Find out all about the story behind this gorgeous ethical tea company below - perhaps while enjoying one of this cocktails, one cold and one hot, created by David Hagan of Bert’s Jazz Bar, Merchant Hotel, Belfast and combining Suki Tea with our Gin of the Month.
Whether you pick the hot or the cold option, it'll be perfect for pairing with any left-over Easter eggs!
Le Petit Croix (cold)
35ml Shortcross Gin
20ml Yellow Chartreuse
15ml Lemon juice
10ml Suki Gojiberry & Pomegranate Tea syrup
First, create your tea syrup by gently heating 100 ml water with one tea bag and five tablespoons of sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, allow the syrup to cool before building the cocktail – shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Afternoon at Rademon (hot)
35ml Shortcross Gin
75ml brewed Suki Gojiberry & Pomegranate Tea
Star Anise & Lemon Syrup (to serve)
To make your syrup, boil one whole star anise with 100ml water and 5 tablespoons of sugar. For one serving, mix 10ml of the syrup with 15ml lemon juice. Brew your tea in a cup or toddy glass and stir in the gin. Serve with lemon slices and star anise syrup on the side, added to taste.
SUKI TEA's Story
In 2005, Suki Tea founders Anne Irwin and Oscar Woolley set up a stand at a small Farmer’s Market in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Touring about the island of Ireland they visited farmers’ markets and craft fairs and, with the very generous help of their friends, hit the music festival scene with their Tea & Toast set up.
Having a strong brand identity and keeping true to their goals was the focus at this early stage. The business plan was simple: tea, fun, money.
Having both wandered through Asia, their eyes were opened to a world of really (really) good ethically-sourced teas, which they wanted to share with everyone. Launched with the aim to provide their customers with the finest loose leaf teas, herbal infusions and fruit blends from around the world; the pair made ethical sourcing their priority whilst delivering a quality and fresh product. And so it began.
A decade later, its Belfast-based team still ethically sources and blends its big, fat, juicy, loose leaf teas, herbal infusions and fruit blends from all over the world. Today, Annie and Oscar still lead the team, and they keep winning award after award for both product and company, because they’re still focused on that same job – sourcing and blending the world’s best tea.
As well as winning 37 Great Taste Awards and multiple industry awards, Suki Tea team is Fairtrade registered and accredited by the Ethical Trading Partnership and Ethical Trading Initiative – achievements of which the team is rightly proud. Premiums from Fairtrade have been utilised to build and equip schools, improve medical centres, purchase and install maize mills, construct and equip social community halls, nursery schools and food stores in Tanzania.
Suki Tea is also one of the rare few products to achieve ‘triple certified’ status with four of its teas – meaning those tipples are Fairtrade, Organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified.
“Being able to offer customers four quality teas that have achieved Fairtrade, Organic and Rainforest Alliance certifications enhances our market position with existing and potential clients seeking ethically grown and processed teas,” co-founder Oscar tells us. “Demand for ethically produced teas is now growing strongly particularly among discerning customers in the UK and Ireland”
The Gojiberry & Pomegranate Suki Tea in our members' boxes this month is a sweetly tangy, refreshing and well-balanced fruit infusion – which when made into a syrup as in the cocktail recipes here, pairs beautifully with Shortcross Gin.
The collaboration with Shortcross makes complete sense for the team – Oscar explains: “There’s a lot of synergy with the two companies, working with fellow expert taste creators was always going to be fun and so many ideas came from the experience it was hard to stay focused but we did. The tea infused cocktails are both delicious!” We wholeheartedly agree – cheers!