@example.com.
I live abroad, can I distribute your tea?
Please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to chat to us about international distribution opportunities.
Why can’t I find my favourite tea in my local supermarket?
Supermarkets are constantly adjusting their ranges, and if you can’t find the blend you’re looking for, just ask the Store Manager – they do listen!
Why can’t customers outside the UK enter your competitions?
Unfortunately the cost of international postage and various export restrictions mean we can’t open our competition to international entrants, but this is something we’re working on!