Not Your Grandmum’s Tea!
Isla loves to spotlight brands that embody our core values of organic and sustainable living, entrepreneurship, and stepping out of the box to pursue one’s passion.
So why, out of all the tea brands in Ireland, did we select Kingfisher Tea for this week’s brand spotlight? Because Kingfisher Tea’s product not only tastes amazing, but the company represents everything Isla believes in.
Kingfisher Tea is not your grandmum’s tea! Founded in 2005 by the husband- wife team of Colm and Mico Hassett, Kingfisher’s high quality, loose-leaf tea is imported from all over the world. Mico and Colm are selective about with whom they will work, preferring the farms from which they import to practice organic farming principles. But to know Kingfisher Tea, you need to know Colm and Mico. They have an extremely interesting background and are truly living an authentic lifestyle.
Let’s just say it…Colm and Mico aren’t your typical tea importers. Colm is the drummer for famous Irish bands Whipping Boy and Cold Comfort. Mico is an American fashion designer who has designed for everyone from major denim companies to Target. They have traveled the world and lived all over the place, taking their three rescue animals with them. They settled in Dublin for a while and then decided to pack it in for a more peaceful way of life that better suited their values. They moved to an acre in the Irish countryside to work from home, grow vegetables, and start a family. But, with backgrounds that don’t relate to the industry, why start a tea business?
Both Mico and Colm are a bit obsessed with good tea. The couple met while Colm was working in the U.S., and after living in various states, they decided to move to Colm’s home country of Ireland. Since no one was selling loose-leaf tea in Ireland, they determined that if they wanted good quality tea, they were going to have to import themselves.
You might think that selling tea in Ireland would be a piece of cake, but this tea was an entirely new thing for an island obsessed with “ordinary” tea sold in teabags. It took a few years before their hard work paid off and people started to really understand the value of high-quality tea and the amazing flavors it offers. Mico and Colm now blend about 20 percent of the teas themselves and continue to import the rest.
From their love of tea came a flourishing tea brand that has won awards and is sold in specialty stores and served in cafés and restaurants across Ireland. In keeping with their artisan roots, they also continue to sell their tea at farmers markets like Dublin’s Dun Laoghaire Market at People’s Park.
Here are our favorites:
Natural Rooibos (available at Select Stores in Dalkey)
Moroccan Mint Green Tea (served at Cake Café in Dublin)
Tua Chua Lao Chao Vietnamese Green Tea (available online at www.kingfishertea.com and Dun Laoghaire Farmer’s Market)