What were the odds?
An Indian senior civil servant: Sandeep.
A French physicist: Gwenn.
Really, our paths had no reason at all to cross... But somewhow, during a wintery chance encounter in New York State in 2007, they did. That was the beginning of a lifelong friendship, punctuated with travels around India (like this one below in breathtaking Ladakh) and long discussions about Indian classical poetry, Bollywood, Mughal history, colonialism, social justice... and tea. Lots of tea. Incredible teas that Gwenn had never tasted in Europe, because they had never make it there.
Our idea to open Darvaza Teas brewed for a long time, but eventually we did it.
Respecting tea, respecting people
Are you like us?
Tea has been our favourite companion for quiet me-times and catch-ups with friends and family for decades. But as our awareness of the impact of our shopping habits on the rest of the world and on the environment grew, we could see that there was a problem with our cuppas.
We could enjoy a fine loose tea, but at the cost of a long and opaque supply chain. Or there were teas that we could not get excited about drinking, even though they collected all the fair trade and sustainability stamps.
The more we researched the tea industry, how the tea is plucked, processed and sold, the more we realised how heavily colonialism had shaped it in India (and still does!) and how ungrateful it is towards its workforce.
We didn't want to be part of an exploitative system. So we decided that if we could find growers who would respect their workforce as much as they do their land, and who would grow a variety of outstanding teas, then we would have a chance to make a difference.
We found them. We met them, we tasted their teas and visited their factories. Everything was a 'wow' factor.
We were done compromising.
Darvaza Teas was born.
Everything we do can be summed up in one word: intransigence.
- Quality is paramount. Fine teas are like good wine, they are lovingly crafted, each type according to what they have to offer. We favour those wonderful teas over anything else.
- Quality cannot come at the expense of the natural and social environments in which they are made. We only vet the tea estates who uphold the same standards of respect than us.
- Trust in every relationship. We aim to build long-lasting partnerships with local, often family-based, businesses whose hard work and high quality standards deserve to be widely known. And we aim to build the same long-lasting trust with every one of you.
We are on a journey to drink teas that are better for everyone: join us, let's drink better.
In Hindi, a darvāzā (दरवाज़ा) is a door, a gateway. Too often, we look, touch and taste another culture through a veil of preconceived ideas, be them positive or negative. We aim to open the door wide and let you discover that on the other side lays the same passion for quality and fairness.
This passion is what fuels us. And that's why, unlike most tea brands, we chose our colour to be a deep red. In India, red is the colour of purity and energy and also one of the most auspicious.