All About Tea: Your Local Tea Blenders
Once Upon A Time
Every town had its own tea merchant or grocer.
They each had their own standard blend, suitable for the local water and the tastes of their customers. They would also sell a range of teas from particular origins - Kenya, Assam, Ceylon, China, etc.
In those days, we all drank much better tea, and we knew more about what we were buying.
That tradition started to fade away with the growth of the supermarkets and the big tea brands that supplied them.
Gradually, the local blends disappeared, replaced by national blends that were supposed to be suitable for everyone, regardless of the water, the time of day, and personal preference.
It doesn't work. That's why the tea we drink today is a brown, tasteless shadow of the rich, refreshing tea our grandparents used to drink.
We have turned the clock back.
We produce Local Tea Blends of quality, each suitable for the water of a different area.
All of them are strong, rich, and full of satisfying flavour.
Once you've tried it, you'll never go back to supermarket tea.
We buy teas from all over the world
We carry them in stock for sale to businesses and the public. We also buy and stock a large range of herbs, dried fruits and ingredients. We sell some of them as they are, as pure "self-drinking" teas - this is the norm for the speciality teas from China and Japan, as well as the very good Orthodox teas from India, Sri Lanka and Kenya. Others we use in our blends.
We blend, flavour and pack all our products in-house
We do all the blending and teabag manufacture here in our Portsmouth tea factory. We also flavour teas and add spices and herbs as required. We only use pure, natural flavouring oils, from real fruits. We pack the finished product - a leaf blend or teabags - into its final packaging, ready for sale. So - almost uniquely - we handle the entire process ourselves, from receipt of raw teas to packing and labelling of the finished product.
The Portsmouth Tea Factory
The Portsmouth Tea Factory is located right in the centre of our ancient Naval city, a short walk from the railway station and on main bus routes. We do all our work here, and warehouse some of our stock here. There is a Factory Shop and Tea Room. Everyone is welcome to visit and relax with a pot of one of our teas with a slice of cake, and enjoy the unusual experience of drinking tea in a small working tea factory.
Award-Winning Small Business
We're a tiny company by the standards of the tea trade. There is just a handful of small traditional tea merchants left these days, and our share of the market is insignificant compared with the large national tea packing companies. We believe that it means we are able to focus more on high-quality teas, with real flavour, because we don't have to reduce the quality of our blends just to meet the price aspirations of the supermarkets. Others seem to agree with us: we are a multi-award-winning business.
We are Members of the Ethical Tea Partnership
We’re helping to create a thriving tea industry that is socially just and environmentally sustainable.
We’ve developed training programmes around 5 key areas - health and safety, chemical management, workers' rights, gender and environmental management - that many producers struggle with.
Some problems, such as climate change and social development, could potentially have devastating impacts on the tea trade. We’re working on issues like climate change adaptation, energy efficiency and market access for smallholder farmers, for the benefit of everyone involved in the tea sector.
Monitoring & Certification
Our monitoring programme has been running since 1997 and, unlike other schemes, is free of charge to producers. The ETP Global Standard covers the key social and environmental issues associated with tea - for example, wage bargaining and water conservation - and helps producers to meet international standards. Our monitoring work covers many of the key social and environmental elements of third party certification programmes. This means that we can also help producers to achieve certification to Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and Utz Certified.Click to visit the Ethical Tea Partnership website and find out more about the work of this extraordinary organisation.