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About Us

rishi•i /’riSHē/ noun

Sanskrit: One who is a seer, sage or seeker of truth.

The Vanguard of Tea Since 1997

Rishi Tea was founded on the commitment to set the standard for quality and expand the awareness of tea and its rich, inspirational tradition. We offer superb tea and botanicals imported directly from gardens across the world. We draw inspiration form ancient artisanal practices that use organic cultivation techniques as well as modern culinary innovation. From our modest beginnings over twenty years ago to becoming an established leader in the specialty tea market, our mission has never wavered.

Our Promise to You

Rishi Tea’s commitment to sustainability is a core part of our philosophy that stems from the organic tea gardens where our teas are harvested. Our firsthand experience in many tea-growing regions led to our heightened awareness of the dire need for social responsibility. Rishi Tea was among the first to earn organic certification under the USDA’s Natural Organic Program in November of 2002.

Organic

We believe that organic certified teas and herbs, grown without the use of agrochemicals like pesticides and fertilizers, are generally healthier for the environment, farmers and tea drinkers alike.

Direct Trade

We are a Direct Trade importer of organic teas and botanicals from the very best sources. Our Direct Trade is founded upon long-standing, personal relationships with growers who cultivate ecologically sustainable gardens in remote locations around the world.

Culinary Inspired

Tea was originally a food and medicine long before it became a steeped beverage. It is only natural that our tea practice draws inspiration from numerous disciplines, including third wave coffee; cocktail mixology, sommeliers’ oenology; botanical apothecary; and the traditional culinary arts from global food cultures.

The Beginnings of Rishi

Rishi Tea began in 1997 when Joshua Kaiser, founder and tea buyer, recognized that the traditional handcrafted teas he grew so fond of during his travels in Asia were rarely available elsewhere. Joshua felt that North American consumers would embrace artisan tea as they did single origin coffee and fine varietal wine. We travel thousands of miles each year to the diverse points of origin where our teas are harvested, maintaining the personal relationships we have developed over the years with farmers and artisans whose families have been making traditional teas for generations.