Milwaukee, WI founded in 1997
Rishi is derived from Sanskrit, meaning “one who is a seer, sage, or seeker of truth.” For Rishi, this translation is something they seek to embody every day – constantly striving to learn more about tea and strengthen their connection to this delicate crop and the people who grow it. At Rishi, they want to share some simple and natural alternatives to mainstream, processed food, so that people can live healthy and delicious lives. Rishi utilizes direct trade and direct import practices on all of their teas, a major pillar of their offerings. Rishi Tea was founded in 1997 by Joshua Kaiser, who found a way to combine his passions for travel, world cultures, global culinary traditions, and herbology into a business. Following a series of post-college travels, he landed back in the US and was stumped by the lack of sources for quality teas. A growing interest among Americans in the origin driven nuances of coffee and wine led Joshua to believe that the time was ripe to introduce true teas to the American market. Rishi started in a windowless 400 square foot space in Milwaukee’s Third Ward, and along with high school friend Benjamin Harrison drove the expansion of their quality teas into new markets. Joshua continued to travel abroad for nine months a year to source tea, developing relationships that served as the foundation of Rishi’s direct trade and organic supply chain. Today, Rishi operates out of a highly specialized 48,000 square foot facility in Milwaukee. At this facility, every detail was considered and designed for optimal botanical storage conditions with aroma segregation and the strictest requirements for organic food safety. As a result, Rishi attained its SQF Level II Food Safety Certification, putting the company at the forefront of purity and quality – something unattainable by most tea companies.