1869 was a pivotal year for international commerce. This was the year the Suez Canal was opened after more than a decade of financial, technical, and political challenges. Steamships traveling through the Suez Canal could deliver teas to market at less cost, and a month earlier, than the fastest clipper ships in the China trade. Lower costs for transportation would ultimately result in lower costs to the consumer, but they would not come overnight.
1869 was also the year that the transcontinental railroad was completed and John Augustus Roebling’s monumental design of the Brooklyn Bridge was accepted. The U.S. was experiencing unprecedented growth in population as well as geographic area, and with that growth came new challenges and opportunities.
Two entrepreneurs of the day, George Huntington Hartford and George Gilman, met the challenges and seized the opportunities of the time. In 1869 they founded The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, which became the largest retail chain in the world. Traditional tea merchants and small grocers would soon be in for some tough times.
"Upton Tea Imports was founded in 1989 with the objective of providing the North American tea drinker with
the finest teas available. We purchase teas from reputable brokers and estates worldwide, dealing only with
sources who are capable of providing top quality teas. We sell directly to the consumer, thus ensuring the
freshest product and fairest pricing."