Launch of two new NEMI blends

GREEN TEA


Our Sencha is a delicate steamed green tea with a mild taste and attractive softness that sets it apart from the more commonly-seen roasted green teas. We source our teas from the hills of Zhejiang province in the east of China where the August heat and hillside mists create an ideal tea-growing environment. 

We have also captured this delicately leafed Sencha in biodegradable tea pyramids to give you a rich cup of green tea, with a continual but gentle breath of smooth sweetness.

Green Sencha

PEPPERMINT TEA


Our peppermint tea is a carefully-assembled blend of European, Egyptian and American peppermint designed to give a blast of refreshing minty coolness. The blend harnesses the renowned green freshness of American-grown peppermint but builds upon it with the more intense and darker notes of European and Egyptian mints. 

We have also captured our refreshing peppermint leaf tea in biodegradable tea pyramids to give you a great way to round off an evening meal.

muna peppermint.jpg

Nemi - A Spicy Enterprise

Our Story

It’s early morning. Your sleepy eyes are slowly opening to embrace the new day. Left leg out, right leg out - sitting position achieved. A big stretch, you’re ready to stand up now. Stumbling into the kitchen, you turn on the kettle to boil hot water. Ceylon, Assam, Chai - what’s it going to be today?

A cup of tea in the morning is such an integral part of waking up, that we almost don’t realise we’re pouring it. It has become habit, a key ritual in British lifestyle. But what if it could be so much more?

It can. We want to make tea more than a steaming cup of goodness. Our tea blends are special - and refugee empowerment is our specialty. Nemi is a social purpose business focused on rebuilding refugee lives by creating employment opportunities selling exquisite tea across the UK.

Our 3 chai blends: Masala chai, Ginger chai and Cardamom chai.

Our 3 chai blends: Masala chai, Ginger chai and Cardamom chai.

You can come say “hi” in London markets, sip a cup of our tea in a cafe near you, or place orders online to create some magic at home. Our teas are hand-blended and hand-packed by refugees. It is our vision to set up a franchise of tea stalls across food markets in the UK that are run and eventually owned by refugees.

So what does this opportunity mean for them?

Ayman from Damascus, Syria brewing some chai at Venn Street markets, Clapham Common, London.

Ayman from Damascus, Syria brewing some chai at Venn Street markets, Clapham Common, London.

Social Inclusion

Humans are social beings. We want to belong to a community. Being forced to leave your home - whether for economic, political, or safety reasons - means you are losing that community. Finding yourself in a new country with a different language and customs is scary. You feel alone, excluded, and lost.

Talking to customers, making tea, and socialising creates a new sense of belonging. Communicating across cultures over a cup of hot chai brings an ease to the situation, where both sides realise that in the end, they belong to the same tribe.

 

Independence

Employment translates into independence. On one hand, working creates a sense of purpose. On the other hand, financial remuneration can help make a big difference in quality of life. Government support is limited to less than £65 per week. A sense of purpose, and the ability to support yourself translates into more independence and freedom.

Language Skills

The language barrier is one of the biggest limitations to integration and social inclusion. Have you ever been on holiday, gotten lost, tried to ask for directions, and found that no one can understand you? Imagine if you experienced this every day.

Refugee access to language learning classes in the UK is not guaranteed. Working at the stall brewing tea, a common practise across many cultures, offers a safe and encouraging environment to practise English.

Confidence

All of the above come together to build confidence. After exhausting journeys, constant conflict and survival situations, and loss of loved ones and belongings, it is no surprise that there is no energy left to build a new life. Being able to provide for oneself, being part of a community, and learning a new language is a great start to regaining a sense of self.

Ahmad from Iraq serving up some freshly brewed cardamom chai!

Ahmad from Iraq serving up some freshly brewed cardamom chai!

Respect

Our new team members, in charge of the tea stalls, are doing everything they can to contribute to society. They want to integrate, they want to work, and they want to be part of their new home. Making an effort and not completely relying on state provision deserves and earns respect from locals. Refugees themselves are empowered to change the negative discourse surrounding them.

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So next time you turn on the kettle to brew a cup of tea, make it count - drink a Nemi blend!

Nemi Superstars

Becoming a CommuniTEA

It has already been quite a special year for us!

