A home-grown tea business, started by four friends, is being launched at the end of the summer. The Jersey Tea Company will sell handcrafted whole leaf tea that has been grown and processed all on Island. Since its incorporation in 2017, the Company has been busy researching and developing their processing techniques to fully harness the complex aromas and antioxidant benefits of their tea offerings which are due to go on sale at the end of the summer.
The Company directors, Katherine and Terry Boucher, and Cardin and Michelle Pasturel are all passionate about Jersey, its landscape and preserving green land for future generations which led them to explore the possibility of organically growing tea. With day jobs as psychologists, and a chiropractor, the friendship group are also aware of the positive effects of maintaining optimal health and the benefits derived from drinking handcrafted whole leaf tea, the provenance of which is becoming increasingly important to consumers in terms of ethical and environmental growing practices.
The Company will initially launch three handcrafted whole leaf teas; green, oolong and black tea. Artisan methods of plucking and processing whole leaves are used to preserve the antioxidant benefits and flavour of the tea resulting in a smooth full-bodied flavour rather than a bitterness which is sometimes associated with green teas. These teas in particular can offer substantial health benefits, from aiding digestion to the simple mindfulness of having a hot drink.
Although the Island has a rich history of trading tea, until recently it has not been grown in Jersey. The Jersey Tea Company have had great support from Jersey Business and a local organic farm. They were also fortunate enough to have received guidance from former employees of The Overseas Trading Company and to have had their teas sampled by industry experts, all of whom have been impressed by the tones and flavour of a European, cold-climate tea.
Katherine Boucher, said: “I feel lucky to be taking on this venture with three friends, who all have different skills to bring to the Company, but whom are equally excited about the health benefits of tea and the importance of biodiversity to the island. It was a big decision for the four us to take on a new venture, alongside our professions and family life, but every time I head to St Lawrence to help tend the plants and see what we have grown, I feel lucky to be involved in the development of a new local business and enjoy the peace and quiet of being out in the fields.”
Having joined the Genuine Jersey Product Association, The Jersey Tea Company will now be part of a large network of businesses, learning from those with more business experience. The Company is letting land from fellow Genuine Jersey members Jersey Hemp and Farm Fresh Organics, where 25,000 tea plants are being cultivated. An organic seaweed concentrate is used to fertilise the soil and with four flushes from the plants a year, there is no need to dig up crops and disturb nutrients within the soil.
Katherine said: “We are so lucky to have the environmental conditions in Jersey to grow good quality produce and experts have said that you can really taste the difference in the tea, having been grown so close to the sea.
John Garton, Chief Executive Officer of Genuine Jersey, said: “The association is delighted to welcome The Jersey Tea Company as a new member. Their commitment to creating high quality produce and the great benefits it provides for Jersey's soil are all things that Genuine Jersey is aligned with and very proud to promote. We wish them a successful launch and I will be one of the first in line to sample their tea!”