Rebecca Paul A trip to China inspired Rebecca Paul to leave her 10 year career as an accountant and start her own tea business. Following her trip she immersed herself in the art of tea making, taking courses and meeting with suppliers until she finally opened up Silver Lantern. Her focus is on home blending which is her unique selling point here in the UK. How did you go about finding suppliers? This was quite challenging at first being a new start up and not having any contacts in the industry. It was really important to me that I found a high quality supplier that sourced teas in an ethical way and understood what Silver Lantern was all about. After many meetings and tea tastings I finally found a fantastic supplier. For other suppliers such as packaging designers, photographers etc, I used Google in the first instance and then followed this up with face to face meetings. I found things got easier once I’d appointed one supplier, as they always had contacts in other areas they could recommend.
particularly as the teas are so different from each other. However, I’d probably say that my favourites are Milima, a really beautiful, bracing Kenyan black tea and Jasmine Pearls, a Jasmine infused Green tea. Do you have plans to add more teas to your current range? I would love to add more teas to the range and I already have a number of teas in mind. I’m keen to extend my range of White and Oolong teas in the first
instance. The more teas I add, the more variety of blends can be made. I’d hope over the next 12 months to add another five teas. Can you tell us your top tea making tip? Water! Make sure you fill your kettle up with freshly drawn water each time you put a brew on. Tea always tastes better using freshly drawn water. The other thing to remember if making a Green, Oolong or White tea is to not use boiling water this scorches the tea and impairs the taste.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles along the way? I’m still very much battling with obstacles. Setting up a new business isn’t easy particularly during an economic down turn. I am very much focused on trying to build Silver Lantern’s reputation as a high quality tea brand - but this doesn’t happen overnight and takes time and money. How is your business, Silver Lantern unique? Silver Lantern is unique because it focuses on and actively encourages tea drinkers to cusomise their own drink through blending at home. In reality, making your
“In reality, making your own Earl Grey blend is much easier than people realise” own English Breakfast or Earl Grey blend is much easier than people realise- Silver Lantern helps tea drinkers to do this. What is your favourite tea and why? It’s so hard to choose a favourite, 73
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