Brooke bond and Tetley may have cornered the mass market when it comes to the nation’s favourite drink but that isn’t to say that no one else can cause a stir!

Indeed, Dalgety Tea and Herbs from Syndham in London have had a year to remember. The company has recorded its highest ever profits, global recognition and a prestigious award – presented by consumer affairs champion, Esther Rantzen.

Founder Mark Dalgety attended the Thames Business Gateway Awards at the O2 arena and picked up the International Business award — sponsored by UK Trade & Investment.

Initially he approached UKTI to get advice about where he should be exporting and since he has taken advantage of the Passport to Export which has helped him to make trade visits overseas, improve his marketing and meet valuable contacts.

It has been a steady ascendency for Mark who founded the company back in 1995. His first business decision was to use the £1000 credit limit on his credit card to purchase a consignment of Creassie tea from his native Caribbean (Mark grew up in Guyana).

He broke the batch up into 16,000 one ounce packs and sold them in the UK for 50p each, grossing a cool £8,000 from his initial investment.

Since then the company has developed new flavours for certain markets and grown to the tune of 1000 per cent every year.

Mark explains the reasons for his success. “Unlike the big corporate tea companies we only use natural ingredients, without any chemicals, while being affordable. We also give the farmers in Kenya and the Caribbean more money and in return we get a better quality product.”

Dalgety Tea is extremely keen on maintaining links with its roots and can often be seen at the Notting Hill Carnival — after all, it has a good reason to celebrate.