English Tea Shop

Two UK speciality organic tea brands are joining forces to build an £11m operation to take advantage of booming sales of speciality teas.

English Tea Shop has acquired London-based contemporary Joe’s Tea Company for an undisclosed sum. Both are currently exempt from filing full UK accounts, but it is expected the newly combined entity will generate sales of £11m in the 2017/18 financial year.

A spokesman said English Tea Shop grew revenues by over 40% in 2016/17 with sales at Joe’s Tea Company up 27% in the year, with combined revenues thought to be around £9m last year.

The two already had a working relationship, with Joe’s Tea Company sourcing its premium organic Sri Lankan tea from English Tea Shop’s parent company Amazon Trading Ltd since the former’s 2012 foundation.

The combined entity hopes to take advantage of the growing thirst for organic tea, with UK organic tea sales surging 11.8% to £28m last year.

The merger will enable Joe’s Tea to sell its tea blends and infusions into a wider pool of stockists and consumers, increase stock inventory and build greater direct relationships with tea farmers.

Joe’s founder Joe Kinch will remain at the helm, with English Tea Shop described as a “major shareholder”.

English Tea Shop, launched in 2010, sells into 50 markets worldwide and is listed in Harrods, Selfridges, Debenhams and high-end hotels. Shoreditch-based Joe’s Tea Co was founded in 2012 and stockists include M&S, Selfridges and Gordon Ramsay restaurants.

Kinch said: “The new arrangement will allow us to consolidate our core business, but also to look at new options for sustainable growth. Joe’s Tea Company will continue to operate on its own terms, and offer the same – if not better – amazing quality taste and experience.”

Suranga Herath, CEO of English Tea Shop added: “We’re delighted to have further strengthened our relationship with Joe and his brilliant company. The organic speciality tea market is getting a lot of attention at the moment – and rightly so – and we, alongside Joe, are excited about what the future holds.”