The Tea Council is a non-profit organisation which represents the interests of the major tea producing countries and the UK tea packers.
The Tea Council acts as a spokesperson for the tea industry on a wide range of topics. They also promote the health benefits of tea drinking.
The Tea Guild was founded in 1995, after an independent survey commissioned by the The Tea Council, found that out of the thousands of beverages available across the country, not many were serving tea to the standards desired by The Tea Council. It was set up to provide recognition to those outlets meeting these high standards.
Membership of The Tea Guild is strictly by invitation only. When a tea room is interested in becoming a member, they are visited by an incognito (mystery shopper) tea taster.
If the tea room complies with The Tea Council's high standards, they are then invited to become a member.
Tea Guild members are able to benefit from the resources and reputation of being a member of The Tea Council, and from publicity and promotions organised by the Council.
They also receive automatic entry into the annual search for 'Top Tea Place of the Year', or 'Top London Afternoon Tea Award'.