ITI and Jay Shree Teas Sign Distribution Deal


International Tea Importers formalized an alliance this week with India’s Jay Shree Tea & Industries Ltd. of Kolkata to stock and distribute a broad line of specialty teas.

Jay Shree is the third largest tea producer in the world with 22 estates and 9,407 hectares under cultivation throughout India and in some parts of Africa. Tea exports were $17 million in 2010 and projected to hit $22.5 million according to the company.

Subroto Basu, president of Tea Exports and Marketing negotiated the distribution deal with ITI Founder Devan Shah.

"Our arrangement enables ITI to stock and distribute excellent Jay Shree teas to our U.S. customers at very favorable prices," said Shah, who professed his long-standing admiration for the Jay Shree brand.

Earlier this year ITI brought in some great First Flush Darjeelings from Jay Shree’s outstanding Darjeeling gardens Singbulli, Sungma, Puttabong and Balasun. The order included the very first 2011 invoice from the Risheehat Organic Tea Estate, Shah says proudly.

Jay Shree also owns the world famous gardens of Mangalam, Manjushree, Meleng, Nahorhabi and Towkok in Assam and Sholayar and Kallayar in South India, says Shah. “Mangalam, Meleng and Towkok are my favorite Assam gardens," he says. "I particularly admire their Second Flush tippy teas which are malty and winey with distinctly honey-like taste and aroma."

Jay Shree Tea specializes in packaged tea sold under the “Birla Tea” brand and does custom packing. It is a leading producer, trader and exporter of specialty tea and a member of the Specialty Tea Institute, USA.

The firm was established in 1945 and is now part of the B.K Birla Group, a multi-national conglomerate. ITI is a leading U.S. importer and distributor of fine teas from around the world. Founded in 1990 and with two facilities in Southern California, ITI caters to customers of all sizes and types. Shah also publishes several Tea Society books by James Norwood Pratt including the award-winning Tea Dictionary, a complete reference to the principal kinds of tea grown in the world.