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YSWARA Precious African Teas Championing Luxury Made In Africa

Working for many years in the design industry, I have always been fascinated with the way brands develop, the stories behind them, and so have delighted in watching the innovative luxury tea brand, Yswara blossom into something truly special. When I was first introduced to Yswara about a year and a half ago, the made in Africa tea brand was still in its infancy, developing its visual face so to speak, and whilst their current website was being created, their blog had some insightful information on the evolution of their logo and icon, which if I remember correctly is based on the Chi Wara, itself a well-known African icon, in the form of a headdress representing the antelope, that were carved and worn by the Bamana people of Mali. Yswara’s resulting logo pays homage to African tradition, heritage and culture, and to me also looks like the sun radiating warmth. As a tea lover, the Yswara brand holds much appeal for me and can appreciate the thought, care and attention to detail that has gone into creating an exceptional tea drinking experience.
[Image credit: Yswara Tea]

Inspired by the ancient tea drinking traditions across the African continent, and based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Yswara appoints itself as the ‘curator of precious African teas’, creating a space to indulge in the luxury of taking the time to enjoy the tea drinking ritual, and the precious moments of life. Tea lover, Swaady Martin created the luxury tea brand upon observing that although Africa was a leading exporter of tea, there were no luxury tea brands coming from the Continent and set out to change this. Yswara’s sophisticated tea infusions and blends are produced in small quantities in a process that involves ensuring only the best leaves are hand-picked, sun-dried and hand rolled. Beautifully packaged in signature ebony and gold-copper, and named for warriors, queens, and mighty kingdoms, Yswara teas offer an adventurous journey into the legends and rich histories that have defined and captivated the Continent for centuries.
[Image credit: Yswara Packaging]
Accompanying the tea drinking ritual and reflecting the beauty of the African continent, Yswara has also created a range of handcrafted accessories in the form of; an elegant collection of spoons entitled ‘Secret Garden’ that were created by South African designer Pamela Schroeder; the majestic ‘Akan’, black earthenware rimmed with gold detailing tea set that was created by South African artist Adrian Lombard; and home scents from the Johari la Africa candle collection created to transport you to ancient, inspirational cities of Africa, including Accra, Marrakech and Abidjan.

Yswara offers personalised corporate and gift hampers that combine their specialty teas with carefully selected gourmet treats and fine champagnes, and a by-appointment exclusive high tea (currently only available to those in Johannesburg) allows attendees to partake in the Yswara luxury tea experience first-hand. Yswara teas are now available in Nigeria through selected retailers, and for the truly devoted tea lover and customer Yswara introduces Yswara Privé, by invitation only and is the place where one can have a bespoke teas created, make use of a tea sommelier, on hand to recommend teas for your social events, and gain access to Yswara’s social calendar of exclusive tea collection previews, and VIP fashion and arts events.

Additional details:
Yswara tea and accessories priced at: ZAR100-ZAR1995/approx. USD11.36-USD226.55/ 

approx. EUR8.54-EUR179.39
For further information about Yswara and to purchase visit:


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  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
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  • Gifted hands. A glimpse behind the scenes of Kaross a South African based embroidery initiative, whose artisans transform furnishings into works of art. [📷 credit: Kaross]
  • Tools of the trade, a hand carved printing block stamp by textile designer @juliekouamo whose evocative designs tell the stories of cultures past and present. Julie's textiles feature richly layered patterns, textures and printed pictures that come together to create vibrant collages. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]
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