Who We Are
The Irie Cup is a family inspired, owned, and operated company, run by husband-and-wife team Joseph and LaShanda Lewis. Their three growing children often lend a hand, too.
You can often find the whole family at the farmer’s market, where you’ll be greeted with a warm smile, a friendly wave, and the welcome scent of loose-leaf tea.
"Irie" is a traditional saying that many Jamaicans use in greetings and responses. It means “everything’s good,” or that something is "good and pleasant." When you’re drinking from one of our cups, that’s how we want you to feel: Everything is good, everything is pleasant, everything is Irie.
Meet Joe and LaShanda
For as long as they can remember, Joe and LaShanda have had an affinity for tea.
Joe grew up in Chicago, surrounded by his father’s garden. A walk in their backyard transported you from the south side of Chicago to the flourishing flower gardens of Mandeville, Jamaica. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, carrots, and mint leaves: Growth was all around the home, and it was normal to harvest the fresh mint leaves to steep whenever it was time for tea.
While not surrounded by the same lush garden, LaShanda was raised by a passionate, tea-drinking, Jamaican family who always seemed to know exactly which tea to prescribe. Do you have a headache? Drink fever grass. A bad cold? Garlic tea. Upset stomach? Ginger Tea! All of the above? Drink Cerasee!
By blending their two unique upbringings, Joe and LaShanda created their vision for The Irie Cup. Together, they endeavor to share their heritage with their friends, community, and the world—along with excellent loose-leaf tea, of course.
Our Beginnings: From Dream to Reality; A COVID Story
Were it not for the 2020 pandemic, The Irie Cup may not have ever been born: The schools closed, Joe was furloughed from his 9 to 5, and LaShanda took a pause from teaching other children to homeschool her own. It afforded an unusual chance for the Lewises to pursue a life-long dream, and Joe and LaShanda began researching the ins and outs of the tea business.
Six months later, they were ready to launch a new legacy.
The Irie Cup exists to share high-quality, responsibly sourced teas with our ever-expanding community of tea lovers while encouraging wellness, mindfulness, and relaxation through a perfectly brewed cup of tea.
Our VisionEvery day we work to:
- Blend new recipes that brim with unexpected tastes and flavors, using only the finest ingredients.
- Partner with farmers—both in the US and around the world—who share our values.
- Share Jamaica’s rich culture through story, smiles, and steeping.
- Encourage health and wellness by educating others on the positive effects of tea.
- Welcome customers with kind, informative, helpful service, both in person and through our website.
- Give back to our community.