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“The Bristol Tea Company is an independent company offering a range of finest loose leaf teas and herbal infusions from around the world. We import a number of our teas from estates in India and Sri Lanka dealing directly with those who grow, produce and trade the teas. Where it is currently not possible or practical to import direct we buy through well established and respected Tea Merchants – but always with a commitment to source organic.

india2015(1) 144I set up the Bristol Tea Company after spending some time visiting estates in Darjeeling and Assam and we began trading in early 2011. Having worked as a commercial organic vegetable grower for many years on farms around Bristol it was my intention to offer great quality teas from producers that I knew, trusted and who create a product grown to the highest sustainable and environmental standards. The provenance of the teas we offer, highlighting the knowledge and expertise of those who produce the tea along with the real challenges they face is an essential part of what the Bristol Tea Company wishes to offer. 

To experience the tea estates first hand, visit the factories and meet those growing and producing the tea, such as at the beautiful Makaibari Estate in Darjeeling and family run Kanoka Estate in central Assam is always a pleasure and an education. Furthermore I am able to appreciate both the dedication to growing organically and the benefits this brings to those working and living within the estates.

We sell through the website, supply restaurants and cafes as well as attend local food markets and festivals. My plan over the next few years is to broaden the range of teas we source from farms and co-operatives, whilst continuing to build friendships with the estates that we already purchase from.

When I began the business in 2010 I had lived in Bristol for 20 years and never imagined leaving the city. However I now live in Abergavenny and in early 2022 I moved the company premises closer to home. Initially it did seem strange to retain this company name being outside of the city and I did consider rebranding but Bristol remains an important part of my life so, for the moment at least, I will continue to trade as the Bristol Tea Company.

I would like to thank the many people that are involved in the continued running of the business. Special thanks to Kate.”

James Gillam


33 Cross Street, Abergavenny, NP7 5ER



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James alongside Pallab Nath at the Kanoka Estate