Words from the founder and CEO of Monsoon Tea, Kenneth Rimdahl
“The idea of Monsoon Tea started growing when I first traveled to Northern Thailand over 20 years ago to source ceramic teapots for a tea company I then worked for in Spain. At that time, I did not know anything about tea even existing in Thailand until a newfound friend, Vorakarn Wongfu (Aek), introduced me to fermented tea leaves used for eating called Miang. Today, Khun Aek is also a partner in the business.
Interested to know more about the traditional culture surrounding tea in Thailand, I learned that tea historically had been used for eating rather than drinking. This explained why I had heard of tea from Japan, China, Sri Lanka, even Russia, but never from Thailand. Still being a bit skeptical about the fact that the fermented tea leaves I saw in the markets actually came from the same plant as the tea that we sold in Spain came from, I journeyed up to the mountains and realized that it in fact was true. And that in Thailand, the endemic growing tea plant was growing in complete harmony with the rest of the forest, way different from how I had seen tea in the rest of Asia.
After returning to Thailand many times since that first eye-opening trip, I decided to finally take the step away from the tea company in Spain and work full time on this new venture, Monsoon Tea. Learning more about tea culture and deforestation in these regions, I eventually came to the point where I decided to only work with Forest Friendly tea, meaning tea growing completely in harmony with it’s surroundings, not dependant on pesticides, irrigation systems, or fertilizers.
Five years after Monsoon Tea was founded and nearly 20 years after the original idea started to grow, we are now a steady growing company with five shops in Thailand and orders from all over the world. We have a large amount of wholesale customers and we create tea pairings together with some of Bangkok’s best Michelin restaurants. It is truly a blessing to run a business fully focused on creating a product as sustainable as possible, and then being able to offer it to the rest of the world.
Thank you for checking out Monsoon Tea and I hope to see you in one of our shops in the future!”
Meet the team
Ryan Price, CFO
Ken Ittipat, Commercial Manager