TWG Tea’s long-term vision is modeled after the environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework that is considered a holistic benchmark for sustainable business practices. It focuses on the key areas of protecting the environment, caring for people and communities, and good corporate governance.
To do this, TWG Tea is collaborating with tea plantations that practise sustainable and organic farming, which allows the plants to grow and flourish the way Mother Nature intended. The majority of tea plants are cultivated in remote regions at high elevations, where plants grow naturally without the aid of fertilisers or pesticides.
In the TWG Tea Chiya Bari organic tea estate, which was inaugurated in 2017, the wild weeds that sprout at the base of the tea bushes are composted to create organic nutrition for the tea plants. Neem seeds and lemongrass leaves are crushed and mixed with water, and used as organic pesticides to keep harmful pests away.
At the tea plantation on the outskirts of Mirik, a town in India, TWG Tea encourages estate owners to take a philosophical approach that is based on deep-rooted respect for nature. The annual yield of their organic tea production is half that of a farm using conventional methods. The soil of an organic plantation allows the tea bushes to feed on all the nutrients they need to grow slowly and naturally, which produces a tea of rich flavour and intensity.
The dedication and benefits of a slower, sustainable tea production can immediately be tasted. The quality of the tea bushes, climate, soil conditions, seasons, field practices, plucking practices, and manufacturing processes — all contribute to the quality of TWG Teas.
Besides best farming practices, TWG Tea has always put people first. One example is the Gurkha people living in Darjeeling for six generations. While the men concentrate on tea processing, the women pluck tea in the field, a millennia-old tradition since tea cultivation began.
Handpicking causes no damage to the tea bushes and permits tea planters to select the best two-leaves-and-a-bud to produce the very finest cup of TWG tea. In return, the plantation offers community, funds and resources to build a thriving community for themselves and their children.
Established in Singapore, TWG Tea was founded by Taha Bouqdib, Maranda Barnes and Rith Aum-Stievenard in 2008. The brand was developed as a luxury concept that incorporates unique and original retail outlets, elegant tea rooms and an international distribution network. Paying homage to Singapore, 1837 features prominently on the brand’s logo, celebrating the year the island became a trading post for teas, spices and fine epicurean products.
For the sustainably-minded tea drinker
Located in Nyamagabe district along the Northern boundary of the Nyungwe natural forest in southern Rwanda, at 2,200mabove sea level, the tea plantation enjoys regular and abundant rainfall and boasts rich, well-drained soil. A natural forest occupies 540 hectares of land located in and around the tea plantation. The cooperative employs around 4,000 people, the majority of whom are women, and provides a safe professional working environment focused on the welfare of the workers and neighbouring communities. The estate complies with environmentally-friendly practices and is regularly audited and certified.
Black Tea – Rwanda BP1 (T1002)
The strength of Africa in a dark and powerful cup, this broken-leaf black tea is perfect with milk.
This plantation boasts a climate that has the ideal combination of abundant rainfall, sunshine, free-draining acidic soil and the right temperature for growing tea. The region is known for its frequent bouts of foggy weather, which plays a part in ensuring that the tea buses enjoy the moisture they need to thrive. Clean air, fertile soils, a warming sun and cleansing waters are all the ingredients that make this estate a premium-quality producer. The plantation uses natural irrigation and organic fertiliser, without herbicides or pesticides.
Blue Tea – Waikto Valley Tea (T8402)
Highlighted by the royal fragrance of just-picked, wild blackberries, this blue tea is sweet and woody. Once infused, the large leaves unfold to yield a raw, vegetal flavour that is clean and pure.
The unique terroir, cool temperature, high altitudes, distinctive soil and rainfall on this estate impart a distinct and naturally occurring quality that yields some of the most exceptional teas in the world. Rich in aroma and complex in flavour, the finest tea leaves yield a unique fruity muscatel taste that is impossible to replicate.
This certified organic estate uses only natural fertilisers, but cultivating and crafting tea sustainably extends beyond protecting the environment. It includes caring for the communities for whom the tea plantation is their home. Primary schools offer education to children and community centres play host to social activities. There is an on-site hospital and hospice. To help its workers to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic, the estate runs training sessions on key issues such as social behaviour, hygiene, nutrition and self-care for all members of staff.
Black Tea – Darjeeling First Flush
Flown directly from the Himalayan Plateaus, this first flush harvest tea from the celebrated region of Darjeeling is rich in aroma and complex in flavour, with outstanding notes of ripe fruits and nuts.