Our Story

A passion for making everyday tea special

Who we are

In 1896, from a tea warehouse near Belfast docks, our founder Robert S Thompson, trained in the art of tea tasting and soon became known for his uncompromising devotion to quality.

Since then, four generations of Thompsons’ have been blending and packing our award-winning range in Belfast for over 120 years.

As 4th generation Thompsons, we share this passion for quality and take great pride in the fact that over 1 million cups of Thompson’s Punjana are enjoyed every single day, in Northern Ireland alone.

To this day, every blend we ever produce is first tasted and then approved by a member of the Thompson family.

Why pick Thompson's?

We are a family-owned company who are passionate about tea, and have been since our great-grandfather, Robert S. Thompson, first started blending over one hundred and twenty years ago. Our mission has always been to create the "Perfect Everyday Cuppa", a tea that has superior taste and flavour whilst representing great value for money.

We believe that we have achieved this and naturally we were thrilled, to be awarded a maximum 3 Gold Stars in the Guild of Fine Food’s "Great Taste Awards" in 2016 for our Punjana and Irish Breakfast blends.

Quality tea and blending

It's quite simple really, a blend of superior quality can only be achieved by selecting teas from the finest tea gardens, and at a time when the tea bushes are producing their best growth.

So this is just what we do!

Our leaves are hand-picked when sunshine and rainfall are in perfect harmony, at a time when the leaves grow more slowly and produce a finer taste and flavour.

Our Process

Our expertise

Ever since the beginnings of Thompson's Tea in Northern Ireland in 1896, it has been a member of the Thompson who has taste tested and approved each and every blend.

Today, we have a grand total of two tea tasters, Ross and David Thompson, who together taste and select fresh samples of tea every week from some of the most prized tea gardens in the world. We blend our teas from Assam (North India) and Kenya (East of the Rift Valley) where perfect climate and excellent soil quality produce teas of exceptional taste and flavour.

Not only that, we also time our tea purchases for when the lush green bushes are producing their best growth. Highly prized and commanding a higher price, these are the leaves which find their way into our blends. They do indeed cost more, but we will not compromise on quality!

Discover our range of teas

The Future

Like their grandfather and fathers before them, Ross and David Thompson strive to maintain and improve the quality of their teas, and it’s this tradition that matters most of all.

Already brand leader in Northern Ireland, the Thompson’s are keen to introduce their award-winning range of teas to an ever increasing audience of tea lovers in U.K and the Republic of Ireland and are hugely encouraged by the response to Punjana’s quality from as far afield as the United States.

Find our teas near you

Ethical trading

We take great care to source our teas and herbs from the finest producers in the world, and from growers who share our ideals in treating workers fairly, and giving regard to proper wages, healthcare and education.

Our commitment to ethical trading
"It takes a certain amount of courage to choose what’s best over what's most profitable."

Ross Thompson

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