Information on the Republic of Tea

A little girl sitting at a table with a cake

The Republic of Tea is a privately owned American tea company based in Larkspur, California that makes and sells more than 300 varieties of teas throughout North America. The Republic of Tea is known for packaging its loose teas and tea bags in tall, cylindrical tins. It was one of the first companies to offer varieties such as rooibos red tea, white tea, and tea seed oil to American consumers.


The company was founded in 1992 by entrepreneurs Mel Ziegler, Patricia Ziegler, and Bill Rosenzweig. The Zieglers are also known for co-founding Banana Republic and In 1994, they sold the company to Ron Rubin, under whom The Republic of Tea has grown into a nationally recognized brand. Rubin’s son Todd Rubin joined the company in 2007 and succeeded his father as president in 2015. Ron Rubin currently serves as The Republic of Tea’s Executive Chairman and Minister of Tea. The Republic of Tea designates its employees as “ministers,” its customers as “citizens,” and its retail outlets as “embassies.”


A woman talking on a cell phone

The Republic of Tea’s products are distributed through specialty retailers including Whole Foods Market and Williams Sonoma. They do not intend to expand to mass market retailers such as Costco and Walmart. The company prides itself on maintaining slow but steady growth and operating without any debt.

The company supports sustainable agriculture. It sources several of its teas from biodynamic farms, a form of alternative agriculture similar to organic farming which treats soil fertility, plant growth, and livestock care as ecologically interrelated tasks. It also produces Sonoma Teas, which are made from dried grape skins that would otherwise go to waste.

Both Ron and Todd Rubin have said that they are not interested in selling The Republic of Tea, despite a potential valuation as high as $125 million. Ron Rubin says he has always hoped his company would remain family-owned and private.


Over 300 Premium Teas

Our offerings include: teas, herbs, bottled iced teas and nature-inspired sipware.

Award-Winning Packaging

A close up of a bowl of food on a table

Specially designed air-tight, light resistant tins containing either full-leaf teas and herbs or our signature round, unbleached tea bags, free of unnecessary envelopes, strings, tags or staples.

Decaffeinated Options

Decaffeinated tea (using a natural CO2 method) varieties are also available.

All Teas Are Gluten-Free

All of our teas are Certified Gluten-Free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO).

Our People

We believe that happy and healthy Ministers — also known as our employees — create a healthy business. By offering a number of unique benefits. The Republic of Tea brings harmony to the workplace.

Responsibility and Ethics

A socially and environmentally responsible business, The Republic of Tea is dedicated to sharing our prosperity by developing products to support worthy organizations, including the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the Whole Planet Foundation. We are also a member of The Ethical Tea Partnership.

With supreme good fortune, we have progressed—constantly enriching people’s lives through the experience of great-tasting, premium teas and herbs, education and innovation.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter