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The Urban Tea Merchant

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THE TWG TEA STORY

TWG TeaTWG Tea was established in Singapore in celebration of the island’s great history as a trading post for teas, spices and fine epicurean products. TWG Tea, which stands for The Wellness Group, is a luxury concept that incorporates an international distribution network to professionals, unique and original retail outlets and exquisite tea rooms. A veritable tea institution, TWG Tea is passionate about sharing their expertise and has become a point of reference for tea lovers thirsty for knowledge.

TWG Tea tasters travel thousands of miles across the globe every year, sampling hundreds of teas in search of the most desirable harvests direct from source gardens. Offering over 1000 single estate fine harvest teas and exclusive blends, as well as tea patisseries and other tea infused delicacies, TWG Tea is internationally recognized as a veritable innovator with the creation every season of new varieties of tea in collaboration with the world’s most renowned estates.

The TWG Tea team shapes the aesthetic image underpinning all the brand’s products, constantly updating the notion of TWG Tea even as they respect the Asian and European traditions of elegance and beauty on which it is based, now spiced with a touch of sensuality and originality.

THE URBAN TEA MERCHANT STORY

The Urban Tea Merchant - Our JourneyTom and Karinna founded The Urban Tea Merchant in 2004. They spent three years researching the tea industry before opening their pilot store. They travelled the world in order to capture the essence of this unique luxury tea concept. In 2001, they took a one-year sabbatical and during that time, travelled around the world for four months with their daughter, Casey James. The primary purpose of the trip was to study tea and the rituals that surrounded it. Their tea pilgrimage took them through Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, India and Southeast Asia.  This world trip was a journey from within and without. Tom and Karinna imagined sharing this luxurious tea journey with customers, beginning in Vancouver, Canada. This is how The Urban Tea Merchant began.

Since then, Tom and Karinna have shaped a loyal team with their daughter, Casey James and son-in-law, Reza Nasooti, and are now committed to the vision of opening more concept stores and distributing TWG Tea, the finest tea in the world, to luxury hotels and fine dining establishments in Canada and select locations in the United States.

The History of Tea in Singapore

When Sir Stamford Raffles founded Singapore, the island quickly developed into a flourishing free port, an emporium, a veritable crossroads along the Eastern sea routes, where fine teas, coffees, cotton, sugar, pepper, nutmeg, cloves and even gold, were exchanged in the utmost liberty. Fleets of junks from China, Siam and the Celebes would arrive with their rudders up, looking like shops, bringing chests of tea that were soon to grace tea tables across Europe. Singapore had established itself as a gateway of world-wide trade.

The tea trade was made official in Singapore with the creation of the Chamber of Commerce in 1837, a date which TWG Tea honours as the commencement of Singapore’s domination as the Far East’s most illustrious trading post, a haven for celebrated tea clippers loaded with the most precious of elixirs.