New Zealand's only commercial tea estate has secured a deal to sell its products in upmarket London department store Harrods.
Hamilton's Zealong said the high-end retailer had just ordered its second shipment of oolong green tea. The first arrived in Britain before Christmas.
General manager Gigi Crawford said it was encouraging that such a high-profile establishment had recognised the quality of New Zealand-grown tea.
"Zealong has made a $20 million investment in developing a premium tea range in New Zealand," Crawford said. "With around 1.2 million tea plants now thriving in this region's fertile soils, we are now focusing on taking this truly national tea to the world."
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Zealong tea sells at Harrods for about $1 a gram.
Crawford said that while the deal was a coup for the company, its marketing efforts centred onAsia.
More than two-thirds of annual production is exported to countries including China, Japan and Germany.
Zealong was founded in 1996 by the Chen family, who noticed that camellia plants - which require similar growing conditions to tea - thrived in the Waikato.
The first 130 seedlings were imported from Taiwan.