Supplier Feature: Alaya Tea

We are thrilled to start our supplier spotlight feature with woman-owned Alaya Tea!  Alaya's green tea and black tea are now available as part of our Sun & Swell Pantry.

Co-founders Esha and Smita started Alaya Tea with a vision to build a kinder tea business. Kinder for the people drinking it, kinder to everyone in the supply chain, and kinder to the environment.

All Alaya Teas are loose leaf (better for the environment and better quality tea!), and sourced in small batches from organic and biodynamic farms in India. Each of these farms also uses practices that help combat climate change and maintain soil health. What's more, all of their teas come in 100% compostable packaging which make them the perfect addition to the Sun & Swell Pantry!

We had a quick chat with Esha and Smita about their company and their lifestyle:

Why do you do what you do?

Esha: I've had the privilege to be a journalist, visit many obscure corners of the world, and listen to so many farmers' stories. I started Alaya Tea with Smita because I was deeply moved by these visits, how hard farmers work (especially the women!), and how climate change was impacting them.

Smita: Everyday at 4PM sharp, my mom made a pot of chai in our house growing up. I loved the smell (sweet), the taste (spicy), and the feeling she created around it (warmth). I've spent the last 2 years trying to recreate that experience and share it through Alaya.

What's one quote you live by?

Esha: Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. - Rumi

Smita: True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient... - Seneca

If you could ask everyone reading this to do you a favor, what would it be?

Esha: Try growing your own food -- even just a few vegetables. It makes you so appreciative of the work of farmers, and it connects you deeply to nature and her ways.

Smita: Break out of using tea-bags for your cuppa, and use loose leaf tea. While tea bags are quick and convenient, most are made with plastic and nylon-based fibers. They contribute to our world's massive waste problem and also steep billions of microplastics in your cup when you drink. Loose leaf tea is higher quality, tastes better, and plastic-free.

What is one book/podcast/movie you want everyone to watch or listen to?

Esha: Book - Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness.

Smita: Growing a revolution - Bringing our soil back to life by David Montgomery (it gets "in the weeds" of why soil health is critical to our civilization)