We understand that our coffees and teas are only as great as the ingredients we use, which is why we always go the extra mile (or a few thousand) to find the best quality products from around the world! Alanna Smith, tea category manager here at Royal Cup, recently visited Argentina to meet with tea suppliers and learn more about the farming process. Here’s what she had to say about her experience:
What is your role at Royal Cup and how long have you been a member of the team?
I’ve been a tea category manager at Royal Cup for nearly two years. From ensuring we source the best products to working with national accounts on new business opportunities, my job is centered around all things tea!
Where in Argentina did you travel to?
I traveled to Misiones, which is one of the northern provinces of Argentina that borders Paraguay and Brazil.
How was the travel experience?
My trip to the tea farms included a ten-hour flight from the United States to Buenos Aires, a two-hour flight to the Misiones region and then a two-hour drive. Needless to say, it was a long trip there, but well worth it!
Which Royal Cup products are made from the ingredients sourced from Argentina?
We mainly use Argentinian tea leaves for our Royal Cup Signature and Prideland brands. We have found that teas from Argentina deliver a unique flavor profile and a distinct clarity that our customers love.
How was your experience on the farm?
There’s nothing quite like getting to see exactly where ingredients come from and learning more about the process from start to finish. Royal Cup is focused on partnering with local, community-based farms and taking the time to understand and appreciate the day-to-day life of those who work there. I loved having the opportunity to speak with people face-to-face and learn more about an industry that I’ve been a part of for so long. It was also incredible to see just how much tea could be sourced from a fairly small area of land.
Tell us about the tea farming process.
All of the tea is grown locally on farms in the Misiones province. Once the tea is ready to be harvested, machines are used to collect the leaves and transport them to a processing plant. From there, the leaves are cleaned and processed so that they’re ready for export.
Where would you like to travel to in the future?
I really want to visit Vietnam, China, India and Sri Lanka at some point. They’re not only countries with a rich array of teas, but also ones that I have on my personal bucket list!