A few weeks ago, Teapigs Africa held their inaugural tea and food pairing event. I was lucky enough to be invited along for the ride. Shanaaz Bennet, the official Teapigs representative of South Africa organized this gastronomic event with the help of Maryka Potgieter, hospitality manager at Del Vera, and Dennis Strydom, head chef at Simonsberg Café. Ushered in with a welcome drink of aromatic Super Fruit ice tea and rosemary fruit skewers, the event began with a tangible sense of excitement.
Living just a stone’s throw away from the winelands, I am no stranger to cheese and wine pairings, biltong and beer tastings, and a tea pairing seemed like a wonderfully “different” thing to do on a Wednesday afternoon. Boss Lady was only too happy to allow me to shirk my social media management responsibilities for a few hours… Lucky me!
In an attempt to bring a top quality product to the South African market, Shaz discovered the Teapigs brand. Her favourite item off the menu is a steaming mug of Chai with a smidgeon of honey and heavenly swirl of cream – sounds like the perfect way to end off any busy day. She began importing the product a year ago, selling at local food and agri-markets. While (wo)manning her market stall, Shaz made the shocking discovery that an alarming 60% of market goers are unfamiliar with teas other than of simple SA Rooibos, or plain-old black tea in a bag. Around 10% of the people she encountered were real tea fundis.
The aim of the event was to not only educate all of the guests on the benefits of drinking “real tea” but also to garner interest among consumers and restaurants alike. In terms of quality, Teapigs’ tea can be equated with a bottle of quality wine vs the old embarrassing papsak. As Shaz’s guests at Simonsberg Café, we indulged in steaming cups of full-bodied Darjeeling, exotic Chai, and comforting Apple & Cinnamon tea, as well as some delicious nibbly bits prepared by the restaurant’s head chef.
If you’re in the mood to add some AMAZING tea to your selection, head on over to their website: www.teapigsafrica.co.za . They have an adorable feature which allows you to shop by mood. Whether you’re feeling adventurous, sleepy, indulgent, gutsy or wicked, Teapigs Africa has the perfect blend for you. Their teas are sold both in loose leaf and bagged variants. Though they do refer to their little bags as “tea temples”, as they are made to cradle the leaves and allow them some breathing room during steeping. Created from cornstarch, these tiny temples are organic and biodegradable.
Here’s a round-up of what we love about Teapigs Africa:
Sold in both loose leaf and bagged variants
Their bags are actually “tea temples” made of biodegradable cornstarch that allow the tea leaves enough room to breathe
All teas are made from 100% natural whole leaves, fruits, berries, and flowers – none of that cheap dusty stuff
Teapigs teas come in black, green, red, and herbal variants
Environmentally friendly, FSC certified packaging and quirky icons for each tea
Each package comes with tips on getting the most out of your cuppa
All-natural vegetable ink is used on Teapigs cartons
They support the Noel Orphanage in Ginsenyi, Rwanda – the source of their Everyday Brew leaves
Teapigs' Everyday Brew is Rainforest Alliance certified
As far as we’re concerned, Teapigs checks all the boxes. They are serving up a quality product in beautiful packaging whilst remaining unashamedly ethical in their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. Furthermore, we applaud their humanitarian efforts in Rwanda, an impressive feat that sets them apart from many other tea merchants around the globe.