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What made you want to start Joe’s Tea?
Ten years ago I fell into the tea industry looking after a small supply chain and was given the opportunity to learn the ropes in purchasing tea. This was the beginning of a journey I could never have imagined. After a few years of sourcing teas, travelling to farms and endless trade shows, I had a penny-drop-moment of how to turn my experience and skills into a business. A simple vision of making good quality tea accessible and affordable. After a bit of planning, mixed in with some procrastination, Joe's Tea Co. was born in 2012. Six years on, we directly source exclusively organic teas and herbal infusions and supply some of the best restaurants, hotels and shops across the UK and Europe.
What makes Joe’s Tea different from other teas out there?
A big part of what we're trying to achieve as a business is to create a window into an industry that people don’t know much about - telling the story of the whole journey of your cup of tea. #Fromfarmtocup
I'll give you a comparison to think about for a second... when was the last time you bought a pack of coffee? I'll paint the scene - you head down the supermarket aisle and there you're faced with plenty of choices; Columbian, Ethiopian, Peruvian.. the list goes on. The story of how and where the beans are grown is so visible. Big bold statements ensuring that farmers are being paid fairly and the coffee beans are sustainably sourced. Now head down the aisle a little and check out the tea section - can you tell me where your tea is from, it's provenance? I'm guessing the answer is no. This is because most large brands in the UK blend multiple provinces.
Where does the tea come from?
At Joe's Tea Co. we only work with organic farms in Sri Lanka, which is something we communicate on our packaging and website. We pay above fair trade price and give back directly to projects that benefit the farms and the people working on them. The majority of these farms are small hold, family-run businesses that are faced with very common everyday aches and pains associated with organic farming. By only working with organic farms, we ensure that our ecosystems are looked after for the long-term benefit of the planet and are creating the true definition of sustainability - a supply chain that cares for its people, fair pay for all and a farming ecosystem that continues to create quality crops year on year.
How is the tea selected and made?
We have worked with our chosen farms in Sri Lanka for over six years. All of our teas are handpicked to ensure we only select the tips and whole leaf which gives us the best quality cuppa time after time. You can read more about how tea is made here.
What’s the secret to a perfect cup of tea?
Choose one of our lovely organic teas and your favourite mug. Pop the kettle on with fresh water in the kettle (it's the oxygen in the water that brings out the flavour of the tea leaves), brew to your liking and sit back and enjoy.
Which is your favourite flavour?
You cannot beat a lovely cup of our Queen of Green.
Do you have any exciting new products or events in the works?
Next year we will be launching a whole new range of loose leaf teas and herbal infusions for retail - look out for the soft launch on our webshop in the New Year.
And lastly, what are your social media handles so we can all find you!
@JoesTeaCo for Instagram and Twitter
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