In 1997, Joshua Kaiser realized that the traditional, handcrafted teas he grew so fond of while traveling through Asia were rarely available elsewhere. Joshua believed North American consumers would embrace artisan tea as they did single origin coffee and fine varietal wine, if they could get it at reasonable prices.
Joshua enlisted a well-traveled and longtime friend Benjamin Harrison as a partner and together they started Rishi Tea. The two, along with help from friends, worked in a 400 square foot windowless space in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward district, hand-blending original botanical blends and individually packaging premium teas imported from places Joshua visited frequently.
They eventually outgrew the space moved the business to Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood. While the production facilities expanded, Rishi Tea preserved its founding principles including unique hand-blending techniques, meticulous hand-packaging and strict quality control.
Joshua travels thousands of miles each year to the diverse points of origin where Rishi teas are harvested, maintaining the personal relationships he has developed over the years with farmers and artisans whose families have been making traditional teas for generations.
Today, the Rishi team has grown into a passionate group of tea lovers who serve as guides for our customers into the world of premium tea.