U.S. Customers Can Now Taste the Tea Craftsmanship of Italy’s 'La Via del Tè' via Zia Pia Partnership

La Via del Tè – a revered Italian tea brand that’s known for its exceptional quality and craftsmanship – handpicked importer Zia Pia as its first-ever partner to exclusively introduce its teas to the American market.

A multi-generational, family-owned tea company, La Via del Tè was founded in 1961 by Alfredo Carrai. The brand creates beautiful, fragrant blends from its private workshop in Florence, Italy, and has several retail locations throughout Italy.

At La Via del Tè, every aspect of production – from selecting and importing the best tea harvests from around the world to creating the brand’s unique blends – is carried out with the beauty and precision of Tuscany’s artisanal tradition. The company also has its own line of Italian-grown tea, which is harvested near Lake Maggiore in the territory of Val d'Ossola at the Premosello plantation.

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La Via del Tè has its own line of Italian-grown tea, harvested near Lake Maggiore. (Photo: Courtesy of La Via Del Tè )

Laurel Evans, product and marketing manager at Zia Pia, the exclusive U.S. importer and retailer for La Via Del Tè, said, “La Via del Te has been on our radar for years, and we have visited their beautiful boutiques in Florence. Their commitment to quality and beauty feels very in line with our own, so as we were looking to expand our catalog it seemed like a natural fit.”

Zia Pia is a renowned importer/purveyor of fine Italian culinary delights, and this new collaboration marks a significant milestone for both La Via Del Tè and Zia Pia, as they join forces to provide a special Italian-made tea experience to the discerning palates of U.S. tea connoisseurs.

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La Via Del Tè tea inspired by Florence's Ponte Vecchio bridge (Photo: Courtesy of La Via Del Tè )

The Firenze Collection and the Le Signore delle Camelie Collection

There are currently two La Via del Tè collections available via Zia Pia. First, the Firenze collection is a tribute to Florence’s art, personalities, food and legends of the Renaissance. Il Sogno di Michelangelo is an oolong tea from the Firenze collection, inspired by Michelangeo’s David, and it features flavors of sweet chestnut and cream. Second, the Le Signore delle Camelie collection celebrates women who have marked their era, swimming against the tide. Emma, for example, is a black tea from the Signore delle Camelie collection, a tribute to Emma Hamilton, who married into the aristocracy but insisted on living by her own rules; it’s flavored with lemon, ginger and lychee.

Customers can explore La Via del Tè's loose-leaf teas in beautiful tins, individually wrapped tea bags, or through packaged gift sets. Prices start at US$37.50 a tin.

Zia Pia noted that they’re thrilled to be partnering with La Via del Tè, a storied company with a commitment to excellence, quality and beauty, to introduce the premium line of teas into the United States. In addition to the tea offerings, Zia Pia has a complete curated line-up of Italian products, including olive oil, tomato sauce, artisanal pasta and more.

Victoria Custodi, owner of Zia Pia, noted: “Zia Pia is a boutique importer specializing in fine, authentic regional Italian foods. Our suppliers are non-industrial, family-owned producers who combine traditional principles of authenticity and flavor with Italian design and style to create superior products – beautiful on the inside and out.”

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The team at La Via Del Tè in Italy (Photo: Courtesy of La Via Del Tè )

‘Florentine Artisans Are Known for Their Meticulous Craftsmanship’

According to the company, when Alfredo Carrai founded La Via del Tè in 1961, the world of tea was mostly unknown in Italy, as it has a coffee-centric culture. Yet, as his fascination with tea and the culture surrounding it grew, his adventures sent him to China in search of fine teas from Yunnan and to India for negotiations with Darjeeling plantations, as well as Japan, where he tried his first Gyokuro. Sixty years later, the company is carried on by Carrai and his wife Lalla, together with their children and grandchildren.

“Florentine artisans are known for their meticulous craftsmanship, attention to detail, and outstanding quality,” noted Evans. “La Via del Te applies all of these principles when selecting, importing and blending their special teas."

Today, at the popular La Via del Te stores in Italy, they sell around 250 different kinds of teas, including single-origin leaf teas (from China, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Japan and Africa), flavored blends, fruit infusions and herbal teas, and La Via del Tè-branded products – from classic tins to transparent fabric or cotton muslin tea bags, to gift boxes and a selection of teapots, cups and accessories from all over the world.

A pivotal piece of the La Via del Te stores is the scenic “aromateque,” which holds hand-engraved glass jars that customers use to appraise, smell and choose their favorite teas. On a side counter, a samovar features a welcoming tea to curious patrons and tea lovers, creating an entire tea experience for anyone who walks into one of the shops.

La Via del Tè also has a focus on sustainability. The brand’s hand-sewn tea bags, including the string and tag, are 100 percent biodegradable. The bag itself is made from a corn derivative and the string and tag are 100 percent cotton.

To learn more about La Via del Te in Italy, visit LaViadelTe.com. To order La Via del Te in the United States, visit ZiaPia.com.

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