Risky Business - Going Full-time

Starting in January 2017, our founder Pranav made the leap, leaving his consulting job to go full time with Nemi. The social enterprise is not just a ‘thing on the side’ anymore, but a full-blown business. A livelihood. A mission.

TEAming Up

In line with the motto of “We’re all in this together,” Pranav brought Anuj on board. Bonding over common Indian heritage, the two are the perfect duo to deliver authentic chai to the London food scene. Anuj brings sales and distribution expertise as he has previous experience launching beverage startups. His never-ending motivation to spread the word and win over new accounts has him making the rounds in London cafes, always on the lookout for new stockists.

But how do these two stay on track? Tasks take longer than expected, get lost in ever increasing to-do lists, or are parked until sometime in the never quite definite “future.” That’s why we have Sally. She is the much needed (very positive) kick-in-the-butt that keeps the team focused and motivated.

And finally there is Anna. Anna posts pictures of pancakes on Instagram, and laughs at her own captions. Sometimes she is so proud of her Boomerang videos, that her own views make up 20% of overall traffic.

 
Pranav, Anuj and Sally rocking it up at the Social Impact Careers Conference at Said Business School, Oxford, UK.

Pranav, Anuj and Sally rocking it up at the Social Impact Careers Conference at Said Business School, Oxford, UK.

Anwar from Sudan brewing up some chai at the markets.

Anwar from Sudan brewing up some chai at the markets.

Settling Down

Nemi now has an official headquarters. Situated in the buzzing neighbourhood of Clerkenwell, City University of London has generously welcomed the team to their LaunchLab co-working space. Surrounded by other young entrepreneurs, the team is working day-in and day-out to help refugees make their transition to London life easier.

Growing the Family

Our current focus is to serve fresh chai in more food markets around London, see our chai blends and chai syrup at more independent cafes around the UK, and solidify partnerships with refugee bodies to better scale our social impact.  

Already this year, we’ve served tea at 4 TEDx conferences and the Social Impact Careers Conference at the Said Business School in Oxford. We’re at the Venn Street Market in Clapham every Saturday. And finally, you can find our chai in 17 independent cafes.

We have so far worked with 6 refugees from Syria, Eritrea, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, and Bangladesh. These team members report that they enjoy selling tea with us because of the opportunity to practise their English language skills, meet all kinds of customers, and earn a fair wage for their work.

We will keep you updated with inspiring stories about our new team members, and let you know how they are getting on. So keep an eye out for future Nemi updates and stories on how everything is going. Until next time!

The Art of Brewing Chai at Home

Chai time

The pot is bubbling. Hot steam is escaping through the nostril of the kettle. A gurgling sound tells you it's time. Tea time.

Whether it’s part of your morning routine, you’ve invited friends over for high tea, or you’re relaxing with a hot cup of chai during a movie night - making tea at home is a daily ritual most of us (especially in Britain) have adopted.

Nowadays, making tea is easy and convenient. Throw a teabag in cup, pour over hot water, add milk. You can do the same with chai. But don’t you find that tea made at home just can’t quite keep up with proper chai you have tasted at our stall or during your travels?

There is a real art to brewing chai at home. The proper way of brewing ensures that you achieve that authentic burst of flavour, the creamy, milky texture, and that blissful satisfaction in each sip. But how do you do it?

Don’t despair, we won’t leave you hanging! Our chai recipe has been passed down and developed from generation to generation. We make sure that you will be able to brew your tea just like the Chaiwallahs do on roadsides of Delhi.

Ram tossing up some chai at the local markets in Old Delhi, India.

Ram tossing up some chai at the local markets in Old Delhi, India.

What you need

  • Tea cup, strainer/infuser if preferred
  • One of our tea blends
  • Cold water
  • Milk (cow, soy, almond etc.)

Option 1: Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy...Just without the lemon

Place a teaspoon per person into a tea cup, add freshly drawn boiling water, and brew for five minutes. Add milk and sugar according to taste. You can use a strainer or infuser to avoid residual tea blend.

Option 2: Impress your Indian mother in law

Put four teaspoons of the blend into half a litre of boiling water and let it boil for five minutes. Add 250ml of milk and sweeten with sugar. If you prefer honey, add it at the very end. Bring it to a boil again and then take off heat and let sit for five minutes. Pour through a strainer and serve four cups of delicious chai.

Voila! Your perfect cup of chai.