In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8th March we chatted with six women who are shaking up the tea industry! They each saw a niche in the tea market, decided to follow their dreams and founded their own tea businesses. And the tea world is all the richer for them!
Third in our Women in Tea series is Arleen Ouzounian, Founder of Nazani Tea. Nazani Tea brings elegance and luxury to the world of herbal tisanes, sourcing a range of loose leaf rare and wild herbs from the mountains of Armenia to the olive groves of Greece.
Q1. What inspired you to found the company?
After training to be a barrister and working in industry, I founded Nazani Tea in 2017 to offer the world luxury herbal infusions and grain tisanes, on par with some of the finest Camellia sinensis suppliers.
Whilst exploring the wonderful world of Camellia sinensis, it became apparent to me that its vast variety is attributable to the concepts of terroir, cultivars, layered processing and unique sourcing. Celebration of production and nuanced taste is not necessarily reflected in the world of herbal infusions.
I grew up watching my family pick, source, blend and infuse the freshest and purest herbal infusions. So I wanted to share my experience with the rest of the world.
Q2. How are you enriching your customers’ lives?
In the age of awareness and the ‘conscious consumer’, people’s tea consumption habits are based more and more on the ethical sourcing and transparency of what they buy. Are the suppliers taking care of their teas AND the environment? Who picks and processes the teas? When were the teas harvested? Consumers want to be a part of the journey from seed to cup, and appreciate naturally grown and processed teas and infusions.
I based the brand on three key principles – luxury, integrity and elegance (deliciae, integritas, elegantiam). Luxury is inherent in the rarity of the products supplied. This is due to production methods, availability and growth area, providing a snapshot of where it was grown. Elegance is inherent in taking what would otherwise be a simple leaf or flower, and treating it as a unique and special creation of nature. It warms the heart and indulges the palette when infused. Finally, integrity is based on pillars of honesty, transparency and consistency.
As a brand, we know and love our Nazani Tea Family, from the farmers, foragers, to our ethnobotanist. We are working together with them to show you the loving steps taken to bring you your favourite infusion. Our infusions are finite and will never be substituted – they will be ready when nature allows.
It’s so refreshing to see us go back to our roots and understand how things are grown and processed, and where they come from.
Q3. What excites you the most about the future of tea?
The most exciting thing about the future of tea and herbal infusions is the level of growth in awareness and curiosity of consumers. It’s so refreshing to see us go back to our roots and understand how things are grown and processed, and where they come from. A deeper understanding would lead to an appreciation of each step in the process and further fuel the UK’s passion for fine teas and infusions. From consumers to venues, this change in mindset will allow for teas and infusions to have parity with wine, and concepts of terroir, varieties and processing will become the norm.
Q4. Finally, tell us about your perfect tea moment.
Sipping on an olive leaf infusion nestled between the olive groves of the Greek islands and the pristine clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, whilst watching the sunset with your loved one.
Find out more at www.nazanitea.com