We believe in Tea with Taste
There are so many different and beautiful teas and infusions, but we believe even a basic cup of black tea should have a really good, deep flavour. We only use the best, carefully hand-picked whole leaves, from some of the finest tea estates in the world, making the flavour and quality of our tea really stand out. Our fruit and herbal blends use fresh, whole ingredients. We are also careful with our best before dates; although the tea never really goes off, we avoid using longer dates so that your tea experience is always the very best it can be.
We are passionate about tea as an experience. Take some time, let it brew, watch the leaves unfold and the colour swirl out into the water, smell the aroma. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the cup. Enjoy the taste. Enjoy the idea of treating yourself to something special. Patience and precision will reward you with a refined, full-bodied cup.
We believe in helping others
Right from the outset, we were determined that the company must be a benefit to society as a whole. We wanted to go further than lipservice to industry schemes, and do something local and different. Leery of financial donations ending up in unintended places, or top executives getting rich on them, we committed the company to something tangible.
The 'Buy One Give One Free' scheme pledges one cup of tea for charity for every cup purchased. And we don't track tea sold. We track tea ordered. Every 2.5 grams of tea ordered from our suppliers equates to one cup of tea for charity, and we only deal with charities who are willing to take delivery of actual teabags. This means there is no fancy calculation which can be fudged in anyone's favour, and there is no way of anyone taking a donation and it ending up not as intended. Whether you bought it, were gifted it, or had it at a friend's house, every cup of Miss McKeown's tea you enjoy is also a cup of tea in the hand of someone less fortunate. It's that simple.
We are committed to ethically sourcing ingredients for our blends: we work with experienced suppliers who take this very seriously. They work hard on our behalf to ensure our teas come from estates which provide good pay and quality of life for their employees.
This commitment means we do not necessarily put our trust in 'minimum standard' branded schemes such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or Ethical Tea Partnership, but prefer to rely on our own checks. While some of our suppliers (for example the Goodricke group) do carry the Fairtrade label, we do not consider it a reliable indicator in its own right. Some of these schemes have also been heavily criticised as being ineffective, or actively harmful to the poorest producers.
As all of our teas are premium quality they tend to come from estates which command a higher price, and can therefore afford better quality standards of product and for the workers who must pick and process it. This also helps to avoid some pitfalls and problems of estates which participate in race-to-the-bottom pricing.
We practice full supply-chain traceability. The batch number you see on the back of a bag or jar of Miss McKeown’s tea allows us to trace the provenance of that tea; from the blending and packing, right back back to the farms and estates from which the ingredients were sourced.
Our Blend creation process
Blend ideas start in a whole variety of ways; a snippet of a poem, a recreation of a tradition, a fun idea for a name, or an idea for delicious flavour combinations. Afternoon Peach was born from the desire to give people who only like regular black tea a tiny hint of something nice, without spoiling their cuppa. Tesla's Workshop is such a fun name we had to make a blend for it! Watch out for it's arrival soon. Heritage Breakfast arose from a lot of research into Irish tea traditions... and so on. You can read up on the backstory of each blend on the Blends page.
Our Master Tea Blender has over 30 years experience, so once the idea has been fully developed he sets about creating a prototype recipe. Then the blend goes out to our chosen tasters, the feedback is collected and reviewed, and the blend is adjusted accordingly. The adjusted blend is then re-tasted, and this goes on until we are satisfied that it is as good as it can be. Every blend must also pass the scrutiny of Miss McKeown. Tasting groups felt the original Heritage Breakfast blend was adequate, but, still dissatisfied with it herself, Miss McKeown redesigned the recipe personally until it was just exactly what she wanted - and we think you'll agree it's a splendid signature blend!
Press enquiries and photos
For more information and photos please see our press page.