18 February 2022
Meet Our Customer: Kib Tea
Creating flavour-forward and planet-positive herbal teas originating from circular growing 'food forests' in the Ethiopian highlands, Kib (Ethiopian for 'circle') launched in the UK in 2020.
Please introduce yourself, and your business
My name is Andrew Weiler, and I’m the Commercial Manager for Kib, a line of planet-positive and flavour-forward herbal teas.
How did your business start?
Our business is really built on a way of farming. For the last five years, we’ve been working with ~200 partner farming families near Butajira, Ethiopia to grow these herbs, fruits and vegetables in a regenerative way - in what we call ‘food forests.’ We had these herbs that were full of flavour and aroma and were stars on our partner farms - and Kib was born out of a desire to build a market for, and really tell the story of those herbs.
What is unique about your company?
We’re very proud to work hand-in-hand with our partner farmers in Ethiopia to grow in a regenerative way. We like to say that we work all the way from seed to cup.
And because the business is built on a biodiverse way of growing, we have a sister brand, GreenPath Food, that brings all our delicious fruits and veggies to market. I think we might be one of the only tea businesses to have a fresh produce sister brand - that’s where the logic of this way of growing got us and we love it!
Who and where are your customers?
We’re currently focused on getting Kib into cups all around the UK. We also ship over to the US and Canada.
How’s the future looking for you? What are your plans?
We just launched Kib in late 2021 so we’re focused right now on getting Kib into more and more retailers and cups around the UK. With time, we’ll introduce more flavours of Kib - which we’re all excited to do. As of January 2022, we celebrated the launch of our teas on Ocado, the UK's largest online grocer.
Why do you buy from Organic Herb Trading?
From the start, we knew we needed a sourcing partner who could supply the herbs we couldn't grow ourselves but would hold their supply chain to the highest ethical and environmental standards. And that's exactly what we found in Organic Herb Trading. And just as importantly, the team is also fantastic to work with. They're super reliable and have been very generous with their time and support.
What do you buy from Organic Herb Trading?
We work with Organic Herb Trading to source the herbs and spices we need but can’t grow in Ethiopia. They mill everything down to a tea bag cut and blend the herbs to our formulation.
Why is organic/provenance important to you?
We believe in organic farming as something that’s just fundamentally better for the soil, for farms and farmers, and ultimately for the planet. And as much as possible, we aim to source from and support small farms.
Do you have any heroes?
We talk a lot about companies we admire—brands like Patagonia and Tony’s Chocolonely that are clearly in business for something beyond profit, communicate that mission powerfully, and have beautiful products.
What is your favourite cup of tea/or long cool relaxing drink?
Well, I’m biased but I love our Hibiscus, Tulsi, Elderberry tea. Just the tartness of the Hibiscus alongside the sweet Tulsi. But beyond Kib, my wife introduced me to a drink called the Lil’ Ripper that’s my favourite at the moment. It’s just amaro, lemon, and soda water—simple, refreshing, and not too boozy.