The packaging is almost too pretty to be just a box of tea, with colors ranging from bright pink to muted turquoise. The label is written in a most delightfully dainty and proper cursive—it would be a sin not to use an equally proper tea cup.
This is the English Tea Shop, the favorite organic tea brand in the United Kingdom. But more than exuding a look that calls to mind royal finery, the English Tea Shop is an ethical brand—a product with a heart.
“I’ve been working with tea all my life in Sri Lanka. I felt that our tea farmers are being exploited—they work so hard and get paid so little. We have to be the brand ourselves. This is the reason why we decided to put up a global supply chain set up—one entity from farm gate to packing to distribution,” said English Tea Shop founder and chief executive officer Suranga Herath.
There is no middleman in Suranga’s supply chain, which means farmers earn more as they are paid directly by the company. The firm currently works with about 2,082 small farmers in Sri Lanka and 1,000 in other countries who lovingly grow its wide range of organic teas and ingredients. It opened shop in the United Kingdom in 2010, and has since carved a name for itself as a brand of quality, nutritious, and delicious tea.
“Our created shared value of finding opportunities for growth and sustainable development is the heart and soul of the English Tea Shop business. The love, care, and change ethos of the company is a testament that sustainability and growth do mix,” he said.
Suranga added, “Our purpose is to celebrate communities from farm to cup. We want to do business very differently, and it is one thing to make a promise and another to walk the talk.”
And because English Tea Shop walked the talk of its business model, the company won the prestigious Business Award for Sustainability given by the Lloyds Bank in November 2017, a recognition that former Prime Minister David Cameron describes as “the Oscars of great British business.”
English Tea Shop, which has over 130 tea variants, is now present in a total of 55 countries, including the Philippines where it is represented by Clever Cats International Company and exclusively available in most Robinsons Supermarkets nationwide.
Filipinos can now enjoy tea flavors that are in tune with the taste of our time—from classic English Breakfast and lemongrass ginger and citrus, to the more interesting combinations such as Super Berries (hibiscus, strawberry, blueberries, and raspberries); Green Tea Pomegranate; and Ginger Honey.
English Tea Shop is also offering an assortment of heartwarming infusion of herbal teas or tisanes. From the fragrant and brilliantly mixed dried fruits, berries, herbs, and flowers, tisanes possess unique health benefits minus the caffeine.
“Ours is a celebration of the diversity of ingredients that mother nature has given us. You get the goodness of chemical-free brew,” said Suranga.
“There’s tea for everyone, for every mood, for every occasion, as a gift for loved ones or as a gift for yourself,” he added.
If you are like me who prefer cold drinks to hot ones, you can easily prepare your tea the traditional way, perhaps add a little honey to taste, and then put your tea cup in the refrigerator for a few minutes and there you have it—organic, refreshing iced tea. I raise my pinky to that.
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