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Good and Proper Tea Co
Having bored her friends for years about wanting to bring better cups of tea to London Emilie GandPs founder finally decided to do something about it. With a dream of converting a 1974 Citroën-H van into a mobile brew bar she took the idea to crowdfunding platform Kickstarter where 372 backers each of whom pledged anywhere between £1 to £1000 made that dream come true and Good and Proper Tea Co was born. Each of our backers’ names are still displayed proudly on the back window of the van which the backers also affectionately christened Watson.
Launched in Shoreditch
The first cup of tea was brewed in Shoreditch on 3rd December 2012 and we haven’t stopped brewing since.
Since the launch of Good and Proper Tea Co in 2012 we have taken our much-loved van to events and festivals across the UK sharing our tea and attracting global press coverage as we went. But having popped up all over the place gaining then quickly abandoning a loyal following of tea-drinkers at each location we decided it was time to find somewhere to call home. So following a second successful crowdfunding campaign this time on Crowdcube we have finally opened our first Good and Proper Tea Bar in Clerkenwell as well as a kiosk in Old Street.
In a Festival field near you…
So for those of you who have been loyally buying our tea online for years or have queued for a brew in a rainy festival field we cant wait to welcome you in.
We work hard to find and select teas from farms and cooperatives around the world always looking for something special that will stand up on its own without blending or flavouring.
At The Good and Proper Tea Co, its not just the tea we want to get right we care about our people too. We are lucky enough to have a team of brewers who are passionate about tea and most importantly passionate about getting your cup of tea just right. So whether you’re after a strong breakfast tea to perk you up in the morning or are looking for a particular Japanese green, the Good and Proper Tea Co team are there to help find it as well as help you choose the right tools to brew it more easily at home.
A few principles we try to stick to:
- Integrating sustainability into our day-to-day decision making
- Working with tea suppliers who operate both ethical and sustainable methods of farming
- Regularly reviewing the way we do things to see where we can improve our sustainability performance
- Communicating our values to both the team internally, as well as to our suppliers
- Encouraging and helping our customers to manage their own impact
We’re not perfect, but here are some of the ways in which we are already doing this:
Sourcing: In evaluating the tea suppliers we work with, we are interested in three things: first and foremost how delicious the tea is (of course), but also how the land is looked after and how the people working so hard to produce the teas are looked after. We’re more interested in the answers to those questions than we are about formal certificates, so while some of our teas are Ethical Tea Partnership or FairTrade certified, for others we simply have to ask a lot of questions. We’re now working on making this process more robust.
Food waste: our Kitchen team are passionate about both cooking seasonally and minimising food waste wherever possible. We’ve had everything from breakfast bars, baked croissant slices, cakes and many a soup or tart – all designed entirely around the seasons, as well as using up produce we already have in the kitchen for other parts of the menu. This means we very rarely throw anything away.
Recycling in-store: Thanks to the lovely folk at First Mile, we recycle 71% of our waste – in real terms, last year that amounted to nearly 3 tonnes of recycling, 1.5 tonnes sent to anaerobic digestion, 1.75 tonnes of waste turned to energy, 26 trees saved and 1.4KWH of energy produced! Not bad, but we’re still working on getting closer to 100%!
Tea leaves: when we’re busy brewing at the Tea Bar, we collect a lot of used tea leaves – all of these are collected daily and turned into bio-fuel.
Packaging: our tea pouches, as well as the tea bag boxes and tape, are widely recyclable. We would love them to be compostable, so that will be our next step.
Re-using cardboard: We’re shocked at how much cardboard we receive as a small business – imagine how much a big business must use! We therefore recycle cardboard in the warehouse whenever possible – it sometimes means sending out less beautiful boxes but it beats using a whole new one.
Plastics: our new range of leaf tea bags are 100% compostable and plastic-free, which means they can be thrown straight into your food waste bin. Any of our packs on the shelves/in your cupboards currently use outer wraps that are only recyclable, but we’re about to send out the first boxes with compostable plant-based wrapping.
People: it’s not only those at origin that we care about – our passionate team here in London are critical to everything we do. From the team in the Warehouse to the brewers in the Tea Bar, we hope to create a happy working environment for all – all working together towards the same shared goal.