Statement of Intent
We know. Starting a website that sells tea in this day and age is a bold move.
It’s a crowded marketplace. The main brands you see in Tesco (Twinings, Clipper) all have flashy websites that will sell you more types of tea than you know existed, and then the high-end giants (Fortnums) and high street kings (Wittards) will show you even more. If that were not enough, exclusive international brands (Mariage Frères, TWG, Teavana) take things to even greater heights, and the gaps are filled by retired bankers trying to offload boutique ultra-ethical pomegranate-infused yuzu berry tea from exquisitely expensive teapots.
The worst thing is that a lot of these companies produce extremely good tea.
But we have a disagreement with them, with all of them. They create a world in which tea is either a box of 100 PG Tips pyramid bags or a luxury of hallowed complexity. Ignoring the former they then dictate the exact temperature of the water at which to 'steep' the extremely expensive leaves they have sold you, and then they market actual digital timers to make sure you brew for the two minutes and forty seconds it takes to make the authentically perfect cup.
This is not what tea is about, neither the office PG Tips nor the single estate hand-rolled Ceylon at 85°C. We learnt this in the souks of the Middle East and had it confirmed to us by Okakura Kakuzo.
Tea is for everyone, and good tea can be enjoyed by everyone with very little effort. It is a moment of beauty in an unremarkable day, an opportunity to look up from ones desk or sofa and raise your mind to a plane higher than the mundane, if only for a minute or two. It is a moment of independence in a world that celebrates conformity, a moment of excellence when so much has become mediocre.
We want to help you experience tea in this way.
This does not mean competing with Fortnums, or with Mariage Frères. They already do what they do, and we will always recommend that you buy from them the stuff they do well. In the same way we will not try to go toe to toe with Amazon when we find other things we think you need in your life.
We will instead stock teas that you cannot find elsewhere in the UK from producers that share our approach, and run a small shop with a selection of items difficult to obtain elsewhere that fit in with our philosophy. And as for this philosophy, we are building up a library of articles we think will help express it.
This is our starting point, and we have plans afoot to step things up. But our vision will remain consistent whatever we do. Please let us know what you think, either via our contact form or on Twitter - we're always after feedback. And we're also open to submissions and ideas. Drop us a line, and we'll talk.