Picker's Pocket is motivated by giving New Zealanders an authentic tea experience that our Sri Lankan pluckers would be proud of.
Our pluckers certainly don’t want their hard work hidden in a teabag.
Or be associated with the 1.6 billion microplastics that are released with every cuppa.
Sadly, teabags seem to be growing in popularity - New Zealand in 2020 saw 1.4 billion black tea teabags sold.
We knew we had to find a teabag alternative.
One that would give Kiwis their desired convenience, without the microplastics.
So, we thought laterally.
“What if the tea leaf itself could be the bag?”
This thought set us on a long journey of trial and error; we discussed our idea with our pluckers, with tea experts around the world, and finally developed the Picker's Pocket Tea ‘tea rod’.
A visually arresting and practical innovation, tea rods are handcrafted by our pluckers.
Each rod contains sets of tea leaves which are woven around a bud by women in the local village.
There is no plastic in your cuppa, no factories, just tea in its most authentic form.
We believe this is an innovation that can change the tea world.
There are no more micro-plastics & the brew is a fuller flavour. The natural tea rod is a source of pride and revenue for our pluckers.
Without sacrificing the reason consumers pick teabags in the first place – the convenience.
The history of the bag
1901 Thomas Sullivan sends tea in silk pouches as samples, which people accidentally brew. Change is made to cheaper gauze.
Tea took off in the late 1950's with the convenience of the tea bag to the point where tea bags have 98% of the market share of tea today.
In 2020 lab tests on tea bags finding polypropeyne which is non bio-degradable plastic in the bag & glues used to seal the bags. Things needed to change.
The making of the rod- The beginning
After reading an article about micro plastics in tea bags we sought a solution. An idea was hatched and experiments began...at first the rods were too thin and the flavour was too subtle. The tea rod we have on our shelves is the result of many trial & errors.
The natural tea rod arrives
Each rod contains 15 sets of 2 leaves & a bud firmly wound together through a series of steps. Firstly the leaves and buds are carefully selected from the tip of the tea plants. They are then withered until 30% of the moisture has left the leaf. The leaves are then hand rolled before the oxidation process begins. Oxidation of the leaves takes 35-40mins depending on the temperature and humidity.
The leaves are then skillfully bundled and wrapped by hand with care taken to ensure they have the perfect amount of pressure applied. Baking is done in an oven at 60 degrees celsius for up to 16 hours.
Nature's tea bags are brewing… made from the finest leaves and buds plucked and wound together by hand. At the base of Adam's Peak mountain in Sri Lanka, in a tea plantation that has been abandoned for 130 years some wild teas are being created by artisans.
No bag, just pure tea.
“The most sophisticated tea bag in the world”
Our tea rod is the most unique hand crafted, elegant, natural tea bag in the world.
Each rod contains two of the finest tea leaves and buds. Each part of the rod gives a different element of flavour to your tea.
This unique tea is sourced from the pioneers of Ceylon Wild Tea in Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. Tucked away in the Adams Peak Mountain range is a tea estate which was abandoned 130 years ago and reclaimed by the jungle. Our wild tea is handpicked from this forest with bamboo ladders.
When tea leaves are ground to powder tea the tannins are released much quicker making the tea bitter. It's not possible to do multiple infusions because all of the flavour is released in one infusion. The surface area of the leaf becomes much larger the smaller the leaf becomes.
Loose leaf enables you to see which part of the leaf has been picked giving you an understanding and appreciation of the actual leaf you are drinking.
A tea bag is not batch numbered, not traceable to the actual source.
There is no comparison between what's hiding in a tea bag and appreciating actual leaf tea. Fannings are made of leaf, stalk & dust.