We’re pleased to announce that Whittard of Chelsea is the latest international tea company to join the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP). The first Whittard of Chelsea shop was opened by Walter Whittard during the reign of Queen Victoria in 1886 and was located on Fleet Street, London. The tea industry was flourishing at the time. Just two years after Walter opened his shop, imports of tea grown by the British in India reached 86 million lbs, eventually exceeding imports from China. The original shop was filled floor to ceiling with jars full of loose leaf tea, exotic coffee caddies, and tightly wrapped paper packages of cocoa – the little shop was a wealth of sights and scent.
Walter’s success lay in the special blends he created for his customers. Walter had a knack for the art of infusion and a palate to match the most cultivated of gourmands; he knew how to tailor each taste to his customer’s needs.
More than 100 years on, news of Whittard joining ETP coincides with the launch of their The Century of Tearange (September 2015) – a collection of 100 tea blends sourced from the world’s most renowned growing regions.
The blends range from famous black teas such as Assam and Ceylon to Chinese green teas including jasmine and gunpowder. The highlight of the range is the Signature Tea Collection – an assortment of 21 exceptionally high quality teas, including world-famous tastes and exclusive Whittard of Chelsea blends.
Whittard of Chelsea CEO, Mark Dunhill said: “Supporting the creation of a truly sustainable tea industry is incredibly important, both in terms of future-proofing supply chains and establishing better working environments for tea workers across the globe. As a brand, this is something we are passionate about and working with the ETP is a very important part of our overall commitment to improving the wider tea industry.”
ETP’s Executive Director Sarah Roberts says: “Whittard of Chelsea is a well known and internationally recognised brand. They’re slightly different to the majority of our members in the sense that they have a presence on the UK high street with over 50 stores and a large online presence selling high quality tea and wares direct to consumers. On a personal note I’m looking forward to seeing the ETP hand and leaf logo on their products and in store very soon, which will ultimately increase awareness with consumers about the great work ETP is doing!”