It was a voyage of discovery across China that led Alexis Rendell to set up Tea Mountain in 2021. It was a chance conversation with a colleague while on one of his many business trips to China that led him to discovering the delights of ‘real tea’.
It turned out that her husband was a tea merchant and Alexis accompanied him one day to a tea market where he had an introduction to the sheer variety and quality of teas available. A defining moment was when two very similar looking cups of tea were placed in front of him. After he tasted them, he was told that one was worth $10 per 10g, and the other was $160 for 10g. The difference being, like wine, the terroir, the grower, and where it was grown. A lifelong tea drinker, Alexis began to extensively research and taste teas over many years during his trips to the country.
Tea Mountain’s core offering is Portsmouth Tea which is readily available in shops and cafés, including Spinnaker Tower and Portsmouth FC.
“Portsmouth Tea celebrates the city’s place in Britain’s tea history, which starts with Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese bride-to-be of King Charles II, who arrived in Portsmouth in 1662 and was horrified to discover that tea wasn’t available in England! She immediately had a supply shipped over and that was the start of tea becoming a staple part of British life.”
As well as tea, Alexis also sells a range of Chinese porcelain infuser mugs, caddies and tea sets that are available from Tea Mountain’s online shop. He aims to educate customers about each blend’s origin, colour and ingredients, while also offering brewing and serving instructions.
Tea Mountain supplies teas that are eco-friendly and ethically sourced. Alexis extends this ethos to his packaging too, with biodegradable pouches and labels, with the latter also printed on recycled paper.
Alexis has been working with GetSet Solent and has benefited from the free guidance and business workshops.
“The courses have been very helpful. The Seven Secrets of Ecommerce, held at the Queen’s Hotel in Portsmouth, was fantastic and I’ve attended online workshops on finance, branding, marketing, and Instagram. The information has been beneficial daily, particularly for my social media activities.
I’ve learned all sorts of useful information that new and established businesses can implement. I’ve recommended the GetSet Solent programme to everybody!”
Alexis is exploring ways to grow the business and plans to apply for the GetSet Solent Grant.
“Being part of GetSet Solent has enabled me to become more aware of my capabilities and potential for success. I’m currently working on my business strategy and preparing to launch a range of Christmas gifts. I have a new afternoon tea blend coming soon and I’m also adding some teas from Nepal to my range to complement my China teas.”
Find out more and explore his range of tea and gifts on the Tea Mountain website.