Made in Milwaukee: Rishi Tea

Made in Milwaukee is new series about the businesses that sell to the world but call Milwaukee home. Presented by House of Harley-Davidson, Milwaukee’s locally owned Harley dealer, we’re shining a spotlight on these iconic companies – their histories and their futures.
Year founded: 1997
Founder, President and CEO: Joshua Kaiser
Number of employees: 70
Location: 185 S. 33rd Ct.
In 2016, Americans consumed almost 84 billion servings of tea, or more than 3.8 billion gallons. In fact, it’s the second most popular beverage in the world, next to water. According to the Tea Association of the USA, the total wholesale value of tea sold in the U.S. grew from less than $2 billion in 1990 to over $10 billion in 2014.
It’s no exaggeration to note that a significant portion of the tea consumed in the U.S., particularly organic tea, has a direct connection to Milwaukee.
And it was one man’s passion, paired with his natural curiosity for food, herbs and the botanical arts, which formed the foundation for one of Milwaukee’s more unusual success stories: Rishi Tea, worldwide importer, manufacturer and distributor of organic specialty teas.
Located just off of Canal Street among other manufacturing businesses in the Menomonee Valley, Rishi might escape your notice. But behind its glass entry doors lies a company that imports over 500 metric tons of organic tea and herbs per year. And those products come from over 20 countries on six continents. It’s also the home of over 100 varieties of loose leaf teas using well over 250 botanicals and tea varieties.

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