An aromatic, uplifting beverage savored for centuries around the world from India and Ireland to the U.S.A., tea was once an expensive drink, enjoyed exclusively by the wealthy. And with early packaging and transportation issues, it was also variable in quality and taste.
In 1880, 40-year-old, Glasgow-born entrepreneur and innovator Sir Thomas Lipton envisioned an opportunity to make tea universally accessible with guaranteed quality at acceptable prices.
He began by purchasing tea estates in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, and arranged packaging and shipping at low costs to sell his teas directly from the tea garden to the tea pot. In 1893, he established the Thomas J Lipton Co., a tea packing company with its headquarters and factory in Hoboken, New Jersey.