Rare Tea Company is an independent company based in London, founded in 2004 by Henrietta Lovell to source and supply the world’s best tea direct from farmers and their tea gardens.
Henrietta travels the world working with small, independent tea gardens from the Shire Highlands of Malawi to the foothills of the Himalayas. Henrietta works with men and women who handcraft tea in small batches, not vast machines churning out an industrial product. They have inherited generations of skill and are fiercely proud of what they do. By sourcing direct from the farms, she is able to secure unique harvests and ensure that they are crafted using sustainable practices to benefit both the land and the people who live on it. Alexander Kay of Satemwa Estate, Malawi, uses wood from sustainable forestry to power his farm. Dr. Strauss, in the Cederberg Mountains of South Africa, carefully harvests his Wild Rooibos on horseback to protect the delicate ecosystem.
Rare Tea Co ship by sea wherever possible to keep their carbon footprint to a minimum. By drinking loose leaf instead of tea bags you are helping to reduce waste. Not only are the bags wasteful in themselves, they are almost all bleached using chemicals similar to those used in dry cleaning. Other bags, described as ‘silk’, are plastic or made of GM corn starch.
Rare Tea is wholly committed to direct trade. They do not buy from brokers and there are no middle men. They buy for quality, not for price and pay a lot more for their leaves than the commodity prices for tea bags. They pay better prices directly to the farmer in order for the farmer to get a better deal.
We want our tea to be good for the people that grow it, the land that it is grown upon and of course for those that drink it. Our tea is completely natural, we never add any synthetic flavourings. In that sense we are purists and believe that flavour should be celebrated and prized. Who needs to add fruit or salted caramel flavourings when you are using a beautiful whole leaf tea that has been crafted by masters? The flavour is already sweet, rich and utterly delicious.
Since 2004 Rare Tea Company (RTC) has championed direct trade and responsible partnerships. To go a step further in creating a new model for ethical business, RTC has founded an independent charity funded by a direct percentage of all revenue from tea sales. Rare Charity was created with the aim to help build real, long-term, sustainable development on their partner farms, and in the wider communities, by supporting tertiary educational opportunities. Rare Charity funds higher education scholarships encompassing university, technical college and vocational training, for students on their partnership farms. Rare Charity will initially work with the Satemwa Estate in Malawi but as the company grows so too will Rare Charity, allowing them to develop educational projects on all their farms across the globe. 100% of the revenue raised from tea sales will go directly to funding scholarships.