Every giant leap had its tiny first step, and every step from then must be carried with determination until a leap is possible. Over three decades ago, that revolutionary first step was taken by Rahim Afshar, with his brothers Karim Afshar and Ebraham Afshar, launching Ahmad Tea. Rahim Afshar is the current Chairman of Ahmad Tea. The small business which took housing in a tiny shop in England, is now one that works alongside the world’s finest tea gardens, delivering over 30 million teacups a day in more than 80 different countries, overlooked by a team of world-leading tea blenders and tasters who sample each infusion 7 times from garden to cup, with admirers from every corner of the world.
According to the founders, everyone that works alongside them, sharing their love for tea, is nothing short of family. It is their belief that the stronger the bond between one another, the better the working environment and the flow of the process, which undoubtedly involves the well-being of everyone that is involved. “I will not sell anything that I would not drink at home” is a promise made by the Chairman of Ahmad Tea, Rahim Afshar. As the company’s Chief Tea Taster, the statement alone speaks to the quality and passion for tea.
The family decided to launch its Tea Liaison office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, backed by the everlasting special connections they have had with the country. Thus, the tea export operations saw light in 1997, with the leadership of the co-founders of the Liaison office, Gholam Ali Assarian, and Mahmood Ali Assarian.
With its long-known expertise in tea, the Colombo, Sri Lanka office sources at least 30% of the tea which is used in the creation of Ahmad Tea. Every single cup that is being tasted is made sure to go through an unfailing quality test to make sure that nothing, but the best, is served to their customers. According to them, all these perfectly curated operations play a major part in its overall global success.
In Sri Lanka, their first tea boutique was established in 2017, with the goal of satisfying the loyal customers with the finest Ceylon tea. This boutique is known as “Ceylon Special Tea Shop”, and is located at 303, R.A. De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 03.
This effort has served its purpose by being the go-to place for superior quality tea provided by Pure Ceylon Ahmad Tea blends to the locals and the local market.
“Ceylon Special” has raised the bar even higher, with Ahmad Tea introducing over 80 new tea products locally, derived from the 300 different Ahmad Tea products that are admired globally. Further, as their success took its vibrant colors, Ahmad Tea has had the pleasure of partnering up with strong hands in the market such as ARPICO, KEELLS, SPAR, GLOMARK, LAUGFS, along with other supermarkets and gift shops.
Ahmad Tea always expects the local companies to adhere to international standards when packing tea in the country. They have also established partnerships with J – Cey Tea (Pvt) Ltd., Sunshine Tea (Pvt) Ltd., and Union Commodities (Pvt) Ltd., during their timeline of success. Their partnerships with these individual companies have become a strong anchor during difficult times, given their unwavering support to keep up with the health guidelines, even while being short-staffed, making sure the original dominance remains, even during a pandemic.
Just when it feels like it could not be better, Ahmad Tea is also a game-changer when it comes to protecting the planet alongside their success story. To make the business as environmentally friendly as possible, they have worked towards cutting down the CO2 production, and the reduction of plastic by the ongoing tests to decide on a suitable alternative. Their innovation is a major part of their involvement into the future, which also includes energy-saving tricks during production.
They have further taken steps to be involved in the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) which focuses its efforts on promoting ethical business activity in the tea trade. The process includes the well-being of farmers, suitable living conditions, as well as ensuring sustainability, which are all steps that Ahmad Tea adheres to, gladly. Ahmad Tea believes these steps to be vital when it comes to tea business protection as well as everything that aids the process.
“Kindness, authenticity, and giving back unconditionally have been the foundations of our actions since we started our business. It is the right thing to do; it comes from our heart”, says the founders of Ahmad Tea. They believe in all the good in the world, because they inflict it on those that need it. The Inspiring Kindness Programme is an initiative of Ahmad Tea where they allocate a certain percentage of profits towards the betterment of those involved in the tea trade that is also in dire need of an extra helping hand.
However, their kindness is not limited to those that share their trade, but to any and everyone who may need it. They believe in the quality of life since the tea trade must thrive on quality. Thus, they have placed their efforts where they can uplift the living standard of many, by initiating and being a part of many CSR projects. Their generosity has spread towards the Healthcare sector, Orphanages, Education, Sustainability, and Environmental betterment all across the world. The RAZAVI MEDICAL COMPLEX that was donated by Ahmad Tea, to the Apeksha Cancer Hospital will forever be a cherished icon of their generosity.
“At Ahmad Tea, we love tea, and we are on a mission to inspire that very same love in people across the globe. Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever your taste, we’re inviting you in”, are the words from the founders of Ahmad Tea. You can’t surely go wrong around those who value human lives and the goodness in the world and incorporate that in all they do.