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Food & Drink: YSWARA, Precious African Teas

Yswara [South Africa]

Yswara - Tea

[Image credit: Yswara Tea]

Working for many years in the design industry, I have always been fascinated with the way brands develop, the stories behind them, and so have delighted in watching innovative luxury tea brand, Yswara blossom into something truly special. When I was first introduced to Yswara about a year and a half ago, the brand was still in its infancy, developing its visual face so to speak, and whilst their current website was being created, their blog had some insightful information on the evolution of their logo and icon, which if I remember correctly is based on the Chi Wara, itself a well-known African icon, in the form of a headdress representing the antelope, that were carved and worn by the Bamana people of Mali.

Yswara’s resulting logo pays homage to African tradition, heritage and culture, and to me also looks like the sun radiating warmth. As a tea lover, the Yswara brand holds much appeal for me and can appreciate the thought, care, and attention to detail that has gone into creating an exceptional tea drinking experience. Inspired by the ancient tea drinking traditions across the African continent, and based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Yswara appoints itself as the ‘curator of precious African teas’, creating a space to indulge in the luxury of taking the time to enjoy the tea drinking ritual, and the precious moments of life. Tea lover, Swaady Martin-Leke, who hails from Côte d’Ivoire, created Yswara upon observing that although Africa was a leading exporter of tea, there were no luxury tea brands coming from the Continent and set out to change this. Yswara’s sophisticated tea infusions and blends are produced in small quantities in a process that involves ensuring only the best leaves are handpicked, sun-dried, and hand-rolled. Beautifully packaged in signature ebony and gold-copper, and named for warriors, queens, and mighty kingdoms, Yswara teas offer an adventurous journey into the legends and rich histories that have defined and captivated the Continent for centuries.

Yswara - Packaging

[Image credit: Yswara Packaging]

Accompanying the tea-drinking ritual and reflecting the beauty of the African continent, Yswara has also created a range of handcrafted accessories in the form of; an elegant collection of spoons entitled ‘Secret Garden’ that were created by South African designer Pamela Schroeder; the majestic ‘Akan’, black earthenware rimmed with gold detailing tea set that was created by South African artist Adrian Lombard; and home scents from the Johari la Africa candle collection created to transport you to ancient, inspirational cities of Africa, including Accra, Marrakech, and Abidjan.

Yswara - Johari la Africa Candle Collection

[Image credit: Johari la Africa Candle Collection – Yswara]

Yswara offers personalised corporate and gift hampers that combine their specialty teas with carefully selected gourmet treats and fine champagnes, and a by-appointment exclusive high tea (currently only available to those in Johannesburg) allows attendees to partake in the Yswara experience first-hand. Yswara teas are now available in Nigeria through selected retailers, and for the truly devoted tea lover and customer Yswara introduces Yswara Privé, by invitation only and is the place where one can have bespoke tea created, make use of a tea sommelier, on hand to recommend teas for your social events and gain access to Yswara’s social calendar of exclusive tea collection previews, and VIP fashion and arts events.

Additional details:
Yswara tea and accessories priced at: ZAR100-ZAR1995/approx. USD11.36-USD226.55/ 

approx. EUR8.54-EUR179.39
For further information about Yswara and to purchase visit: www.yswara.com

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