Our story

One family, 40 years, 13 countries and countless ‘proper cuppas’

We love telling our story. It’s a tale that spans three generations and four continents, but it all started at a humble Sussex kitchen table, with one man passionate about tea and coffee.

Our story begins in 1981

Vespas. Shellsuits. The sounds of Bowie and Queen blaring out of Walkmans.

After a 20-year tenure in the Indian and African tea trades, Frank Edgcumbe-Rendle had just returned to England.

And he was in for a shock.

Aisle by aisle he scoured the supermarket shelves. One by one he visited cafés, eateries and everything in between. But the top-tier tea he’d grown to love was nowhere to be found. He knew something had to be done and so, ever the pragmatist, he set about doing it. Laying his scales on the kitchen table and grabbing two bags of his trusty loose leaf, he got to work. Frank didn’t realise it, but something big had just happened.

1982

The brew was out of the bag!

Frank’s first brew, Rusper, had tantalised the taste buds of locals - and more were taking notice.

Before long, he was supplying his freshly blended loose leaf to cafes and care homes across the southern counties.

1987

Chris joins the team

After a career working with a world-renowned tea growing, producing and trading company with a history spanning 200 years, Frank’s son, Christopher, joins Edgcumbes.

1988

Alice knows a good thing when she sees one...

Shortly after Christopher joins, Alice leaves her corporate marketing job and enters the wonderful world of tea and coffee.

1989

We’re in business!

It’s official - Edgcumbes is incorporated as a limited company.

1991

First roaster, “The Whitmee”

Word travels fast, demand increases, and we need to up our roasting game. Enter our first-ever roaster, “The Whitmee”.

1997

The Whitmee meets a new friend…

6 years after roasting its first bean, we lighten The Whitmee’s workload and welcome a second-hand Probat Roaster to the family!

2009

Our first "marketing meeting"

The growing Edgcumbes team dips its toes into plans for their caffeine-fuelled future...

2014

Edgcumbes roasting & blending finds a new home

Production moves to our iconic Dutch barn, fully refurbished from reclaimed materials.

2015

Big Bertha joins Edgcumbes

And we start playing with the big boys…

FACT: To date, Big Bertha has roasted EDGE coffee for nearly 10,000 hours!

2016

EDGE Tea and Coffee – the brand is born

2020

EDGE by the Sea opens

Edge by the Sea in Littlehampton (LA to locals) opens its doors. A hub for staycationers and local caffeine addicts - run by Chris & Alice’s son, Charlie!

2021

Hello Wolfie!

After an eventful voyage from our friends in Holland, our bespoke Giesen 30kg roaster, lovingly named “Wolfie”, rolls through the barn doors.

We’re open for everyone

Worked up a thirst for delicious local coffee and tea? So have we! Explore our café locations and pop in for a cuppa and a chat – we’d love to see you.