The origins of the Imara tea brand?
The adventure IMARA Tea Begun in the spring of 2020, after a conversation between two friends of tea lovers, Éric, confined in the Paris region, and Tanguy, installed in Kenya for several months.
The latter had just visited a tea plantation, where he had met the president of the cooperative and attended the various stages of manufacturing the precious nectar.
The fruit of passionate work and ancient know-how, which small local producers had a hard time exporting to Europe.
Their quality requirement and their attachment to craft techniques do not prevent substantial volumes, quite the contrary. But the major brands, guided by an imperative of profitability, very largely favor the quantity at the expense of quality.
Value small tea producers
In love with Africa-Éric was born there and Tanguy lived there-we were keen to change mentalities on this magnificent continent. So we had to find a way to enhance small producers in France.
We first thought of buying a plantation in Kenya to produce our own tea. But we lacked experience in the matter, not to mention that the confinement and closure of borders at the time did not allow Eric to go there.
To offer an unprecedented experience to our consumers, we then decided to create a brand, focused on a triple objective: to offer 100% African teas and infusions (everything, from the manufacture of products to the design of packaging through The packaging, had to be done on site), artisanal and varied.
High -end teas and infusions
We started by probe the players in the middle in Kenya but also in the neighboring country, Uganda.
These exchanges have confirmed our initial impression: if high -end teas and infusions are today rare in Africa, it is because ancient practices have gradually been sacrificed on the altar of productivity.
The standards imposed by major brands, to which are added the multiplication of intermediaries, have led many producers to reverse their priority, which is no longer the quality but the quantity manufactured.
Supporters of a more authentic and more human approach, on the contrary we wanted to weave a direct link with our partner cooperatives to master the entire production chain and guide it according to the returns of our customers.
Imara, the search for excellence
Thirty of them were finally selected and then sent to France to be tested, between September and December, by a heterogeneous panel. We have requested the advice of our loved ones, future potential customers but also experts, restaurant chefs and pastry chefs.
The analysis of these feedback has convinced us of the strong expectation around premium teas and infusions made in Africa.
This observation motivated us to launch our first collection in early 2021, restricted to a dozen products among the most popular by our testers.
Unpublished and surprising flavors who will be able to transport tea lovers in a taste trip to Kenya, where it all started for us.
We finally lacked a name and a logo. We wanted a visual identity giving pride of place to Africa, Kenya and of course tea.
This is why we turned to a brilliant local graphic designer, which perfectly knew how to synthesize our expectations.
Result: a lion's head (the most emblematic animal of the continent) in the shape of a Maasai shield (which, like the lion, is part of the coat of arms of Kenya) and the tea leaves as a mane.
As for the name, the Kenyan members of the team were asked for the highest chief because we absolutely wanted a name in the national language, the Swahili, spoken by more than 100 million people in East Africa.