Since August 2021 we celebrate our 125th anniversary and started a jubilee year. With our new online store, we create a perfect shopping experience for our clientele and thus take an important step towards the future.
In our anniversary year, we revive the old and create the new.
On June 23, 1896, LONDON TEA COMPANY LTD was founded in London by two Swiss and five Englishmen. The headquarters were located in an imposing building at 9 + 10 Great Tower Street in the City of London. Shortly after, the main branch opened its doors in Basel. The successful business performance soon enabled the opening of other branches in Munich and in St. Louis in Alsace.
According to oral tradition, the tea trade under the name LONDON TEA had already begun more than 10 years earlier.
On August 6, 1896, the registered office of LONDON TEA was entered in the Commercial Register of Basel-Stadt. As a result of the 1st World War, the Basel branch became an independent company on September 16, 1915, with headquarters at Petersgraben 20. A short time later, the company moved to the corner property Petersgraben 67/Rosshofgasse 8. It was the former administrator's and servant's house of the "ROSSHOF", which now served the LONDON TEA COMPANY LTD as store, office, packing and storage space. At that time the tea assortment consisted of 12 different blends, teas from China, Ceylon and India. Even then, the principle was to import only the best quality tea directly from the plantation. Martha and Hans Iten - direct ancestors of today's owner family - contributed with care and skill to the prosperity of the tea house.
It is hard to believe in today's industrialized world how simple and modest the work was back then. The teas were mixed by hand and even the packaging was mostly made by hand with boiled paste made from fishmeal. After the 2nd World War, when the boom slowly began, many changes took place. With some skepticism, the first tea bags or tea capsules were produced. At first, this was done laboriously by hand and with the help of self-designed filling and sealing machines. Only after a few years did the company switch to fully automatic machines. Since then, the tea bag has become an indispensable part of modern life.
A major fire in 1955 on the Nadelberg, which also affected parts of the Rosshof, meant that the entire Rosshof, with the exception of the manor house, had to be demolished. The LONDON TEA store was then moved to Spalenberg 26. The administration, warehouse and shipping department moved into the new building on Reinacherstrasse in Münchenstein.
To this day, it is impossible to imagine LONDON TEA's Tee Huus Basel on Spalenberg without it. Tea connoisseurs will find the most extensive range of black tea, oolong, Pu Er, green tea, white tea, yellow tea, rooibos, herbal and fruit tea. In addition, all accessories for the fine tea enjoyment. The many original gift packages are particularly popular. Our friendly sales assistants are always ready to give expert advice to tea lovers and are happy to pass on many a good tip for delicious tea enjoyment.
When planning the tea factory in Münchenstein near Basel in 1955, the Bisang family wanted the building facade to resemble a tea factory in the highlands of Ceylon. At that time, the building basically had three floors and a converted attic. All the packaging material was stored under the roof. On the second floor was the packaging department and office space. On the first floor was the tea warehouse with the mixing rooms and a small sales store. And in the basement all the tea accessories and crockery were stored.