The Seventh Cup offers a new perspective on what quality in tea is
Our company started from a strong will to make a difference in the world. We believe in true quality, which goes hand in hand with respect for people and the nature.
The best quality teas straight from the farm without any middlemen
- The tea grows in high altitude, that way the aromas develop slowly and create a complex flavor
- Only the best top parts (i.e. bud and two top leaves) picked, as they contain the most elegant aromas
- truly care for the well-being of their employees by offering much better salary, housing, food and other extras
- their farming practises are natural with no pesticides, supporting plant diversity and wildlife and makes the nature thrive
A word from Petra Ahlman
I am the founder of The Seventh Cup.
I’m Finland’s first certified tea sommelier, living nowadays on the island of Gotland, Sweden. I've been working in the coffee and tea industry as a tea and coffee trainer since 2009. I've been working both with big multinational companies and smaller-scale players, and during this time, I've seen many developments unravel in the tea industry.
Still it doesn't cease to amaze me how few quality brands there are in the tea industry. There are a few brands selling great quality tea, but still they're lacking the focus on overall sustainability, where the employee and environmental responsibility is equally as important as quality. It is almost impossible to find fully traceable and conscious quality tea traders. No-one dares to talk about the tough issues behind making tea: the inhumane working conditions, the farmers' powerlessness in the purchasing price, unreasonable salaries, child labor, modern slavery, and harm to the environment caused by mass-production, pesticides and unsustainable production practices.
There are well-known certificates, but they can't always guarantee that the farms they work with play their part.The only way to ensure that the living and working conditions of the tea workers as well as environmental factors are taken into consideration is to be fully transparent and have a straight connection with the farmer. The fact is, only a handful of people are aware of the situation, as tea's way to a cup is almost always untraceable.
I decided to strive for a change. In the end, great tea boils down to people, and being humane towards everything around it.
The story behind the name
The Seventh Cup has gotten its name from the classical Chinese poem which is an ode for tea. It is about respect for tea, and reminds that tea isn't only a drink but a way of living. Cup by cup, the poet felt the tea transform him, becoming a better person and by the seventh cup he became immortal and flew towards the ultimate goal, Horaisan, island of immortals.
SONG OF SEVEN CUPS
The first cup moistens my lips and throat,
the second cup breaks my loneliness,
the third cup searches my barren entrail but to find therein some five thousand volumes of odd ideographs.
The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration, all the wrong of life passes away through my pores.
At the fifth cup I am purified;
the sixth cup calls me to the realms of immortals.
The seventh cup - ah, but I could take no more! I only feel the breath of cool wind that rises in my sleeves.
Where is Horaisan? Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither.