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Brick Lane trader brews up £2.5m tea exports to Sweden

PUBLISHED: 14:00 26 March 2019

Aliur Rahman at his London Tea Exchange warehouse in Brick Lane. Picture source: Citypress

Aliur Rahman at his London Tea Exchange warehouse in Brick Lane. Picture source: Citypress

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A Brick Lane retailer has stirred export orders worth £2.5million to sell tea to Sweden which they don't normally drink.

Aliur secures £2.5m tea export deal with Sweden. Picture source: CitypressAliur secures £2.5m tea export deal with Sweden. Picture source: Citypress

Aliur Rahman landed the deal for his London Tea Exchange which is now exporting for the first time.

The orders from retailers and distributors are set to increase his £360,000 turnover sixfold.

“The Scandinavian tea market can be a tricky one to crack,” Aliur explained.

“Tea isn’t as popular there as other drinks like coffee. But we wanted somewhere for our first export where we could test the products we’ve developed over the last 15 years, and it paid off.”

He now wants to reach 60 overseas markets by 2021, even looking to export tea to China!

One of his new Swedish customers, Wayne’s Coffee retailer, has agreed to stock his teas in 166 outlets around the world, including China.

London Tea Exchange began trading in 2014 and opened its first permanent store in Brick Lane in November.

The company has been supported by the Department for International Trade which provided an advisor on export trading.

The Department’s regional head, Parveen Thornhill, said: “These Swedish deals are the first significant export wins for London Tea Exchange, which are already set to boost the company’s turnover.”

The Swedish deals give Aliur a taste for exporting tea on a grand scale and now prints his labels in English, Swedish, Arabic, Mandarin and Japanese. His business holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of teas, with the Brick Lane stock of 825 varieties, after 15 years’ research.

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